Campus Reform | Stanford profs, including Antifa apologist, want investigation into Hoover Institution

Stanford profs, including Antifa apologist, want investigation into Hoover Institution

Leftist professors asked Stanford’s faculty senate to investigate the Hoover Institution, a prominent think tank that is home to many conservative-leaning and classically liberal scholars.

One of the professors calling for the investigation co-founded the Campus Antifascist Network and once wrote that “fascists have used ‘free speech’ as a facade for attacking faculty.”

Left-leaning professors asked Stanford University’s faculty senate to investigate the Hoover Institution.

During a February 11 presentation to the Stanford Faculty Senate, Stanford professors Joshua Landy, Stephen Monismith, David Palumbo-Liu, and David Spiegel told their colleagues that they have "concerns" about the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and want "an impartial committee" to "delve deeper into the relationship between the Hoover and Stanford.”

“Some aspects of the Hoover work not only to the detriment of Stanford, but also in fact to the detriment of the Hoover’s aspirations to be truly excellent.” They framed their presentation as “a way to signal where weaknesses lie and where improvements might be made to make sure the relationship between the Hoover and Stanford University can progress and grow in ways that benefit both.”

“Too much of what we have seen coming out of the Hoover has made a travesty of honest intellectual debate, because an excess of partisanship has led some Hoover fellows out of the realm of fact, science, and good faith argumentation,” the professors said in their introduction. “One of the fundamental difficulties we see is that while Stanford is an academic research institution, we believe that the Hoover is a partisan think-tank, and this has deep consequences with regard to the way each defines the roles its citizens should play.”

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Many of the professors’ complaints were based upon individual Hoover Institution fellows’ embrace of positions that are not explicitly liberal or left-wing.

For example, the professors criticized Hoover Institution fellow Harvey Mansfield for stating that “feminist women call on the government to supply their needs” to “avoid the trammels of marriage.”

Mansfield told Campus Reform that he is unsure about the context of the particular quote that the professors used; however, he noticed that “from the criticism you see that the inclusion of gender is changed to not being critical of feminists.”

“I include gender and women in my writing and thinking, but I don’t agree with or approve of feminism,” he said. “What’s wrong with that?”

The professors quote another Hoover fellow who said that Harvard University’s emphasis on diversity is causing a “lurc[h] toward mediocrity” and denounce fellow Mark Moyar for “attacking” the 1619 Project.

The professors likewise criticized fellow Scott Atlas for his disagreement with other medical professionals on the ideal way to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to a request for comment, Spiegel directed Campus Reform toward an editorial called “When Physicians Engage in Practices That Threaten the Nation’s Health.” Spiegel and his colleagues argue that “to take the view that respecting freedom of speech requires institutional silence when science is being subverted is to misunderstand the concept.”

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Though the four professors insist that they are “not proposing to constrain the Hoover,” they called for “an impartial committee to be appointed by the Committee on Committees to delve deeper into the relationship between the Hoover and Stanford.”

“Only by acting on facts, and not suppositions or biases, can we truly move forward and work together in good faith,” they concluded. “If we want to act outside of partisanship, we need a neutral and completely free committee to get the facts it thinks are necessary.”

As Campus Reform previously reported, Stanford University recently granted David Palumbo-Liu — who co-founded the Campus Antifascist Network and once wrote that “fascists have used ‘free speech’ as a facade for attacking faculty” — sweeping powers over the direction over the school’s free speech policies.

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Stanford College Republicans President Stephen Sills warned Campus Reform at the time that “given Stanford’s already dismal record on freedom of speech, it should come as no surprise that the university has chosen a bona fide domestic terrorist ringleader” to lead its free speech committee.

Campus Reform reached out to Stanford University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft