By James A. Lee                   (11/27/88)

          From Human Events, 26 November 1988, p. 10
            [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 10602PANC]

(Mr.  Lee, a  professor of  management, has  served as  dean or
department  chairman in  universities  in Africa,  Asia,  and the
Middle  East for  a  total of  11 years.   He  has taught  at the
universities of Utah  and Wisconsin and, since  1969, has been at
Ohio University, where  he has served  as department chairman and
director of graduate programs for the College of Business.)

   Over the last decade  or so I have  noted numerous articles in
conservative journals pointing up the Marxist-Socialist influence
on American campuses.  Some authors  are content to count Marxist
faculty  from  this poll  or  that  by universities  or  by their
academic  departments  and this  is  considered  alarming enough.
Others point to  the Marxist-Socialist influence  among those who
interfere with an open dialogue process, whether it be within the
university community or  between the community  and outside guest
   None of the  pieces I have  seen has dealt  seriously with the
long-term effects of their dominating presence on future students
and the future of their institutions.
      One of the  major sources of  ideological control in our
   universities is  faculty control  over library acquisitions
   and textbook choices.
   A few years ago  our student newspaper printed  a letter I had
written  pointing  up  that in  our  current  Sociology  101 text
(Sociology by Ian Robertson), Karl Marx had 55 different pages of
reference or one for about every 10 pages of text.  Next came Max
Weber with  26 citations.  Adam  Smith had one  reference and the
average for the remaining several hundred authors was two.
   In successive opposition letters from the Sociology Department
head, a sociology professor, and  a local appeals court judge who
had taught  law part-time for  us, I  was called ``half-bright,''
``imbalanced,'' and  ``wooden-headed.''  Our  newspaper published
the results of  their interview with the  text author, but edited
my rebuttals so severely that I broke off the dialogue.
   Faculty  control  over  library   acquisitions  is  even  more
serious,  in  my opinion.   Such  control will  have  far greater
long-term consequences  than shouting  Jeane Kirkpatrick  off the
rostrum or  taking over the  microphone at a  conference here and
there.   It simply  does  not have  the  attention-getting value,
however,  and  unfortunately  it is  generally  ignored  or, more
typically, not known.
      Librarians generally  believe that  the faculty  will be
   objective in their  collections control and  see no harm in
   relinquishing to them the budget for acquisitions.  Nothing
   could be sillier.
   Faculty simply  do not  request the  library to  add materials
whose points  of view  they disagree with.   They do  not ask for
books  or periodicals  to  be added  that  are critical  of their
   Few university libraries contain  many of the volumes critical
of our colleges  of education or our  teachers, our law colleges,
our  choking  litigiousness   in  America,  or   of  the  various
inventories   of  the   failures   of  clinical   psychology  and
psychiatry.   College  of  business faculties  do  not  use their
budgetary control  to spend money  on books  critical of business
education or of MBA degree programs, and so on.
   Below are  some samples  of books  that our  (Ohio University)
library did  not have (note  the ideological  dimensions of these
   A Matter of Honor: General William C. Westmoreland versus CBS.
Our journalism faculty  did not want it  in our collection.  This
was likely an  extra sensitive choice for  a faculty that counted
CBS'  Van  Gordon  Sauter,  then president  of  CBS  News,  as an
illustrious alumnus.)
   The Fall of  Rome: A Reappraisal  by Michael Grant.  (Liberals
in the history department could see no use for it.)
   How  Democracies  Perish  by  Jean-Francois  Revel, Destroying
Democracy by James T. Bennet  and Thomas DiLorenzo, and The Grand
Strategy of the  Soviet Union by  Edward Luttwak.  (Our Political
Science Department chose not to spend their budget on these.)
   It doesn't matter  that a volume  was for weeks  on one of the
best-seller lists (as with How Democracies Perish) or that it was
recommended  by  the  Library  Journal.   Jesse  Jackson  and the
Politics of Race by Thomas Landess and Richard Quinn was reviewed
by  the  Library  Journal  as  ``controversial,  daring  ...  and
recommended.''  Again, our political  science faculty didn't want
it on our shelves.
   Arthur Koestler's  Arrow in  the Blue  was on  our shelves and
quite naturally  so.  This first  volume of his  memoirs does not
cover his break with the Communist party.  His Invisible Writing,
which  does  cover  his break  (and  the  Communist  attacks that
inevitably followed), is nowhere to  be found in our library.  It
should be noted  here that my  status as a  faculty member in the
College of Business does not allow me to spend funds allocated to
the political science, sociology, or history departments.
   Most state  university librarians, while  endorsing the ``Bill
of Rights'' adopted  by the American  Library Association Council
in  1953, simply  ignore  provisions such  as  these: ``Materials
should  not  be  excluded  because  of  the  ...  views  of those
contributing to their creation ....
   ``Libraries   should   provide   materials   and   information
presenting all  points of view  on current  and historical issues
....  Libraries should  cooperate with all  persons ... concerned
with resisting abridgement of free  expression and free access to
ideas ....  It is  in the public  interest for  ... librarians to
make  available the  widest diversity  of views  and expressions,
including those which are unorthodox or unpopular.''
   I was  never able  to convince our  librarians that  I did not
want to tell them  what to collect, but that  I wanted them to be
true professionals and balance our future collection.
      Having  given  away  their power  to  uphold  the ideals
   carried in their ``Bill of Rights,'' librarians have become
   more  inventory  control  and  purchasing  specialists than
   providers  of balanced  collections  for their  present and
   future readers.
   They spend considerable sums on  systems helping to make their
collections available to users, of  course.  But they care little
about the contents of their  collections, although as an aside, I
suspect they generally agree with the ideological biases threaded
into their collections.
   Given  the  tenure and  promotion  system,  young conservative
faculty quite naturally shy away from the confrontation necessary
to moving  our collections  toward a  better ideological balance.
And  unfortunately  for our  future  library  users, conservative
senior  tenured faculty  feel  so outnumbered  that confrontation
seems  to  many  to  be  fruitless.   And,  of  course,  in  some
departments, there are simply  no conservative members, given the
careful weeding that has taken over the last coupe of decades.
   Somehow,  library  acquisition   department  heads  must  gain
control over a sizable portion of the acquisitions budget so they
can  adopt  an objective  system  to guide  selections  for their
collections.  This  will require that  university presidents take
some initiative  and do  battle with  the faculty  over budgetary
controls.  And this may be one  more battle in which many of them
would rather not become engaged.

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