Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Ivory Fortress

They do not want to educate, they want to indoctrinate. They do not want to hear challenges to their dogma - they want you to parrot it.

You have these qualifications; should you be able to get a job as a professor?
He is an Eagle Scout who earned a summa cum laude degree from Harvard, graduating first in the history department before earning a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England. Before he had even begun graduate school, he had published his first book and landed a contract for his second book. Distinguished professors at Harvard and Cambridge wrote stellar letters of recommendation for him.
Oh no. Not that fast. You see, there are certain political tests one has to go through. Certain aspects of the catechism you must follow. We don't like uncomfortable ideas.
Yet over five years, this conservative military and diplomatic historian applied for more than 150 tenure-track academic jobs, and most declined him a preliminary interview. During a search at University of Texas at El Paso in 2005, Mr. Moyar did not receive an interview for a job in American diplomatic history, but one scholar who did wrote her dissertation on "The American Film Industry and the Spanish-Speaking Market During the Transition to Sound, 1929-1936." At Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004, Mr. Moyar lost out to a candidate who had given a presentation on "promiscuous bathing" and "attire, hygiene and discourses of civilization in Early American-Japanese Relations."
When I looked at getting my PhD - the types of dissertations at the University the Navy would send me to people were doing were about as bad. There are lots of reasons for this. None of them have to do with building knowlege and finding the truth.
...history departments at places like Duke had 32 Democrats and zero Republicans, according to statistics published by the Duke Conservative Union around the time Mr. Moyar tried to get an interview there.
And they babble about the military not reflecting America.

In case you are wondering who we are talking about, we are talking about someone I have mentioned before here, Dr. Mark Moyer.
Mr. Moyar is used to opposition. A contrarian among most Vietnam scholars, he does not believe it was a mistake for America to have gone into Vietnam. In carefully argued prose using previously unexamined sources, he marshals support for the "domino theory." His scholarship and books have received great reviews and marked him as a rising star.

In saying Vietnam was winnable, Mr. Moyar is "profaning one of the holy of holies," Mr. Balch said. Senator Webb, a Democratic opponent of the Iraq war, and scholar William Stueck, a liberal, have endorsed Mr. Moyar's book, "Triumph Forsaken" ( Cambridge), which was the subject of a conference at Williams College. A conference is a signal honor for a young scholar.
It didn't help him much though.
A history professor at Texas Tech, John Reckner, declined to speak about specifics of Mr. Moyar's job application at that particular school, but noted generally, "Let's just say, a person applying to teach whose topic is the Vietnam War and whose position is conservative, would encounter difficulties because the ideological ghosts of the 1960s are, unfortunately, still alive on a great many campuses, even though the Vietnamese themselves have put the war behind them."

On April 27, 2005, 15 faculty members out of the 20 in Texas Tech's history department voted Mr. Moyar "unacceptable."
There is so much more in the article, you need to read the whole thing.

If you have time, go to his website, or look over his latest book Triumph Forsaken (yes, I am flogging it again). Even better, take the time to listen to him being interviewed on The National Defense or listen what Dr. Fouad Ajami has to say.

While we are on the subject of the Stalinization of higher education - let's look at something that lifts up the log to show you all the nasty stuff underneath - a great documentary called, Indoctrinate U (H/t Stanley Kurtz). Enjoy the trailer.

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