NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ929959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
The Roots of the Right-Wing Attack on Higher Education
Schrecker, Ellen
Thought & Action, p71-82 Fall 2010
The enormous changes that took place on American campuses during the 1960s not only opened those campuses to new constituencies and new ideas, but also created a powerful conservative movement that sought to reverse those changes. Along with the rising cost of higher education, the right's campaign against the academic reforms of the sixties has so undermined public support for the academy that most Americans now see the nation's faculties as radical, elitist, and somehow alien to most ordinary citizens. What is so striking about this conservative campaign against the academy is how self-conscious it was. In a 1989 speech at the Heritage Foundation, a former Reagan official openly acknowledged that he and his colleagues were seriously engaged in "a counteroffensive on that last Leftist redoubt, the college campus." That counteroffensive has paid off handsomely. Not only has the nation's intellectual discourse shifted noticeably to the Right, but by the time the mainstream media was promoting the so-called "political correctness" controversy in the late 1980s, the professoriate's reputation was in tatters. As the current economic crisis intensifies the financial plight of the nation's colleges and universities, that loss of status has been devastating. Unless the academic community can regain the confidence of the American public, it may find itself on the verge of extinction. (Contains 50 endnotes.)
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A