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Indoctrination, Not Education: Rampant Radicalism in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Chapter 1 - The Sad Saga of Dori Kozloff

Chapter 2 - GSEIS - A Closer Look

Chapter 3 - Par for the Course(s)

Chapter 4 - Coloring the Definition of Diversity

Chapter 5 - Sandra Harding

Chapter 6 - Peter McLaren

Chapter 7 - Daniel Solorzano

Chapter 8 - Clara Chu

Chapter 9 - Take Action

















Indoctrination, Not Education: Rampant Radicalism in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

By Andrew Jones
9/8/06
Chapter 4
Coloring the Definition of Diversity

    GSEIS and its two departments bill themselves as friends of diversity.  As we have seen, this diversity is only skin-deep.  GSEIS-brand diversity is solely focused on risible manifestations of “diversity” like illegal immigrant students, or is bolted onto curriculum that hardly supports such heavy ruminations (the promotion of race diversity in something as general and apolitical as Information Studies being a prime example).

    Left conveniently unmentioned in all the chatter about skin diversity is the only diversity that matters – intellectual diversity.  How does GSEIS fare in this particular measure?  Well, if your definition of diversity is a broad spectrum of research and thought that proceeds leftward from Democratic Leadership Council centrist-Democrats all the way out to mass-famines-in-our-time Marxist radicals, then GSEIS might be deemed a success (even as Democratic centrists are cowed and silenced by their extremist colleagues).  But if your idea of a debate involves more than one general viewpoint, then GSEIS is hopelessly partisan and backward.

    A comprehensive survey of GSEIS tenured and tenure-track faculty reveals that those registered with the Republican party are rare indeed, with the school faculty boasting 34 Democrats to a mere two Republicans.  Among all listed teaching faculty other than emeriti, the ratio is hardly more favorable: 54 Democrats to 4 Republicans.[i]  If we make the eminently reasonable assumption that party registration correlates to a general set of political beliefs, it’s clear that GSEIS employs a faculty in which the gamut of thought barely touches anything to the right of Joe Lieberman, and the departmental mainstream can’t spot the American mainstream without a pair of binoculars. 

    In a country whose political allegiances are split almost evenly between the two major parties, this sort of imbalance is both harmful to both the city and state UCLA is tasked with serving.  This imbalance also does a grave disservice to GSEIS students who as of now come perilously close to hearing only half the story.  UCLA’s GSEIS boasts precious few (if any) faculty who can speak to conservative educational policy reforms like the No Child Left Behind Act from anything other than a critical standpoint, if at all.  It’s to be expected that even under normal circumstances, a large percentage of GSEIS faculty would privately favor a heavily liberal agenda.  However, the current imbalance is on such a scale that a majority is now also actively engaged in carrying it out.

    As a school baldly dedicated to the by-any-means-necessary increased representation of various skin colors, genders and sexual orientations, GSEIS has missed for the forest for the trees.  Higher education is about presenting a broad variety of research, writing and lecturing – a variety best created by bringing together individuals, be they students or professors, with different ideas.  But GSEIS has ignored such true diversity for a false, politically-motivated diversity, making race, gender and sexual orientation a proxy for actual substantive academic contributions.  The result is what we see today at GSEIS – massive and self-perpetuating academic imbalances, and an increasing polemicized political environment.

    Word has gotten out about the ideological boundaries present in GSEIS graduate studies.  While financial and logistical limitations prevent a conclusive determination, significant anecdotal evidence suggests that Republican or conservative students are even rarer than their counterparts in the faculty.  One student well-tuned to the ideological battles in GSEIS cannot recall meeting a single outright conservative in her years of study at the school, or, for that matter, someone who even expressed occasional praise for conservative or Republican ideas or actions.

    UCLA boasts a growing Bruin Republicans student group for undergraduates, a Federalist Society chapter for UCLA Law students, and several fiscally conservative-minded business groups at the Anderson School of Management.  No such type of group exists at GSEIS, and little wonder.  It defies belief that any conservative or centrist, even if interested in the field, would enter a school like GSEIS.  The school’s mania for skin-deep diversity, its Freirean philosophy of education-as-politics, and a deeply radical faculty all serve to form and reinforce an environment in which political dissent and contrary thinking is discouraged and often punished.

    However, this is not a natural state of affairs.  To be satisfied with the idea that conservative students and ideas will simply migrate to other fields of study is in all defiance of logic and, more importantly, justice.  We know that GSEIS would not tell applicants of differing ethnicities or sexual orientations with curricular concerns to find a field ‘better suited’ for them.  Indeed, GSEIS unreservedly embraces and celebrates their presence and contributions.  More importantly, from a legal standpoint, UCLA is a taxpayer-funded entity with a legal obligation to maintain an open ideological door in both policy and practice.  But for now, the door remains most emphatically closed. 

    The conservative student who strays into GSEIS study (be it a single undergraduate class or enrollment in the Master’s or Ph.D. program) sees the agenda very clearly.  The emphasis is at all times on skin-diversity and Freireanism, with all ideas taught by a heavily hard-left to Marxist faculty.  It is not necessary to say (as one notorious Berkeley teaching assistant stated in a course description), “Conservative thinkers are urged to seek other sections.”[ii]  At GSEIS, it’s already understood. 


[i] Survey conducted at the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters July 10, 2006.  Full details at www.uclaprofs.com

[ii] http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-11-02-free-speech-cover_x.htm