Opinion: Columnists

Time for colleges to get honest

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Once again, graduation time is upon us, and a new study by the Los Angeles Times says plenty about the state of higher education in America. The paper looked at the invited commencement speakers for 150 colleges and universities. There are just four conservative speakers, as opposed to at least 69 liberal speakers.

In fact, Newark (N.J.) Mayor Cory Booker, a very liberal guy, has as many campus addresses as all elected Republicans combined.

There is no shortage of intellect or accomplishment on the right. The reason few conservative speakers are invited is that college administrators are frightened by radical-left students and faculty. Last month, Karl Rove's speech at the University of Massachusetts was disrupted, and so was the address by Sen. Rand Paul at Howard University. Nobody wants a graduation ceremony turned into an ideological circus, and that's what often happens when perceived conservatives are invited to speak on certain campuses.

Last year, I headed up a benefit for the It Happened to Alexa Foundation at Boston University, where I received a master's degree in broadcast journalism. As a freshman, Alexa Branchini was raped in a BU dorm and had to withdraw from the school. She eventually founded, with her parents, an organization to help victims of violent crime. I felt the campus of Boston University would be the perfect place to hold a fundraiser for this fine charity. How wrong I was.

A number of far-left professors and administrators, including a university vice president, boycotted the event. The school did little to promote it and essentially folded under the pressure of zealots. It was an absolute disgrace and an insult to Alexa and her family. That tells you all you need to know about the mentality of fanatical college professors and the cowardly administrators who enable them.

There is no question that liberal indoctrination is a fact of life on most American college campuses. Tenure means never having to say you're sorry or you're wrong. And, overwhelmingly, tenured college teachers are liberal. They dominate and intimidate their students. If you go up against them, your grade often suffers. There is a tyranny in higher education that is gravely harming this nation.

When a distinguished medical doctor and author such as Ben Carson has to withdraw as a commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University because some loons don't like his conservative point of view, you know there is trouble in River City. And little is being done about it.

It is long past time to call out America's colleges, especially those funded by taxpayers, and demand that they be fair in their hiring practices and speaking forums. I give a nice annual donation to Marist College, where I obtained a degree in history, because it is fair. But I've stopped giving to Boston U. and to Harvard (where I received a master's in public administration), because those schools are not fair. All college grads should evaluate their contributions.

That's the only way the liberal higher-education stranglehold will be broken. Many of those pinhead professors espouse socialistic tenets -- but, believe me, they want the money. The goal of higher education should be to champion the airing of all honest viewpoints. Nothing less is acceptable.

Washington Examiner Columnist Bill O'Reilly, host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor," is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

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