November 14, 2005
WSU Burned By FIRE, While Seattle Dailies Doze

One month ago, a nationally-known and highly-regarded organization named the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) issued a fairly damning summary of enforced political correctness at Washington State University in Pullman. Rich with links to internal documents and e-mails, it detailed the travails of conservative Christian teaching degree candidate Ed Swan, a 42-year-old landscaping company owner. Swan was running into real problems for failing to swallow hook, line and sinker the WSU education school's political and "diversity" agendas. The FIRE memo (link above) also discusses the University's purchasing of tickets for students who heckled actors at a production of a politically incorrect play written by a black conservative WSU student, Chris Lee. This FIRE page has links to no less than 21 MSM and campus media reports - since mid-July - on the bad juju at WSU. Today, for the first time, Ed Swan's story showed up in the Seattle Times, two days after it ran in the Seattle P-I. Another example why it was so easy to cancel my one remaining newspaper subscription.

Read on.....(Mac Safari users click on time stamp to continue).

On October 22, World Magazine reported on Ed Swan's story.

Employing "dispositions theory," a new method of student evaluation advanced by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), WSU officials threatened in August to terminate Mr. Swan's enrollment due to his political positions. Mr. Swan had expressed opposition to pacifism, gun control, and affirmative action—ideas several professors said violated requirements that WSU education students promote a "positive climate," be "sensitive to community and cultural norms," and value "human diversity."

When asked to sign a contract stating he would either change or face expulsion, Mr. Swan contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). A FIRE letter warning WSU of its illegal political litmus test triggered a quick note of apology to Mr. Swan, in which Director of Student Services Linda Chaplin called the incident a "misunderstanding."

Right on top of the story, Seattle Times news section editors, this morning Nov. 14, proffer an Associated Press piece on the Swan affair.

The evaluations are designed to identify future teachers who might introduce inappropriate material — whether about politics, religion or other hot-button issues — or would be uncomfortable among some groups in classrooms. "We want prospective teachers to realize they are going to be teaching all children," said Judy Mitchell, (WSU) dean of education. "We want to make sure a teacher appreciates and values human diversity and others' varied talents and perspectives." Among other questions, the WSU form asks professors to evaluate whether a student exhibits an understanding of the complexities of race, power, gender, class, sexual orientation and privilege in American society.

In the fine, modern-day liberal arts tradition, let's do some deconstructionist "textual studies" for a moment here. "Inappropriate" is code for "conservative," and "others' varied...perspectives," means liberal perspectives. "Race, power, gender, class, sexual orientation" and my favorite, "privilege," stand at the ready as potential excuses for low performance by certain minority groups, and serve to facilitate virtuous self-imagery for white liberal government payrollers unequipped to compete in the private sector.

In Pullman's halls of academe, the prevailing worldview is that hard work, determination, and discipline don't determine much of anything anymore. I wonder why.

Ed Swan, by the way, has finished his classes and will be student-teaching in the predominantly Hispanic Washington state town of Othello.

Posted by Matt Rosenberg at November 14, 2005 09:48 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Celebrate diversity!

Just be sure to celebrate somewhere else, like Antartica!

Posted by: Libertarian on November 14, 2005 10:21 AM
2. "We want prospective teachers to realize they are going to be teaching all children," said Judy Mitchell, (WSU) dean of education. "We want to make sure a teacher appreciates and values human diversity and others' varied talents and perspectives."

Interesting to note that Miss. Mitchell acknowledges that her University is a liberal one by referring to its students as, "all children."

Gotta love it.

Posted by: Amused by liberals on November 14, 2005 10:41 AM
3. After the Muslim riots- French PM Villepin announced the creation of a "Dept. of Social Cohesion" of all things. Probably modeled on the WSU Equity & Diversity Dept.

Posted by: John425 on November 14, 2005 10:52 AM
4. PC imbeciles strike again!! I,m glad that this teacher had the courage to challnge them!

Posted by: Laurie on November 14, 2005 11:39 AM
5. It gets better. Much better. Bernardo Gallegos was hired in August 2004 in the WSU College of Education to promote diversity.:

Now Gallegos is up on charges of sexual harassment and facing a lawsuit from a former student.

His penalty: Counseling and a PAY RAISE!!

And now even more students in the College of Education are coming forward.

So much hypocrisy and BS is flowing out of the halls of Pullman's academe these days, we townspeople are having to wear hip waders to get around.

Posted by: Tom Forbes on November 14, 2005 11:49 AM
6. Perhaps if this teacher had described the 9-11 victims as "Little Eichmans" and made several anti-american statements and misrepresented himself as native american, they would instead by holding him up as a shining example of what teachers should be!

Posted by: Realist on November 14, 2005 12:09 PM
7. Oh, and while we're talking about bad juju at WSU, let's not forget how the WA Human Rights Commission reported that an incident of "racism" earlier this year at WSU reflected "an undergraduate penchant for revolutionary drama more than anything else" and that "some students and apparently some of their mentors ... acted in fairly extreme fashion, sometimes with a significant failure of civility".

Just more of your taxpayer dollars at work at WSU.

