The AAUP’s new doctrine is a transparent attempt to justify the transformation of the university into a home for these sectarian creeds by shielding them from the scrutiny of scientific method. In the new dispensation, political control of a discipline is the sole basis for establishing “truth,” and closing off critical debate. The idea that political power can establish “truth” is a conception so incompatible with the intellectual foundations of the modern research university that the AAUP committee could not state it so baldly. Hence the disingenuous compromise of “truth within a relevant discipline.”...The End of the University as We Know It, David Horowitz, Front Page Magazine, 11/9/2007
Wonker won't be surprised, as he experienced this decades ago in his brief university career, but it is depressing nonetheless that the principal faculty union, the American Association of University Professors, has responded to a decade-long counterinsurgency against university indoctrination by essentially saying "we've got a good thing going here; screw you".
Horowitz writes a strong, detailed analysis of the historical precedents (and resistance to) this conclusion which, more or less, says that if a professor is passionate about a subject, that alone makes how a professor addresses the subject "true." Desolate -- it's like going back to the medeaval university.
However, students know something that professors don't seem to grasp. For every point of view espoused in the classroom as absolute truth, if only in a given discipline, there are a dozen others, as forcefully argued, on the Worldwide Web. The politically heuristic cave is full of holes which any student with a Web-enabled cell phone can escape through.
Nonethelss, AAUP has now put itself on the side of the political absolutism of any given professor, making what had been ad hoc policy the official position of a major faculty union. This is a disgrace to the union and to the professors and universities associated with it. It is a move one might have expected in the defunct Soviet Union, not in the "free" West.