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Politics in the classroom: Have the Liberal Arts become too politicized?

Posted on June 03, 2014

A recent spate of commencement speech cancellations at universities across the country, along with increasing concerns over political bias of instructors in higher education, is raising questions among experts over whether the influence of politics in academia is too strong. 

Whether too liberal or too conservative, politics on campus and in the classroom will be addressed by an international panel of nearly 30 experts from coast to coast at an ambitious three-day summit at Grand Valley State University from June 11-13.

The summit, “Have the Liberal Arts Become Too Politicized? A Meeting of Minds, Left and Right” is unique to higher education, and will serve as a national meeting place to have great minds seek common ground in the liberal arts. Hosted by Grand Valley’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, the summit has received support from the Earhart Foundation, and Dyer-Ives Foundation, and the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal. The summit will focus on the perception of the influence of politics on higher education and how academic culture can help each side better understand the other.

“Have the Liberal Arts Become Too Politicized? A Meeting of Minds, Left and Right”

June 11-13

GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus, DeVos Building E

401 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, MI  

RSVP and full schedule of events are here

Notable speakers, who regularly appear in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and Chronicle of Higher Education, include:

* Neil Gross, University of British Columbia and author of “Why Are Professors Liberal?” 

* Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University 

* Chris Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland 

* Matthew Woessner, Penn State University and author of “Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don’t Get Doctorates” 

The event is part of the Hauenstein Center’s Common Ground Initiative, which throughout the past year has hosted programs and lectures dedicated to developing civic leadership through an exploration and redefinition of what it means to be conservative and what it means to be progressive in the United States today. 

For more information, visit or call (616) 331-2770. 

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