As colleges and universities get stupider, the University of Colorado keeps getting smarter. The school's leaders recently proposed teaching American values and law to a culture lacking "shared knowledge" of the country's history and purpose. Visualize mandatory knowledge of the American Constitution.
Across the country, universities resemble asylums more than rigorous institutions of academic discipline. Examples:
- Students at Yale and other institutions demanding removal of white male authors from English and literature courses, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot.
- Colleges pushing tribalism, with safe spaces for students to escape others who don't match their ethnic identities, genders or sexual orientations.
- - Therapy dogs and counseling for students who did not like the outcome of the 2016 election.
- Students denouncing the First Amendment for causing "hostile and unsafe learning environments" by protecting unpopular ideas.
- Students at the University of Missouri demanding removal of a Thomas Jefferson statue.
- The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee telling students to stop saying or writing "politically incorrect," as it is too politically incorrect.
We could continue with examples of students and faculty attacking free speech, intellectual diversity, academic freedom and academic standards on campus.
Part of the problem is a growing lack of intellectual diversity among faculty, who famously advocate far-left ideologies and often try to silence competing or dissenting views. A 2016 study of 7,243 college and university faculty throughout the country, published in Econ Journal Watch in 2016, found Democrats outnumber Republicans by a ratio of 11.5-to-1.
The University of Colorado has spent a decade countering the imbalance and in 2013 raised private funds to endow a Conservative Thought and Policy Program led by a rotation of visiting center-right scholars at the campus in Boulder.
The university has partnered with commerce and industry, depending more heavily on private funding, which has boosted the placement rate for graduates to rank among the top in the country.
The Colorado Board of Regents last week discussed taking things to another level.
The Boulder Daily Camera reported about a retreat in which regents discussed a "civic literacy requirement" that would involve requiring students to learn the United States Constitution as a graduation requirement.
Regents should run with this. It is a shame higher education has fallen so far that teaching our Constitution seems like a bold, innovative move.