Mississippi State University has been making headlines in recent weeks not only for their outstanding performance on the baseball diamond, but for the actions of one of their professors who some claim pushed blatantly leftist views on graded assignments.
Professor Michael Clifford was identified by academic watchdog group Campus Reform for providing questions on a Business Ethics exam which asserted moral judgements regarding CEO pay and suggested that Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby practiced employment discrimination against LGBT applicants, without providing evidence to support the suggestion.
Clifford is also accused of ideological favoritism with the distribution of lower marks to those who disagreed with the premise of affirmative action or the data supporting the wage gap theory. One of Clifford’s former students told Campus Reform that he felt afraid to offer an opposing viewpoint in his classroom. “Shortly after I started the course in January, I heard from other students that he was very liberal and graded people based on whether they agreed with him or not,” Mississippi State student Adam Sabes, who is also a Campus Reform correspondent, said.
“Personally, this discouraged me from answering a question based on how I really feel and led me to answer tests or discussion board questions based on what the professor would like best as I needed a good grade in this class,” Sabes added.
This professorial behavior, while appearing unethical (which is rather ironic in a class on ethics), may not seem shocking to the average American if we were talking about Boulder or Berkeley. But this is a largely conservative university in an overwhelmingly conservative state, showing that the problems of bias in academia are not isolated to our nation’s coastal communities or famously liberal college towns.
Academia has become a complex game of inside baseball in recent decades where groups of ideologically aligned and motivated academics provide cover for one another as they actively pursue leftist or progressive viewpoints.
The evidence for this bias comes from Clifford himself. In response to Campus Reform’s reporting, he said that while he included the aforementioned questions that he also included others to choose from. This assertion isn’t a denial. It’s a premeditated cop out for any criticism of his bias.
Could you imagine what news outlets like CNN or MSNBC would say about a conservative professor who made statements offensive to the sensibility of the progressive academic class? Safe to say that they would be looking at some very tough days in the university faculty lounge.
It has unfortunately become the norm that we accept the liberal doctrine in our nation’s universities. Until we start calling out the bias, we’re going to continue to see colleges and universities remain the academic left’s own Animal House – without Dean Wormer to shut down their party.
In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy a delicious chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A, while there is still time