A bill making liberal heads explode has been introduced in the Iowa Senate that attempts to achieve something liberals scream for constantly — diversity.
Senate File 288 would institute a hiring freeze among the state’s university faculties until the percentage of conservative-leaning professors are within 10 percent of liberals.
Clip via The De Moines Register
Senate File 288 seeks to distinguish liberal from conservative faculty members by concentrating on their party affiliation. It provides:
A person shall not be hired as a professor instructor member of the faculty at such an institution if the person’s political party affiliation on the date of hire would cause the percentage of the faculty belonging to one political party to exceed by ten percent the percentage of the faculty belonging to the other political party.
Sen. Mark Chelgren, the lawmaker who drafted the legislation, said it’s all in keeping with current hiring practices at state colleges and universities.
“I’m under the understanding that right now they can hire people because of diversity,” the Ottumwa Republican said. “They want to have people of different thinking, different processes, different expertise. So this would fall right into category with what existing hiring practices are.”
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Faculty members with no party affiliation wouldn’t be counted into the mix. Chelgren added that it would benefit students to know beforehand a professor’s leanings.
“We have an awful lot of taxpayer dollars that go to support these fine universities,” he said. “(Students) should be able to go to their professors, ask opinions, and they should know publicly whether that professor is a Republican or Democrat or no-party affiliation, and therefore they can expect their answers to be given in as honest a way possible. But they should have the ability to ask questions of professors of different political ideologies.”
Liberals — both professed and apparent — found all sorts of objections to the bill.
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https://t.co/1mfUjxaGFU Professors are liberal because we Dems believe in education, science, facts and humanitarian values.
— elise ambrose (@eliseambrose) February 23, 2017
Good grief! What a bad idea! Choose cancer researchers on the basis of party affiliation? https://t.co/qvhFG513o5 via @DMRegister
— Jim Throgmorton (@Throg4IC) February 22, 2017
This is appalling, and not just because I expect to be looking for an academic job in the next few years: https://t.co/XnHlBb0l2p
— Sarah Hegge (@WhoDrinksTea) February 23, 2017
We are truly in the Time of Terrible Ideas: https://t.co/pivZvFo0Il
— Karen Gregory (@claudiakincaid) February 22, 2017
Even conservatives thought the bill was a bad idea.
@law_newz @Mediaite This just as bad as banning conservatives. And I am conservative.
— Jim Goolsby (@rrman48) February 23, 2017
Eastern Michigan University Professor James T. Todd observed that the bill would likely do something other than achieve parity between liberal and conservative lecturers.
Republican Iowa bill would effectively preclude hiring professors who were Democrats for a generation. https://t.co/8Qwa5vUYyt
— James T Todd (@jimtemu) February 21, 2017
And that may not be all bad.
Then again, imposing hiring quotas — whether on the basis of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor — is seldom a good idea.
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Also, laws — even those based on the best of intentions — have a way of backfiring. Think Obamacare.
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