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
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)
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(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.