First they steal elections and now they’re coming for the professors. Nazi Germany in the 1930’s? No, just the latest bill introduced in the Ohio Senate by the emboldened authoritarian forces of the Right. Ohio Senator Larry Mumphers (R-Marion) introduced Senate Bill 24. It has a nice Orwellian twist. Instead of protecting the last true marketplace of ideas in the every-increasing corporatized and militarized United States, the bill dictates that professors “shall not infringe the academic freedom and quality of education of their students by persistently introducing controversial matters into the classroom or coursework that has no relation to their subject of study….”

Unlike politicians in Ohio’s Statehouse, the bill legally mandates “intellectual honesty” and further requires that “the institution shall provide its students with a learning environment in which the students have access to a broad range of serious scholarly opinion pertaining to the subject they study.”

The bill goes so far as to dictate how the students are to be graded: “Students shall be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subject. …”

The bill goes on to state that, “Faculty and instructors shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.”

Senator Mumphers says that the bill is a response to the systematic bias in higher education. But don’t look for him to require the teaching of Marxism or socialism in economic classes or business schools. Rather, his bill is aimed at suppressing alternative academic views that run contrary to the Ohio’s far Right Republican agenda.

So, alongside C. Wright Mills’ Power Elite and Robert Dahl’s Who Governs? in introductory political science classes, Mumphers envisions the major theoretical works of Ronald Reagan as they appeared in Boy’s Life magazine.

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