At universities across the country young minds are being shackled by liberal ideology to the point that at one school in Utah students are being referred to the ‘Behavior Assessment Team’ for merely voicing a different opinion.
Prestigious universities across the nation, once known as beacons of free speech, are beginning to look and act more and more like institutions found not in a free country but rather a communist one.
At Utah Valley University, a public institution located in the north-central part of Utah, a guidance letter was recently issued to all staff that detailed when to report students to the Behavior Assessment Team. The document, obtained by The Fix, dictates that any student who uses “inappropriate language,” or are “argumentative,” or who speak “loudly,” must be reported.
In addition, the letter, a professor, at the university speaking to The Fix, stated that they were told also to report anyone who made the Utah Valley University seem “less inclusive.”
“I’m afraid that this Behavior Assessment Team is a bias response team in disguise,” said the professor, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid professional retribution.
“Yes, even in a deep-red state at a university in one of the most conservative counties in America, faculty are afraid to speak their minds publicly if their opinions aren’t 100 percent politically correct,” the professor told The Fix.
The professor later stated that he sees the team as “a tool of intimidation instead of a tool to foster inclusion.”
“In the past,” the faculty member told The Fix, “we have always been told that [the Behavioral Assessment Team] was for students who were a threat to physical safety…or for students who are disrupting the learning process. This year is the first time when we have been encouraged to report students for their words that may go against the inclusivity initiative or that may subjectively make someone ‘feel unsafe.’”
Interestingly enough, similar things are taking place at universities all across the United States and China, yes Communist China.
Recently, Joshua Eisenman, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs and senior fellow for China studies at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, DC., stated in an interview with Devin Stewart, for the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, that Western professors and Western books were being removed from universities in China and that certain inspection teams had been dispatched to crack down on “liberal/western ideology.”
DEVIN STEWART: What would you make of the academic environment generally speaking?
JOSHUA EISENMAN: The academic environment is tighter than it has ever been. Many university professors, especially junior professors, have to receive approval or comments from higher-level senior Party officials in order to be promoted.
Similarly, there is different funding that they have to receive called kètí [phonetic] from the government. If they don’t receive this funding, even if they were to receive funding from other sources and published articles in top places, it wouldn’t be enough necessarily to get tenure.
DEVIN STEWART: What is the source of this constraint? What’s the rationale behind making things tighter and raising the level of control? What’s the goal there?
JOSHUA EISENMAN: I don’t know if any of you listeners have seen Document Number Nine. It’s certainly worth a Google, because it was a leaked document that came out a few years ago where the Communist Party basically said that “liberal values are bad, and we need to watch out for liberal values.” And one of the bastions of liberal values is universities, liberal-thinking professors. So inspection teams have been sent out to all the major universities to ensure that liberal values are not being promulgated. Textbooks, for instance, that are liberal-leaning textbooks or Western-printed textbooks have been removed from shelves and removed from classes.
I would say that perhaps one of the more disturbing trends is that many university students—especially top students who wish to study abroad—have been asked to essentially spy on their professors and come back and give reports about professors, who are then called in and scolded for the types of either materials they’re using or the points that they’re making.
So we can consider this a Cultural Revolution of the political right. When the political left came to get you, the workers and the peasants would come and lead you out in the “airplane” position. That was Mao’s Cultural Revolution. But Xi’s Cultural Revolution is quite different. Xi’s Cultural Revolution is one of the political right, so what happens is you have political indoctrination sessions followed by lists of books that are not approved that you can’t use or syllabi that must be approved, students in the class who are going to rat you out, and then you’ll end up with a knock on the door, and then you’ve got to deal with that.
So there is a lot of concern. A lot of people who in my experience used to speak very frankly are really refraining from speaking frankly. I can tell you that many people, or all Chinese professors who want to leave the country, have had to turn over their passports to the university and have to reapply to the university to get their own passport back to attend an academic conference abroad.
They are also encouraged now to travel not on their private passports, but university professors are given official government passports and asked to travel on those passports if they’re doing any work-related matters. If they’re going to Barbados for a week or something, then they travel on private passports, although they still must get permission. But if they’re going to do an academic conference—so a variety of different methods are being used in order to curtail what is the realm of the possible in China today.
While there is still a stark difference between the ‘Behavior Assessment Team’ in Utah and the Inspection Teams in communist China, there is still a comparison to the tactics being used to force feed students one strain of education instead of ideological diversity. In similar situations, both educational institutions and the press in the United States have increasingly become more one sided in recent decades, and the result is playing out on the world stage today.