National Association of Scholars to keep eye on colleges
The National Association of Scholars has announced the opening of its “Argus project,” an initiative that calls for volunteers to help keep watch over American colleges and universities.
The project is named for the creature in Greek mythology whose body was covered with eyes. “Like Argus, who always had his eyes open, the NAS needs to have a steady, open-eyed watch on colleges around the country,” said Ashley Thorne, NAS director of communications. “To do that, we are asking volunteers to essentially be our eyes on different campuses. We hope to attract thoughtful, attentive people reporting on what they’ve witnessed to be our lookouts over academe.”
NAS created a survey by which to learn the educational background and opinion outlook of those attracted by the concept of campus-watching. On June 23 and July 1, NAS sent invitations to 240,000 Townhall.com readers to take the survey; over 1,800 completed the questionnaire.
Out of these has arisen a team of volunteers who will work with NAS. These faculty members and citizens each picked a college to watch and have begun to look into whether that college conducts politicized teaching, requires ideological adherence, or sustains slights to conservative students.
Among the topics of concern are mission statements that betray an ideological agenda and residence life programs that include political and diversity training.
NAS will be providing guidance as this team of campus-observers investigates. The Association hopes to bring national attention to particularly egregious cases it learns about, as well as to develop a body of data that illustrates prevailing tendencies in higher education. According to NAS Executive Director Peter Wood, “The Argus volunteers are key to our efforts to expand the movement for reforming higher education. This is a movement founded not just in opposition to political correctness and other academic fads, but also in hope of restoring the integrity of one of our nation’s most important institutions.”
To join the Argus project, volunteers should email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Argus” in the subject line. The email should also include the volunteer’s name and the name of the institution chosen to watch.
The National Association of Scholars is America’s foremost higher education reform group. Located in Princeton, NJ, it has forty-six state affiliates and more than four thousand professors, graduate students, administrators, and trustees as members.
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Caroline Hill - 8/1/2008
will they look for conservative bias in economics courses, or anti-farm worker bias in agriculture colleges?
James W Loewen - 7/30/2008
Isn't this a repackaging of other conservative groups that already work to get leftist professors in trouble? Like David Horowitz's group, and Accuracy in Academia? Not exactly news, but shows that rightwingers continue to have a gift for packaging. I mean, on the face of it, who would NOT want to be in the "National Assn. of Scholars"?
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