Why Do UNC Professors Oppose Teaching the Constitution?

(National Archives via AP)

Sometimes, those on the authoritarian left make their objectives obvious. This is especially true when it comes to higher education. So-called progressives have used the university to indoctrinate young adults into their far-leftist ideology and have been quite successful in brainwashing their students.

Now that their supremacy over academia is being challenged in state legislatures and elsewhere, leftists are pushing back. Perhaps this is why educators at the University of North Carolina are upset at the idea that they might be required to teach the Constitution and other important historical documents.

Hundreds of professors at the University of North Carolina (UNC) have signed a letter opposing legislation that would make it mandatory for university students to take courses on America’s founding documents and government. House Bill 96, which has already passed through the North Carolina House of Representatives, requires students to take a three-credit hour course covering America’s founding and history, including reading the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address.

The professors argue that the legislation would violate the university’s academic freedom and substitute ideological force-feeding for the intellectual expertise of faculty, which is quite hilarious when you think about it. The second bill, H.B. 715, would eliminate tenure at UNC and affiliated campuses and establish minimum class sizes. The professors view both bills as an attack on expertise, arguing that the American government courses constitute indoctrination. The letter read:

We, the undersigned UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, are alarmed by the interference and overreach of the North Carolina legislature, the UNC System Board of Governors, and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees whose actions violate the principles of academic freedom and shared governance that undergird higher education in N.C. and the U.S. If enacted, we believe that these measures will further damage the reputation of UNC and the state of North Carolina and will likely bring critical scrutiny from accrediting agencies that know undue interference in university affairs when they see it.

The authors continued, accusing their leaders of disregarding “campus autonomy” and attacking “the expertise and independence of world-class faculty.”

Obviously, the professors’ argument is flawed.

The University of North Carolina is a public university that is funded by taxpayer money. Therefore, it has a responsibility to ensure that its students receive an education that is comprehensive and well-rounded. Teaching the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other founding documents is essential to this goal. These documents are the bedrock of American society and provide the framework for the country’s system of government. Without an understanding of these documents, students cannot fully comprehend how the government works or their role as citizens.

Furthermore, teaching the Constitution and other founding documents is not ideological force-feeding, as the professors argue. The documents are not political or partisan in nature; they are historical and provide a factual account of the nation’s founding. By teaching these documents, the university is not advocating for any particular political view but is simply providing students with a basic understanding of the country’s history and government.

Moreover, the professors’ argument that teaching the Constitution and other founding documents would infringe upon the university’s academic freedom is misguided. Academic freedom is the freedom of scholars to pursue and disseminate knowledge without restriction or censorship. It is not an excuse to avoid teaching foundational documents that are critical to understanding the nation’s history and government. In fact, failing to teach these documents could be seen as a failure of the university to fulfill its duty to provide a well-rounded education to its students.

But we know what this is really about, right?

The last thing left-wing authoritarians would want is for students to understand the philosophy behind America’s founding. Teaching them what the Constitution means and how it protects their rights is anathema to those who would rather see the rise of a government that violates them.

It seems more likely that these professors would rather continue showering their students’ minds with ideas related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). After all, if they are going to create another generation of progressive activists, they can’t have an appreciation for America’s history and founding documents, right?

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