SUPPORT HB 1384: Protecting intellectual freedom at public universities
House Bill 1384 safeguards applicants, students, and faculty of state educational institutions from discrimination based on their political beliefs. The bill prevents public universities in Indiana from acting against an applicant, student, or faculty member due to their political opinions, such as denying them admission or turning them down for a promotion. The bill also requires public universities to post on their website all material used for training in, or policies relating to, nondiscrimination, diversity, equity, inclusion, race, ethnicity, sex, or bias. Civil remedies are established for individuals who allege violations under the bill’s provisions. The Attorney General is also given the ability to take actions towards a university that is violating the bill.
Freedom of thought has traditionally been a well-respected tennant of American life and is a critically important aspect to any quality education. In order for individuals to truly learn or for fields of research to progress, people must not be afraid that pushing the boundaries of “acceptable thought” will get them in trouble. In many colleges and universities, however, the current climate is such that this freedom of thought is greatly stifled due to political bias at every level. Liberals in academia hold to a very strict orthodoxy where there is often no room for dissent. Even mainstream conservative and traditional opinions are viewed as being on the “far-right” and are completely unacceptable.
This is sadly the state of many of our nation’s once-great public colleges and universities, including in Indiana. Democratic professors outnumber Republicans 9 to 1, and similar imbalances exist among administrators. Liberals have not been afraid to use their power in academia to exert cultural influence over the country and over young people in particular. It is important to remember that these public institutions are supported by Indiana taxpayers’ dollars, and therefore it is only reasonable that they stop fighting against the very values that the majority of Hoosiers hold.
Many public universities have truly become ideological echo chambers. The views of left-wing professors and administrators are treated as unquestionable facts, while the views of conservatives are seen as fringe conspiracy theories that don’t deserve the light of day. Indiana residents deserve better from these universities, institutions that we support with our own tax money and that supposedly exist to educate thousands of Hoosier students. HB 1384 is a common sense and pro-American policy that bolsters freedom of thought at Indiana’s state educational institutions. Every university applicant, student, or faculty member should be free to believe and speak out as their conscience compels them. Far from being a burden that universities have to tolerate, this diversity of opinion is the very lifeblood of true education.
IFI supports HB 1384.