The Topic

Ilana Redstone Akresh
4d
© National Review
We’re Failing Our Students, and It Hurts Us All

In late January 2019, Kenneth Mayer, a political-science professor at the University of Wisconsin, drew the attention of a Republican state legislator for language in his syllabus that described Trump as “a president who gleefully flouts the norms of governing and presidential behavior.” His supporters see this as “not a bug, but a feature,” the professor wrote in his syllabus, adding, “To others, he is a spectacularly unqualified and catastrophically unfit egomaniac.” In response, the campus issued a statement supporting Mayer, stating that he “leaves his political opinions at the classroom door and asks his students to do the same.” Regardless of one’s views of the current administration, it is difficult to support the claim that Mayer’s opinions stayed at the door, given that they’re embedded in the course syllabus. Professor Mayer’s endorsement of a singular political perspective in the classroom points to a larger problem that plays out more broadly and has serious implications.

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