At Lefty U., Plans for Right-Wing Chair

University of Colorado seeks 'intellectual diversity,' to qualms on both sides

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 13, 2008 11:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Here’s a recipe for controversy: Take one of the nation’s most liberal schools—the University of Colorado at Boulder—and make it the home of the nation’s first endowed chair for Conservative Thought and Policy. The school’s Republican chancellor tells the Wall Street Journal the campus needs “intellectual diversity” alongside offerings on gay literature and Chicano studies. Critics, predictably, are legion—right and left.

Students are up in arms, and an attempt by faculty to get a vote on the appointment was shot down. Conservatives have long complained about academia’s leftward tilt, but even many of them find the Boulder program odd. “Like Margaret Mead among the Samoans, they're planning to study conservatives. That's hilarious,” says columnist George Will, one of the big names floated to fill the professorship.

Environmental law student, Michael West, holds a sign in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. The University of Colorado at Boulder is so left-wing, it's endowing a Conservative Chair.
Environmental law student, Michael West, holds a sign in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. The University of Colorado at Boulder is so left-wing, it's endowing a "Conservative" Chair.   (AP Photo/Bill Ross)
Bruce Benson, finalist for the University of Colorado President position, answers the concerns of faculty members during a forum on the CU Campus in Boulder on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008.
Bruce Benson, finalist for the University of Colorado President position, answers the concerns of faculty members during a forum on the CU Campus in Boulder on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Bill Ross)
The idea of the new position is to foster intellectual diversity.
The idea of the new position is to foster "intellectual diversity."   (Shutterstock)
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