ON-Lion Letter
While many in American universities pride themselves on their tolerant and inclusive communities, others assert that this inclusiveness does not extend to ideas.  Is there an intolerance of diverse ideas on college campuses?  Or are these concerns overblown?

In June, several scholars and university professors gathered at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C., to explore these questions in panel on "The close-minded campus? The stifling of ideas in American universities." 

The panelists focused on the ideological landscape of the higher-education system, the status of conservative voices on campus, and what this means for the notion of diversity moving forward.

The panelists included AEI resident scholar Frederick M. Hess, Joshua Dunn of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, AEI resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, Jon A. Shields of Claremont McKenna College, and Steven Teles of Johns Hopkins University.  The moderator was AEI visiting scholar Ramesh Ponnuru

Although evidence suggests that the playing field is tilted against conservative professors, the panelists agreed that simply eliminating political bias in universities is not the solution.  Universities should instead recruit more conservatives, encouraging debate and the exchange of ideas.  By allowing both professors and students to engage in open dialogue, universities would continue to live up to their ideals of intellectual freedom, thus serving as spaces that are free and safe for conservatives and liberals alike.

A video of the panel discussion may be found online.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee supports AEI projects, including the Education Policy Studies program directed by Hess.

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