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Gazette Premium Content CU launches diversity study

The Associated Press - Published: June 21, 2013

BOULDER - University of Colorado regents are conducting a survey to determine whether the school respects diversity for people who disagree on politics, race, gender and sexual orientation.

The survey, which was approved Thursday by University of Colorado regents, is planned for the upcoming school year on all campuses.

Some conservatives have expressed concern that many educators are too liberal, while other critics have complained that some school officials are intolerant of social differences.

In March, the university hired a history professor to be the resident conservative at the Boulder campus. Steven Hayward will serve as the school's first visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy, a temporary position paid by more than $1 million in private funds.

The board postponed consideration of a second resolution that sought to amend CU regent laws to prohibit discrimination based on political affiliation or philosophies. The board's law and policy committee is being asked for more information.

Regents Sue Sharkey, R-Windsor, and Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, brought forward the two measures.

"Neither resolution is designed to impose an ideological agenda upon the University of Colorado, its campuses or its faculty," Sharkey said.

Geddes said a CU-Boulder professor told him the campus lacks political diversity, conservatives are made fun of for their views, and there seemed to be a major departure of conservatives concerned about ideological differences.

Mark Bauerlein, a professor from Emory University who has described himself as an "educational conservative," addressed the board via videoconference to share his experience when he took a one-year leave of absence to teach at CU.

Bauerlein said he met with the chair of the English department and was told that people did not trust him to be fair to students.

Carol Perry, who testified before the board, said she would never send her daughters to CU because of what she perceives to be a persistent liberal bias.

Paul Chinowsky, an engineering professor and incoming chairman of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, said he has "never witnessed or encountered any intellectual discrimination on this campus."

Patty Limerick, faculty director of the Center of the American West, told the board about the diverse voices her center brings in, whether it's for a series about the U.S. Department of the Interior or on the topic of fracking.

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Information from: Daily Camera, http://www.dailycamera.com/

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