According to some, including the governor of Colorado, we have a representation problem at CSU.
It’s not a problem with having a low minority population (which we do) or having more men than women (which we don’t), but a problem of having too few Republicans teaching our courses.
Republican leaders around the state have proposed a solution in the “Academic Bill of Rights” that would encourage if not require more hiring of conservative faculty and speakers. Which basically amounts to affirmative action for the supposedly ideal minorities, in this case Republicans.
Whether or not you agree with affirmative action, you have to acknowledge that normally affirmative action is meant to benefit the disadvantaged, and it’s hard to believe that the Republican viewpoint is disadvantaged, if you examine the fact that nearly all our major leaders in the country are Republican.
But more to the point is whether or not we should be looking at someone’s political persuasion in hiring? And should it even matter? In our experience, most teachers are hesitant to disclose their political leanings and a good teacher should be able teach both sides, no matter what their own opinion is.
If we want to make sure we represent all political views, why stop with two parties? What about the Libertarian viewpoint, or the Green Party? Sure, we have a two party system, but there are many who believe that in itself is wrong, or that it’s wrong to have political parties at all.
By requiring hiring based on opinions, it puts universities or any organization on a slippery slope to hire equal pro-choice and pro-life people, equal animal activists and laboratory testing fans. Basically any opinion will have a counter.
The good teachers will not necessarily share those opinions, but will be able to share both sides fairly with students.