February 13, 2004


Robert Munger, chairman of the political science department, said he was impressed by Duke’s intellectual diversity, which he called “relatively healthy” compared to other universities.

Still, Munger recalled a recent meeting in which he heard a fellow department chairman say it was Duke’s job to confront conservative students with their hypocrisies and that they didn’t need to say much to liberal students because they already understood the world.

“There was no big protest [at the meeting], and that was wrong,” Munger said.

Munger said the history department’s political makeup surprised him, however.

“Thirty-five Democrats and no Republicans? If you flip a coin 35 times, and it ends up heads every time, that’s not a fair coin,” he said.

The people who say, ‘I don’t think ideology is appropriate in hiring would have to look at the process that provides such a skewed outcome,” he said. . . .

Intended to depoliticize universities, the bill, in part, calls for taking steps to promote intellectual diversity whether through faculty hiring or the selection of campus speakers.

What’s next: Goals and timetables?

UPDATE: John Rosenberg has a lengthy posts with many links, and quotes from Stanley Fish. Meanwhile Duke philosophy chair Robert Brandon responds to his critics. I’m not sure this response helps him all that much, but you can read it and make up your own mind.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Carey Gage has read Brandon’s response, and discusses its flaws at length. (“In other words, being exposed to Professor Brandon’s politics is an opportunity to discard your stupid political beliefs in favor of the more intelligent ones advocated by … Professor Brandon! How could conservatives have been so blind? “).

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