Why do universities run down America?

Western Civ project at CU featured in Claremont briefing The Denver office of the Claremont Institute held another in its public policy luncheon series on May 23, drawing a capacity audience to hear the latest on a newly launched Center for Western Civilization that cuts against the grain of leftist multiculturalism at the University of Colorado. The discussion was all the more timely after recent news stories about indoctrination of CU freshmen and a possible reprieve for Prof. Ward Churchill. Below are the program invitation and two earlier news stories about the center. Notice two GOP regents' know-nothing comments at the very end.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- Invitation & Program

Dear Friend: The Claremont Institute believes in the goodness of America. We encourage leaders and institutions to value America as it was meant to be. But most American universities fall short of that standard. How did this happen, and what can be done about it? We’ll discuss the issue at the next Claremont luncheon. We urge you to attend.

Speakers: Classics Prof. Christian Kopff & CU Regent Tom Lucero Representing: Center for Western Civilization at CU-Boulder Discussion: A New Day at the University of Colorado? When: Wednesday, May 23, 12 noon – 130pm Where: University Club, 1673 Sherman Street, Denver Tickets: $25 per person

It’s not ordained that campuses have to be adversarial to the society that sponsors them. No society can long survive if educators and students take that stance. Regent Lucero and Prof. Kopff are doing something about it at CU. Please come, hear their report, raise your concerns, and learn what you can do.

wciv luncheon 052307 Kopff (L) and Lucero fired up the luncheon attendees. Earlier milestones in the progress of their center are given in the following press accounts

---------------------------------------------------------------------- Western Civilization Center to Grow Story, Boulder Daily Camera 4/23/07

A University of Colorado center that focuses on Western civilization has plans to grow next year, bringing more prominent speakers to the campus, training educators across the state and awarding certificates — which are like minors — to students. The expansion of the center partly will be possible by an unprecedented funding decision made by the regents and support from top CU leaders.

Academic centers on CU's campus — and at higher-education institutions nationwide — are commonly paid for by donors or foundations that support their missions. CU's own Center for Western Civilization receives $5,000 a year from the College of Arts and Sciences where it is housed and has secured $23,000 in donations.

The regents, at their meeting last week in Colorado Springs, unanimously approved a measure that will direct an extra $22,000 in donated money to the center every year. On top of that, the Western civilization center will receive $86,000 in earnings already accumulated from the endowment, which does not have specific instructions from the donor as to how it should be spent. The unrestricted Thomas G. Corlett Memorial Fund was set up for "the best interest" of the university, according to CU.

Regent Michael Carrigan, D-Denver, briefly questioned whether the money for the center was going toward promoting conservative thought. "I don't know of any funds that are being dedicated to conservative thought," CU President Hank Brown said at the meeting. The study of classics, Brown said, is neither conservative nor liberal.

Carrigan added an amendment to the measure, which was unanimously supported by his colleagues on the board, that will require the university to review in five years whether the donated money should continue going to the center.

In its first years, the Center for Western Civilization has hosted speakers on the campus, including Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon Wood, and ran a two-week institute for 25 junior faculty members on the principles of America's founding.

The center is planning a two-day symposium in the fall with the C.S. Lewis Foundation on the role of religion in academic life. It also wants to expand its work with public and private schools to strengthen the study of Western civilization, helping students and teachers to understand its core values. Eventually it hopes to sponsor a distinguished visiting professor to teach and give public lectures.

President Brown asked that developing the Western civilization certificate program be a priority on the Boulder campus this year. Developing it was among 14 clearly outlined goals that he set for Chancellor Bud Peterson.

The expansion of Western civilization studies, though, has sparked some controversy at CU this school year.Four Republican regents in December, two of whom were finishing their service, introduced a measure that sought to set up an even larger Western civilization department on the campus. Several faculty members said the regents stepped out of bounds by not first consulting with them about the proposed department.

The university, recognizing that curriculum issues should start at the faculty level, decided instead to look into whether money would be available for such a department.

School officials expressed piqued interest in civic literacy after a report released last fall gave CU students — and the average college senior nationwide — failing grades for even a basic understanding of American government, history and economics.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- CU to Consider Regents' Western Civ Proposal Story, Boulder Daily Camera 12/5/06

University of Colorado officials today will consider launching a new Western Civilization department, which some regents say would help the school strengthen its basic curriculum.

The measure was introduced Monday and is being carried by four Republican regents, two of whom are finishing their service on the board this month. The measure says that the new department will be adopted by campuses no later than fall 2008.

But, Regent Michael Carrigan, a Denver Democrat, said there should have been faculty and student discussion before the measure was introduced. He is asking his colleagues to hold off on setting a date and first have school-wide discussions about the proposed department.

"I believe that a great books and classics program is worth exploring," Carrigan said. "However, I think that it is a discussion that should involve everyone in the university community."

School officials have increased their focus on civic literacy after a report released this fall gave CU students — and the average college senior nationwide — failing grades for even a basic understanding of American government, history and economics.

The measure up for consideration loosely defines what would fall into the Western Civilization studies and says it would include "history, principles, achievements and shortcomings."

Tom Lucero, a Republican from Johnstown who is among the regents who brought the measure forward, said elected officials would leave it to the faculty to define what would be taught. Lucero has been a proponent of Western Civilization studies, but the university has not been able to make it a part of its core curriculum, he said.

"The faculty has said it would be too labor intensive," Lucero said. Other resolution sponsors include regents Jerry Rutledge, Pete Steinhauer and Steve Bosley.

Separately, CU President Hank Brown has asked Boulder Chancellor Bud Peterson to develop a new Center for Western Civilization program on the Boulder campus. It is among 14 clearly outlined goals that the president set for the chancellor this year. The program would allow CU students to earn a certificate, which is similar to a minor, in the field. -------------------------------------------------------------------- So what happened at the Dec. 5 meeting? According to a report in the Colorado Daily on 12/6/06, the board postponed discussion of the resolution “so other regents could study it further.” Opponents were quoted in the Daily as follows:

Regent Cindy Carlisle (D) questioned if a core course, rather than a whole department, might be more effective at teaching a broad array of students. ‘I am sympathetic to the idea of teaching “civic literacy,” as it’s called, (but) this seems to be pretty far out there in terms of teaching literacy.’”

Regent Paul Schauer (R) questioned what ‘western civilization’ even means. ‘Is it western hemisphere? Is it western hemisphere north of the equator?’”

Regent Pat Hayes (R) said the resolution leaves too many open-ended questions. ‘I would like to see something that makes more sense, because this resolution makes no sense.’”