Posted by: Tom Forbes on November 14, 2005 12:16 PM
8. They just don't get it over there.

Their footall team could use a good "Hail Mary"!

On the other hand the Huskies could too!

So where do we start :)

Posted by: GS on November 14, 2005 12:40 PM
9. I contacted Fire and thanked them & encourage others to do the same.They od an invaluable service MSM isn't capable of doing!! Thanks Stefan for this story!

Posted by: Laurie on November 14, 2005 12:45 PM
10. OOps! Matt! Thanks for the story!

Posted by: Laurie on November 14, 2005 12:47 PM
11. ... the WSU form asks professors to evaluate whether a student exhibits an understanding of the complexities of race, power, gender, class, sexual orientation and privilege in American society.

God, this is such an obvious PC litmus test. This is highly subjective, but there is so obviously a "right" answer.

I was in a UW course 15 years ago that was supposed to be about Human Resources and Organizational Development. Instead, it was a quarter long soapbox for a woman professor preaching to us about "diversity" in the work force.

At no point could this woman seem to entertain the possibility that "diversity" as a business goal is nonsense. Companies will hire people that get the job done. If those people are white, yellow, black, or whatever, the company doesn't care.

I eventually learned my lesson about debating this topic with someone that had blinders on and just towed the PC party line. I think I wrote a term paper that the word "diversity" in it over 100 times. I advocated all sorts of government involvement in ensuring "diversity" and made sure never to mention any sort of legitimate business goal.

Needless to say, I got an A in the course.

Posted by: BananaLand (aka Iguana) on November 14, 2005 12:58 PM
12. Laurie,

Unfortunately the reason he had the courage to challange them is because he's a 42 year old businessman who's been out in the world for a couple of decades and doesn't have the awe of a professor more near his own age than most students would. It's a lot harder for an 18 year old who's away from home for the first time.

Posted by: RBW on November 14, 2005 01:00 PM
13. What is the most amazing thing about this whole Ed Swan issue is that the WSU student newspaper has refused to run a story on it, even though there have been student requests to do so. The newspaper is the Daily Evergreen, and to say that it is a little left of center is a big under statement.

Jesse Taylor
Senior, WSU

Posted by: Jesse Taylor on November 14, 2005 01:34 PM
14. This is a challenge alright,You might want to find out more about Fire and see if there a
grass roots group nearby.Just a thought! Success in your studies rbw.

Posted by: Laurie on November 14, 2005 01:34 PM
15. Good point RBW. And they start 'em young on the brainwashing. I've had moderate democrat friends that were hopping mad when they discovered some of the PC foolishness their kids were being taught in the schools here (Olympia) instead of fundamental skills.

By the way -- who decides what "community and cultural norms" are? Do the have data, or do they simply rely on how they Think Things Should Be?

Posted by: starboardhelm on November 14, 2005 01:36 PM
16. "The newspaper is the Daily Evergreen, and to say that it is a little left of center is a big under statement."

You've got that right Jesse.

Posted by: Tom Forbes on November 14, 2005 01:43 PM
17. What is so remarkable is that Iguana can shovel the s*** to the UW morons and they smile and take it. Iguana, you didn't believe any of the claptrap you were spewing, but for the professor, as long as you spewed it, life was grand!

Geez, I'm pleased you made it through that soup so well.

Posted by: Danny on November 14, 2005 02:48 PM
18. I have to add my own WSU discrimination story. I applied to the veterinary school at WSU two years running and had some very interesting questions in my interview. I expected ethics and knowledge questions, but political/diversity questions threw me.
My undergraduate degree was at Hillsdale College and one of the three interviewers knew of it and asked if I thought I would be able to cope on a diverse campus like WSU after attending such a conservative college. He was very concerned about it. After the interview I had the distinct impression that I would not be getting a place and indeed was not accepted. I had the same interviewer the next year and he was still very disapproving. As soon as I saw him on my interview panel the second time I knew I was going to be rejected again.
That same year, I was accepted by the University of Glasgow Vet School where I am now in my third year and doing well. I'll always wonder if my political beliefs were enough to keep me out of WSU!

Posted by: R Quam on November 14, 2005 03:53 PM
19. R Quam, it sure sounds as though your beliefs kept you out. Kinda wish you'd sued for their own brand of discrimination. I'm sure you got an excellent education at Hillsdale.

Posted by: Misty on November 14, 2005 04:39 PM
20. Jesse: Are there any rules against creating an independent student paper - one that addresses issues important to conservative students and faculty? The good merchants of Pullman might even be interested in buying advertising for their hipwaders....!

Posted by: Peggy U on November 14, 2005 06:24 PM
21. BananaLand (aka Iguana):
I took the same HR class at UW last autumn, and had the same experience of the professor spewing her Bush-hating liberal agenda. Except that I didn't succumb to the professor's liberal pressure, proudly wearing my ROSSI FOR GOVERNOR t-shirt on election day, and not regurgitating her rantings in my work. Much to my surprise I managed to ace the class.

