UNC prof slams ‘indoctrination,' ‘progressive police’

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor slammed what he termed “indoctrination” and the “progressive police” at the school in a Thursday column.

UNC business professor Michael Jacobs argued that a substantial number of students at the school appear to be aware of a left-wing bias in a column for the Raleigh News & Observer.

Jacobs asked 40 Republican students at the school whether they thought they would be penalized for honestly answering an exam question, as opposed to attempting to satisfy the political beliefs of their professor. Thirty-eight out of the 40 students answered in the affirmative.

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The professor expressed no surprise regarding the results, suggesting that his son, a former chair of the UNC College Republicans, as well as dozens of other students, teaching assistants, interns, etc., had articulated similar sentiments.

“One of my top MBA students, who I would categorize as moderate, recently told me that she will no longer participate in class discussions that involve social or political issues for fear of being branded by the ‘progressive police,’” the professor said.

Jacobs posed a similar question to students enrolled in his “Business, Politics and Public Policy” course, which contained 53 individuals from UNC, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. The UNC students most strongly indicated that they would be penalized for answering a question honestly instead of parroting their professor’s beliefs.

“This is a disgrace; and antithetical to a classic ‘liberal’ education whereby students are supposed to be taught critical thinking,” Jacobs stated. “Is there any wonder why so many North Carolina citizens, our legislature, and the Board of Governors are fed up with the political indoctrination occurring at taxpayer-funded educational institutions?”

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Jacobs argued that professors should be made to take a pledge ensuring that they respect the ideology of all students regardless of their political views and that chancellors too afraid to promote tolerance for ideological diversity should be fired.

Will Rierson, the most recent chair of the UNC College Republicans, agrees completely with Jacobs’ findings, asserting that students at UNC hide their true political views in fear of intolerance from their progressive professors. 

“A significant minority of students at UNC are conservative-leaning, as North Carolina is a conservative state, but they’re kept silent for fear of ridicule,” Rierson told Campus Reform. “An outspoken segment of the liberal majority, including students and faculty, stands ready to label conservative students with some sort of ‘-ism’ the moment they go against the social justice narrative. Social thought police are in every class.”

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Rierson recalls from his experience how professors in UNC’s political science department tend not to fault students for expressing their political views, since politics is the central subject, but that bias is stronger in other subjects. 

“I hope conservatives at UNC will feel free to engage in classroom discussion, and that liberal students will be open to listening,” the former College Republicans chair told Campus Reform. “Otherwise, it’s difficult for the school to fulfill its motto of ‘light and liberty.’”

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