EDITORIAL: Groupthink in Universities | Toronto Sun

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As we all know, Canadian universities are meant to be bastions of freedom of thought and critical thought, where controversial ideas are explored and debated in a civilized setting.

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OK, who are we kidding, right?

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The reality today is that Canadian universities are undermining academic freedom because they are dominated by left-wing, groupthink academics who bully their conservative colleagues into silence, while university administrators do nothing .

It’s not just us saying it.

The same goes for a new study by Professors Christopher Dummitt and Zachery Patterson for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, “The Viewpoint Diversity Crisis at Canadian Universities: Political Homogeneity, Self-Censorship and Threats to Academic Freedom.”

Surveying 1,043 professors across Canada in a survey conducted by Leger, they concluded that « faculty, particularly the 9% of conservative professors whose views differ from the predominantly dominant left-wing views of 88% of professors , increasingly self-censor out of fear. of retaliation. »

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They found that 44% of right-wing faculty feared negative career consequences if colleagues, students or others on campus learned of their political views, 40% said they faced a hostile work environment, and 57% said having self-censored their opinions.

Disturbingly, a third of all professors surveyed said they were prepared to limit academic freedom and “cancel” colleagues who disagreed with their political views on social justice.

Progressive orthodoxy is so bad, they found, that even 34% of majority leftist professors say they have censored their views.

“The fact that academic freedom and diversity of viewpoints are under threat suggests that existing protections in universities are insufficient to prevent the formation of a monoculture,” the authors conclude, warning that “this has significant negative impacts on the quality of education students receive.

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“Deliberation in homogeneous organizations like universities can lead to even greater polarization precisely because there are no dissenting voices to offer counterpoints or bring to light useful information that might otherwise be ignored.

« We must believe that universities are places where different perspectives can be aired openly and collegially, fostering the highest quality debate on pressing issues. »

The authors recommend the creation of an academic freedom law that would remove provincial funding from universities that do not protect academic freedom, but what is really needed are university administrators committed to academic freedom.

Good luck finding it.

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