January 22, 2006


Expose 'radical' UCLA teacher, get $100 (Reuters, 1/19/06)

An alumni group dedicated to "exposing the most radical professors" at the University of California at Los Angeles is offering to pay students $100 to record classroom lectures of suspect faculty.

The Web site of the Bruin Alumni Association also includes a "Dirty Thirty" list of professors considered by the group to be the most extreme left-wing members of the UCLA faculty, as well as profiles on their political activities and writings.

UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale on Thursday denounced the campaign as "reprehensible," and school officials warned that selling or distributing recordings of classroom lectures without an instructor's consent violates university policy. [...]

The group, which is not affiliated with UCLA or its official alumni association, is the creation of Andrew Jones, a 2003 UCLA graduate who said he runs the organization mostly on his own with $22,000 in private donations.

Jones told Reuters that he is out to "restore an atmosphere of respectful political discourse on campus" and says his efforts are aimed at academics who proselytize students from either side of the ideological spectrum, conservative or liberal.

"We are concerned solely with indoctrination, one-sided presentation of ideological controversies and unprofessional classroom behavior," Jones said on his Web site.

Jones' site describes his campaign as "dedicated to exposing UCLA's most radical professors" and his list of the university's "worst of the worst" singles out only professors he says hold left-wing views.

Jones said he would accept recordings only from students whose professors consented in writing to have their lectures taped. And students would be paid $100 only if they furnished complete recordings of every class session, as well as detailed lecture notes and all other teaching materials from the class.

Imagine professors who are too ashamed of their lectures to have anyone they don't have power over hear them?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2006 12:10 PM

Most professors are pompous bags of wind. And I say that as the son of a professor.

Posted by: Brandon at January 22, 2006 5:35 PM

This group damages its credibility by conflating two different issues. "... indoctrination, one-sided presentation of ideological controversies and unprofessional classroom behavior" is a valid concern, especially given the position of power of professors over their students. However, simply exposing their political beliefs is irrelevant if they do not abuse their position, though it might be relevant to charges of hiring discrimination by the university.

I had an excellent Advanced Calculus professor who was a hard-core Communist, but I only learned his political beliefs over the billiards table at the student center, not in his class (he was also an excellent 3 cushion billiards player, BTW).

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 22, 2006 6:25 PM

Does Angela Davis teach at UCLA, or UC-Davis?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 22, 2006 7:06 PM

The profs are terrified that their laziness and lack of preparation will be exposed. In other words, they are coasting and afraid of being exposed.

Posted by: Pepys at January 22, 2006 7:16 PM

Where can we send donations?

Posted by: Genecis at January 22, 2006 9:21 PM

Good point jd. My political science profs in college included a communist/socialist and a liberal Democrat, who was my academic advisor. Neither abused their position in the least.

Posted by: Dave W at January 22, 2006 9:32 PM

Perhaps the folks who dreamed up this method of "exposing" these profs should have taken the satirical route-- "Praising" the profs in question for their brilliant positions and nominating them for "awards" for "Best Indoctrinator," etc. or nominating several for the "Chomsky!" Any suggestions for what kind of object the Chomsky might be? And what kind of material it might be made of?

Posted by: Brian McKim at January 23, 2006 11:44 AM