March 29, 2013

M.D. Harmon: There's more than one kind of diversity -- but not at Bowdoin

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For example, Klingenstein claims in his essay, "Do Bowdoin alumni know their alma mater offers not one history course in American political, military, diplomatic, constitutional, or intellectual history, and nothing at all on the American Founding or the Constitution; that the one Civil War course is essentially African-American history (it is offered also in Africana Studies); and that there are more courses on gay and lesbian subjects than on American history? Is it possible this is one reason why some conservatives are disinclined to send their children to Bowdoin?"

The preface goes on to state, "In place of the traditional emphasis on the West at Bowdoin, the emphasis today seems to be on diversity and multiculturalism, which are embedded in a narrative in which the United States conspicuously and perennially falls short of its ideals. Students too often learn to focus their critical doubts on what they come to see as America's false promises ... ."

Finally, the preface says the college falls flat when it comes to intellectual diversity: "We estimate that perhaps four or five out of approximately 182 full-time faculty members might be described as politically conservative. Bowdoin doesn't dispute the imbalance is extreme; instead it argues that its liberal faculty faithfully represents many views, including conservative ones."

Of course they would say that. Liberals are always fair to conservative ideas, aren't they?

The full report will be interesting to read.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a free-lance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:


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