A list that claims to document and expose professors who discriminate against conservative students includes three Indiana educators.
It’s the work of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit organization whose website says it seeks out young conservative activists. But spokesman Matt Lamb says it’s a non-partisan group.
“We support free speech, we support academic freedom and we also support our free speech right to say hey this is going on, to tell our students, hey if you’re going to this school and you’re going to take this class just be ready to debate the professor on this topic,” Lamb says.
The list claims to identify professors that push a radical agenda in lecture halls, but Notre Dame’s Gary Gutting says he was put on the list for a private piece he wrote for the New York Times and not for what goes on in his classroom.
“They don’t offer any evidence on what goes on in my classroom and if they looked into my teaching they would’ve found out the only thing I advocate is clear and logical thinking,” Gutting says.
Another Notre Dame professor, Iris Outlaw, also appears on the list.
Some teachers say not only are they not dismayed by it, but in some cases they’re flattered. Alvin Lee, who works for Purdue’s human resources team, says he was surprised to find he was on the list.
“To show up on this list with other people who are doing their life’s work as faculty members is this, and I’m just simply borrowing that, it’s a compliment,” Lee says.
Lee was a guest lecturer for a management course at Purdue. He was put on the list, its creators say, because he was lecturing students that people should be forced to recognize race.
Gutting says they offer no evidence on what happens in his classroom and the website itself is full of contradictions.
“What they do on their list, which is for the most part it seems, call out professors for views they’ve expressed in public, whether or not they’ve expressed them in their classroom,” Gutting says.
Gutting actually says he agrees with the idea that professors should have freedom of speech but he wishes criticism would be limited to what teachers say in the classroom.