I am concerned this quarter however, as I am writing a critique of King County's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness for my Geography of Poverty class. When discussing the paper my professor kept pushing me towards including liberal ideals in the analysis. I am worried that his self-proclaimed bias will disallow him to see the validity of my arguments. I will have no qualms about filing a complaint if I feel I am graded unfairly based on my non-conformist stance.

I am used to bias on the UW campus, and am disappointed that my friends at WSU, including Jesse Taylor, are being subjected to the same conservative-hating rhetoric and behaviour.

Posted by: KKS on November 14, 2005 09:39 PM
22. Bananaland-I got my education certificate years ago and ran into the same thing-professors using the classes for their political platforms. And if you wanted a good grade you told them what they wanted to hear. My son found that out the hard way at North Seattle Community College. Whenever an instructor says he wants your honest opinion, that is secret code for "tell me what I want to hear".

The schools are already full of people who can't teach their way out of a paper bag, but since they preach the diversity and cultural sensitivity agenda they get to stay around. Golly, it sure is nice to know that being about to teach kids to read and write is a secondary objective.

Bravo to Ed Swan for refusing to back down. I am sure the college is quite stunned that a lowly student would question the man behind the curtain and even more stunned that he got outside help to back him up. I personally think it should be a requirement for all professors to work out in the real world a minimum of 5 years before joining the Ivory Tower group.

Posted by: Burdabee on November 14, 2005 11:53 PM
23. R Quam--Hillsdale is an excellent college, although the liberals hate it. The nerve of a college thinking their primary function is to educate! I am sure your Hillsdale education is allowing you to do very well in vet school.

FYI for those who are involved with homeschooling. Hillsdale puts out some curriculum guides that are first rate. You won't find hip hop lyrics listed as great literature.

Posted by: Burdabee on November 14, 2005 11:58 PM
24. I cancelled my subscription to The Seattle Times a long time ago. Why spend money on something that refuses to give you complete coverage of current events?

It's amazing how much better the news information is on the internet.

Posted by: jaybo on November 15, 2005 06:34 AM
25. Peggy U:
We can start a conservative paper. In fact, the College Republicans here started a paper called the "Right Hook" last year. But it is very hard to market a paper with a clear agenda and is put out by a partisan group. Even though the content was good, only the conservative students will read it.

Posted by: Jesse on November 15, 2005 10:09 AM
26. Jesse: Yes, maybe only conservatives will read it. But shouldn't conservative students have something to read? Our largest local paper is as liberal as it gets. I don't read it any more. When they call asking why I don't subscribe, I tell them they need more balanced content. Obviously, they don't give a rip, because they haven't made any changes - even though their circulation is down. I rely on radio as a result. Even if your readership is limited, you are providing a valuable service, whether it is obvious or not.

Liberal college administrators and professors tend to assume that their views and values are universally held by the "educated". People who disagree but stay silent enforce that view. Furthermore, they enhance the liberal view of conservatism as the ideology of ignorant rednecks. The entire college community would benefit from hearing from the "other side" - if only because it makes them aware that another perspective exists in an "intellectual" environment.

Posted by: Peggy U on November 16, 2005 10:13 AM
27. Media appearances are obviously not my forte; however, the Daily Evergreen (reporter Emily Luty) did interview me. Emily was receptive yet objective to my situation. She was in disbelief regarding some of the particulars, including specifics not detailed anywhere else—taking very detailed notes. I actually felt great about the matter finding its way into a paper rightfully characterized as a “little left of center.” Emily said that she wrote the article, but that her editor decided not to run it. Wonder if, as a result, Emily was recommended for liberal reprogramming? In retrospect, this story is not nearly as important as a WSU professor calling for the burning of the Constitution (with no opposition) http://www.dailyevergreen.com/disp_story.php?storyId=15108

…or our Columbus Day celebration being replaced by Killumbus T-shirts
http://www.dailyevergreen.com/disp_story.php?storyId=14764


…or nearly as ridiculous editorials defaming the same explorer. http://www.dailyevergreen.com/disp_story.php?storyId=14831#

It's comforting to know that like-minded people exist.

Posted by: Ed on November 17, 2005 05:42 PM
28. F*ck the liberals at WSU.

And if any college or university pulls this shit, the US government should cut off ALL of their federal funding. Let them operate their Nazi campauses without our tax dollars.

Posted by: Alexander Alt on November 18, 2005 09:00 AM
29. One of Ed Swan's tormentors at WSU was Melynda Huskey, who serves as Washington State’s assistant vice president for diversity and equity and as director of the university’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Allies Program. For a sample of "liberal pseudo-intellectualism gone wild" read her penetrating insights into the cinematic masterpiece, "PeeWee's Big Adventure", a hilariously sophmoric bit of navel gazing, available for study on the web site for the Department of English at North Carolina State University http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/pmc/text-only/issue.192/pop-cult.192

Best quote: "'Pee-Wee's Big Adventure' articulates a central premise of post-modernism--the impassioned, erotic, inevitable love affair with technology. And it does so using an elegant pastiche of film and literary versions of the Neo-platonic, dream-visionary, questing romance--what we might call the true romance, with all that phrase's resonance of cheap drugstore magazines as well as medieval poetry."

Posted by: Will Cummings on November 27, 2005 11:21 AM
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