The University of Colorado-Boulder is attempting a “bold” new experiment — hiring a professor of “conservative thought and policy.”
Appointed to a one-year term beginning this fall, Dr. Steven Hayward joins the university thanks in part to over $1 million in private funds donated to the cause.
Long considered a liberal stronghold, the school first unveiled plans to establish a visiting scholar endowment in 2007, but the economic downturn forced it to push back the three-year pilot program. Hayward, the author of books on Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill and the Biblical perspective on nature, has signed on for the first year.
“This is a bold experiment for the university and me to see whether the ideological spectrum can be broadened in a serious and constructive way,” Hayward commented.
Steven R. Leigh, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, added in a statement: “Dr. Hayward brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to this position, having researched a range of environmental, historical and political issues.”
The professor will tentatively teach three political science classes and one in environmental studies about free market environmentalism. He wants to include the conservative perspective but said he won’t advocate for conservatism in the classroom.
“I’ll teach the whole spectrum, from blue to red,” he promised.
While he expects to invite speakers to campus and hold conferences during his time in Boulder, Hayward doesn’t think he’ll be engaging in debate on “front page issues” like gun control and civil unions, which have been hotly contested in Colorado in recent months.
Jon Caldara, president of the free-market Independence Institute in Denver, expressed doubts about the program but confidence in Hayward for the Washington Times.
“What a superb choice — [Hayward's] work speaks for itself, and he’s got an incredible reputation,” Caldara said. “He’s going to be an anomaly, but since there’s only one of him at a campus of 30,000, that’s a ratio CU can handle.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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