Taking back the academy

Sure enough, on Sunday afternoon I was barraged by liberals insisting that nothing is actually knowable, for having had the nerve to outline "what Bruce Benson knows" in my Denver Post column that morning. It reviewed the battle lines between those who did and didn't think the businessman-philanthropist should be CU's next president, a job for which he was finally confirmed in late February. My list of ten common-sense propositions -- I dared call them truths -- by which Benson and most Coloradans define their idea of a university was hotly contested in numerous emails. Great, dialogue is the name of the game.

I bet those same dissenters would also choke on another local college president's vision for what his institution, Colorado Christian University, should stand for: "Impact our culture in support of traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of the Constitution, and Western civilization."

That's one of a dozen strategic objectives set out for CCU by former US Sen. Bill Armstrong when he took the helm a couple of years ago. Buy-in by faculty, staff, and students hasn't been instantaneous or unanimous, but it's coming well. That was evident last week when I spoke at the latest in a series of faculty convocations exploring the objectives; this one was on the original intent of the Constitution.

For close to 50 years now, the academy in this country has positioned itself as a contrarian force against the views and values of America's majority. If that's starting to change with new leaders such as Benson at some of the public institutions and Armstrong at some of the private ones (many of which have gotten equally far off center, even those with religious ties), it comes not a moment too soon.

Click here for "What Bruce Benson Knows" in full.