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Is the Next Step for Affirmative Action in Higher Education 'Quotas' for Political Ideology?


The University of Colorado in Boulder is known as a more liberal campus than most, but that could be changing--at least in one classroom. The university is on the cusp of creating a position for a "visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy." The Washington Times calls it “a first-of-its-kind post aimed at embedding a prominent right-wing intellectual on campus as a conservative-in-residence for one or two years.”

Supporters say it’s a small step in the right direction to balance intellectual diversity in academia, but there are critics, and some from the right who are worried that a “token” spot doesn’t go far enough in reforming ideological inequity.

“If this represents the beginning of something that can grow into a general intellectual development, that’s wonderful,” John Andrews, head of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, told The Colorado Observer last March when it was announced that CU Boulder had raised $1 million in private donations to bring in visiting conservative academics. “If it becomes a token sop to conservative donors, business-minded alumni and the center-right Colorado citizenry, then they put one over on us.”

Affirmative action is a common topic in the politics of higher education regarding ethnicity and race, but should we expect the same arguments when it comes to “quotas” for ideology? The 'Real News' panel Tuesday discussed the CU Boulder position and if we could see more initiatives like this at universities and colleges across the country. Could this ever apply to student admissions? Watch a clip from Tuesday's show below.

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