On June 15-16, a conference will take place at the University of Southern California titled, "How Free is the University?" Sponsored by the American Freedom Alliance, the conference features an impressive lineup of speakers, all addressing the subject of academic freedom in higher education.
As Northern California Representative for Campus Watch - a conference co-sponsor - I will be speaking on a panel titled, "Middle East Studies Departments: Who influences and controls them?" In doing so, I hope to shed light on the crucial part played by Middle East studies in the ongoing politicization of the classroom.
On a related note, my colleague, Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes, will be the moderator of a panel titled, "Foreign Funding and Foreign Influence: How is University policy shaped by foreign interests?"
In a time when ideological bias, shoddy scholarship, apologetics, intolerance, and problematic foreign funding threaten to undermine the noble undertaking known as higher education, this conference is more necessary than ever. As noted in the description:
The future of Western democracy depends on a learning environment that is open and free. In its absence, Western civilization will be deprived of the necessary breadth of vision, intellectual balance and self-confidence crucial to the defense of its identity and freedoms. Ultimately, vigorous self-appraisal, debate and critical thinking are the life-blood of a viable democracy. We welcome you to this timely discussion.Those interested in attending can register at the conference website. For those who cannot make it, stay tuned to Campus Watch for my after report.