Ben Foster —

I welcome students this fall, particularly those new to U of L. You may be excited and not sure what to expect. You probably received advice from fellow students and administrators/advisors. I want to provide information from a perspective many of you may not have heard at U of L.

The most recent elections show that the country is split about 50-50 on many of issues. At U of L, around 80 percent of employees fall left of center, with an even higher percentage in departments where you will take many general education requirements. A higher percentage of people on the extreme political left also work here than are in the general population. Remember that the views and biases of faculty members generally impact lectures and reading assignments.

After orientation and some courses, some students may wonder if intellectual diversity exists at U of L.  I want all students to know that it does.  Among other things not in line with the dominant university voices, after examining evidence, many U of L employees conclude that:

  1. Capitalism and private property rights have spurred great innovations that improve lives of most people on earth
  2. The U.S. has been a force for good throughout the world, not the source of all misery in the world
  3. Injustices regarding slavery and forcible taking of land from others are not inherent, or unique, to the U.S. or the white race
  4. People here illegally should not necessarily be treated like US citizens
  5. Some affirmative action and Title IX regulations are inappropriately interpreted, administered and enforced
  6. Discrimination is not the main cause for all inequalities in society
  7. Taking guns from law-abiding citizens does not reduce crime, and
  8. Life on earth is not about to collapse due to man-made climate change

Not all U of L personnel automatically conclude that you are ignorant, greedy, racist, sexist, or xenophobic, etc. if you voted for Donald Trump or hold certain religious beliefs. People with differing reasonable political, philosophical, or religious beliefs belong at U of L and should not have to conform to imposed exclusive inclusiveness policies.  Critically examine what you are taught and seek out opposing perspectives — particularly if that teaching is contrary to what your parents taught you or what you consider common sense.

The First Amendment rights of free speech and free association do not end when you step on campus. Employees and students should be able to discuss and debate issues calmly and rationally — not shout each other down, or try to silence people with different opinions or even remove them from campus.  Be prepared to carefully and respectfully question authority at U of L.

Ben Foster, U of L Accountancy professor and Kentucky Association of Scholars’ President.

Note: Data in the article (like the statistic of 80 percent of professors falling left politically) represent analysis and calculations by Foster.

The Kentucky Association of Scholars is an affiliate of the National Association of Scholars, a  politically conservative non-profit advocacy group.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal