I would not want to be a student on a college campus today. The university
campus is the closest thing we have to a fiefdom in what is left of 21st
Century Western civilization. Violations of free speech and student due process
have hit epidemic proportions. Contrary to popular opinion, the professors with
tenure are not the principal problem. It is the administrators with qualified
immunity. They are gods. They are untouchable. They thrive in ideological echo
chambers where they are shielded from internal criticism. Any hope of reform
must come from outside the walls of the institution.
Today, I begin a two part series examining the problem on a mid-sized public
university campus. Please read this series carefully. It takes the form of two
letters – real letters sent to a real college administrator. Letter one explains
the nature of (some) of the problems students face. Letter two will show why
universities cannot be trusted to address them. It is my hope that this series
will encourage students to fight back and encourage legislators to intervene.
Dear Chancellor Miller:
I am writing to request your assistance in dealing with a matter of potential
viewpoint discrimination on the campus of UNC-Wilmington. The matter deals
specifically with a) student group recognition and b) allocation of resources to
groups already recognized by UNCW.
Over the course of the last semester, four prospective student political groups
are reporting substantial difficulty working with the administrators here at the
university. A free market group, a pro-life group, a Second Amendment group, and
a libertarian group are expressing similar complaints about administrative
obstacles experienced during their application for official recognition. Three
of the groups have approached me directly with their complaints. Information
about the difficulties of the fourth group has come to me indirectly. The
commonality between these groups is obvious. Each advocates a political agenda
contrary to campus orthodoxy.
My concerns are exacerbated by reports of difficulties experienced by religious
groups that have already been granted official student group status. Last night,
I received an email from the parent of a UNCW student who reports that her
daughter's Christian organization has experienced trouble with the
administration. She writes, "During (her) freshman year the group met every week
in Fisher. Over time they had to decrease their meetings because there was never
a room available."
Today, I made a reference to this issue on social media. In response, a UNCW
faculty member wrote me directly with the claim that this "low man on the totem
pole" problem is a common one with campus religious organizations. (The
professor) urged me to speak to the leaders of various religious organizations
on campus to get a sense of the difficulties they may have faced. I declined to
do so for reasons I wish to explain briefly.
If I were to survey these leaders then I would be taking time from my schedule
in order to conduct an investigation into viewpoint discrimination. That isn't a
part of my job. I believe it is a part your job. As chancellor of UNCW, you are
responsible for the conduct of all administrators on this campus. If there is
viewpoint discrimination happening on your watch then you have a duty to
Some of the claims brought to my attention may be false. But I doubt that
they are all without merit. Past experience tells me otherwise. So I write today
to give you an opportunity to show leadership on this issue. If you decline to
investigate or if you deem the allegations so insignificant that they merit no
response then I will look into the matter myself. My investigation would begin
with a series of public records requests.
With that in mind, please make certain that the administration preserves all
internal documents related to a) the student group application process, and b)
official student group requests for funding and space allocations.
The preponderance of faculty and administrators adhering to and advancing a
secular progressive ideology is such that ideological diversity is sometimes
compromised on our campus. That is why we must always be on the lookout for
patterns of viewpoint discrimination, whether motivated by ordinary negligence
or malicious intent.
Thanks in advance for your cooperation,
Mike S. Adams
The university did indeed respond with a three-day investigation of itself.
Unsurprisingly, the university has cleared itself of all wrongdoing. Also
unsurprisingly, the author has enlisted the help of outside investigators at the
Alliance Defending Freedom, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education,
and Leadership Institute. In other words, the investigation really isn’t over.
It’s only beginning.
…to be continued.
Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina
Wilmington and author of
Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting
Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.