Precinct 333

Monday, March 07, 2005

Too Conservative To Be Protected

While professors at University of Colorado rally around a hack and liar like Ward Churchill wailing about McCarthyism and academic freedom, they’ve been strangely silent about the refusal to rehire a conservative professor, Dr. Phil Mitchell.

He teaches. He doesn't preach.

His reward? After more than 20 years, Mitchell may be out at CU.

Mitchell isn't as alluring as Churchill. He doesn't hold tenure - or a plastic AK-47. Only bachelor's and master's degrees in education, as well as a doctorate in American social history from CU.

He began teaching history in 1984, and in 1998, Mitchell won the prestigious SOAR Award for teacher of the year.

Recently, William Wei, director of the Sewall Academic Program, let Mitchell know that CU would not be renewing his contract after this year because "his teaching was not up to the department standards."

What is the basis for such a judgment? Why has Mitchell been ousted from his non-tenured position? It would appear to relate to a couple of recent incidents in which he introduced “diverse ideas” into his classes.

Mitchell taught at the Hallett Diversity Program for 24 straight semesters. That is, until he made the colossal error of actually presenting a (gasp!) diverse opinion, quoting respected conservative black intellectual Thomas Sowell in a discussion about affirmative action.

Sitting 5 feet from a pink triangle that read "Hate-Free Zone," the progressive head of the department berated Mitchell, calling him a racist.

"That would have come as a surprise to my black children," explains Mitchell, who has nine kids, as of last count, two of them adopted African-Americans.

Then, Mitchell had the audacity to use a book on liberal Protestantism in the late 19th century. So repulsed by the word "god" was one student, she complained, and the department chair fired him without a meeting, he said.

Apparently the failure to remain politically correct is grounds for termination at Colorado. So in all likelihood the outcome is that Mitchell will be fired for being a scholar who introduces mainstream academic material into his classes – and a bomb-throwing, lying America-hater like Churchill will be retained. What a shame that it isn’t the other way around.


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