Jan 292003
 
Authors: the Collegian Editorial Board

The Collegian, and many students and professors, wonder what Bill Owens was thinking when he endorsed Marc Holtzman for CSU’s next president.

Politically, this doesn’t seem to exactly help the governor. Many people are outraged about Owens’ actions and think of him as an edict-issuing monarch, and a person who seems bent on hurting CSU. That isn’t really good for him if he ever wants a job after he leaves as governor.

Can’t you hear the political ads? “Bill Owens wants to be your senator. He wants you to forget about the fact that he forced an unqualified candidate to become CSU’s president. And he called himself the education governor. (Cue sad music in background.) Call Bill Owens. Tell him you don’t want his education-hating agenda in Washington.”

So why would he do this? What would he have to gain?

Well, he told Mike Rosen, a radio host on KOA, that there aren’t enough Republican political science professors and that there is a liberal bias among the teaching rank-and-file.

He said Holtzman would be a good choice to remedy this because he is very Republican and very conservative and would hold the highest office over the state’s flagship university.

Also, Owens’ daughter is a student at CSU. Is that motivation? Maybe, maybe not.

“(If that is the case), he should send his daughter to a small religious school in Alabama,” said Robert Lawrence, a self-professed liberal professor in the political science department.

All this begs the question: are Owens’ claims true? And if so, does it matter?

Studies have shown people with college degrees are more likely to be Democrats. So to start with, you’re faced with a likely bias and it’s safe to assume most of our professors have college degrees.

Further, so what if our professors are Democrats? Should women not teach because they might instill feminist ideals? Or how about an animal rights activist? Our professors are (usually) not machines, so they all have biases, political or otherwise, that they probably pass on to students. Does that mean we accept them? We’re supposed to be learning critical thinking here, and what better way to do that than to have our beliefs challenged by people who disagree with us, as the case may be? As long as a professor does his or her best job at presenting all points of view, then there is no problem.

So we don’t know if Owens is correct or not, but it really doesn’t matter.

One of the great things about CSU, and universities in general, is that everyone is here searching for knowledge and truth. To get to that, it usually takes debate and careful consideration of all ideas.

Owens said Marc Holtzman would be an asset to CSU because he would bring a different set of ideas to the table. Maybe that is true. But he is not qualified to run CSU and his political affiliation should have nothing to do with whether he is the best candidate.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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