Whether we win or lose the election this coming Tuesday, it has become very clear that we have a lot of work to do in this country to restore an understanding and appreciation of conservative principles in the population at large. I hope to write further on this after the election. In the meantime, I’d like to engage in a little thought exercise with you.
Given that the nation’s universities, particularly in the liberal arts and soft science areas, have become overwhelmingly dominated by leftist thinking, I believe it is vital that we fight back by establishing some conservative universities. (I know, there are already a few good ones out there.) It pains me to suggest that we should have to establish a university with any particular philosophical leaning because I believe firmly in NOT indoctrinating students into any particular philosophy. Rather, I believe that students need to be given a firm grounding in history, in logic, and in the philosophical underpinnings of our western society upon which basis they can be free to make their own choices. I believe students need to be educated in a climate of rigorous and open debate where they are taught to analyze all sides of an issue before making a morally and logically grounded decision. However, if the history of the past century has taught us anything, it is that any institution that is not explicitly conservative will drift leftward over time.
With that in mind, I would like to get your thoughts on who you would hire (assuming they were interested) as faculty members of such a university. For the purposes of this discussion, I’m interested in filling all sorts of roles from the full time faculty that would shape the development of an entire department or school, to regular teaching faculty, to visiting faculty that could share their thoughts with students and influence their thinking even if only for a single semester. (So don’t assume that just because someone is currently sitting on the Supreme Court, they couldn’t drop by for a while. Feel free to suggest conservative, libertarian, or even intelligent liberal thinkers (to provide some different perspectives).
While I myself am trained in the sciences and would like my university to rigorously pursue science education, I am more interested for the moment in building solid departments in areas such as law, journalism, economics, education, etc. that are currently so dominated in our society by people on the left.
As a few examples to get us started, I think it would be wonderful to have people like Thomas Sowell (economics), Victor Davis Hanson (classics, history) and Dallas Willard (philosophy). I’d love to have Robert Bork shape a law department, but at 81 he might be a little old for the job. Any suggestions as to alternatives?
Please let me know who you’d like to see as one of our prospective faculty members and why. Also feel free to disagree with any of the suggestions I’ve made above.