An 8 part special report exclusive to BarbWire.com
Part 3 of 8
Liberal Speakers, Liberal Professors and Liberal Textbooks Dominate Seaver College Today
Conservative institutions do not fear liberal thinkers but it seems that when liberals dominate an institution, they demand that every speaker and every professor represent a pre-approved ideology. As Pepperdine has moved left, it has lost its real diversity in favor of an ideologically-coded agenda. After all, the best university professors teach both sides of political issues and not surprisingly, such professors are almost always conservatives.
When famed journalist Adam Housley of Fox News attended Pepperdine from ’90 -’94, he became so tired of hearing liberal guest speakers such as self-proclaimed socialist Tom Hayden that he persuaded Pep officials to allow him to schedule some conservative speakers. However, for the sin of simply trying to create some balance among campus speakers, Political Science Professor Stan Moore sent out an open letter attacking Housley as a threat to Pepperdine. Really.
Indeed, my memory of Professor Moore when I attended Pepperdine from ’75 -’80 is how he, along with the entire political science faculty, repeatedly attacked President Reagan. I still possess copies of the hysterical anti-Reagan flyers they would plaster on bulletin boards outside their classrooms stating things like “Reagan is as mentally dense as he is morally crippled…Register and vote to throw every Reagan Republican you can find on every level out of office this year.”
When a Pepperdine debate team debated the Soviet student debate team in 1986, Political Science Professor Dan Caldwell immediately wrote a guest column for the school newspaper, the Graphic, defending the Soviet position on just about every point. And this is at the height of the Cold War! While Caldwell is known to be a fair professor, he was a member of the Clinton-Gore Transition team and had written that America’s “lack of knowledge about U.S.-Soviet relations” is as serious a threat to the country as the Soviet Union itself was at the height of its military power. His required textbook is so biased it portrayed America’s liberation of Soviet-occupied Afghanistan as an “intervention” and America’s liberation of communist-controlled Granada as an “invasion.”
Former Pepperdine student Joyce Leppert attended Pepperdine ’89-91 and related to me that “my music professors were insanely liberal and I felt they were biased against me because I was a conservative Christian. For example, they did not include me in a music production due to my beliefs and rather than be discriminated against, I transferred to Harding my junior year.”
As over a dozen professors, former professors and students have confirmed to me, the undergraduate school – Seaver College — is today almost devoid of any outspoken conservative professors, with the exception of a few professors in the Economics Department. There are a few closet conservatives but they keep their views to themselves due to the liberal ethos that now dominates Seaver College. As one current student leader related to me, “I’ve never had a course at Pepperdine in which the professor was a conservative.”
Another current student said that while students at Pepperdine “are a mix of both liberals and conservatives, the liberals dictate the campus conversation.” This is because, he said, “culturally, the campus is dominated by the liberals.” He also added that “the Professors are all mostly openly liberal or ambiguous; there’s a few conservatives but they are reclusive and don’t speak out.” He also said conservative speakers or gatherings of any kind would be interfered with by the campus liberals.
Indeed, current students interviewed by this author told me the religion courses are completely watered down, oftentimes with the original meaning of various scriptures altered. As one student related, “In my Old Testament in Context class, controversial passages have been reinterpreted to be more politically correct, such as the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
In January of 2017, America’s leading conservative student group, “Turning Point USA,” attempted to organize a chapter at Pepperdine but when they posted its literature on a bulletin board called “The Freedom Wall,” it was immediately defaced by leftists and then torn down by school officials. Apparently, the freedom to post anything on this wall does not extend to conservatives. As Turning Point President Charlie Kirk stated, “Pepperdine, should not only be accepting of ideological diversity, they should actively seek to encourage and promote it… college campuses have become islands of totalitarianism where anyone that disagrees with the majority is ostracized and attacked—disappointingly Turning Point USA’s attempt to organize on campus has reinforced that.”
When one accesses Pepperdine’s “Confessions” Face book page, one finds recent comments by students such as “I have never felt comfortable expressing my views at this school which is ironic… I said something in class once that was conservative and got eaten alive by the prof and my classmates.” Another post said “Why is Pepperdine so full of liberals?…if you have a different opinion you get shut down.”
#1249As a conservative Republican, I have never felt comfortable expressing my views at this school which is ironic….
It’s not just that liberal professors now dominate the school; they are actively suppressing conservative voices. This is what has happened at U.C. Berkeley and other state schools where the left dominates the campus: free speech is shut down, in particular viewpoints critical of the left’s agenda.
But Pepperdine professors don’t just attack conservative students while at Pepperdine; one carried out his attacks long after the student in question had graduated. His name is Russell Burgos, certainly a Pepperdine leftist faculty Hall of Famer. In 2014, he launched a series of social media attacks on one of his former students, Pep alumnus Michelle Fields, for simply becoming a Fox News contributor. When this story hit the national media, Burgos tried to claim someone was impersonated him but, clearly, he was not being truthful.
This author has reviewed over 40 history, social science, humanities, and political science textbooks in use at Pepperdine and was unable to find any book written from a conservative or Christian worldview. The textbooks are, in general, saturated with leftist narratives about gender, race, diversity and “classism.”
Events are often told through the eyes of alleged victims of America and grossly exaggerate America’s purported sins. Even texts about national security are filled with silly theories about gender, as if an Iranian nuclear bomb exploding in Los Angeles is really going to differentiate between genders. Incredibly, one textbook about the American Revolution portrayed that conflict as a class warfare clash undertaken by the lower classes and opposed by the upper classes. But even a cursory review of Revolutionary War history reveals that this struggle was led by self-made American colonists as well as landed aristocrats of immense academic and practical achievements, such as George Washington, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.