By: Kate Edwards
The public undergraduate institution in the United States: the alma mater the majority of American college grads and a sacred trust (even if classes are typically large and red tape is often stifling.) It's one thing for students at places like Harvard University and Duke University to enroll in frivolous courses, even at a time when college costs and youth unemployment are alarmingly high. It's quite another thing altogether when blatant liberal bias appears--constantly--in classrooms at taxpayer-subsidized universities.
And it’s another thing still when the other side simply isn’t
presented. The anti-capitalist, race-based, orthodox feminist and global
warming-themed courses found at virtually every prestigious public
university would be far less disturbing if they were offset by a
discussion of conservative ideals. Professors consistently ignore the
likes of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman. Instead, students are routinely
left to study John Maynard Keynes and assigned readings by Karl Marx.
Where are the classes that give an honest portrayal of Ronald Reagan as
one of the most valued presidents of the post-World War II era? Where
are the classes that propose an honest discussion of conservatism?
The tradition of The Dirty Dozen began in 1995. Since then, Young
America’s Foundation has publicized courses at public universities such
as “How to be Gay” (University of Michigan) and — apparently a perennial
favorite all over — “Black Marxism” (University of California, Santa
These courses and countless others like them do little to prepare
young people for the job market in a complex Western economy. They offer
little real-world value at all outside of the academic bubble of the
Today, The Daily Caller concludes its presentation of Young America’s
Foundation’s The Dirty Dozen — this time for elite public schools. The
schools offering these courses are all ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News & World Report.
Course descriptions are reprinted verbatim from the schools’ websites.
College of William & Mary, Economics: Government
Regulation of Business
An analysis of the principles and purposes of government
regulation of business. Topics include energy policy, consumer and
worker protection, transportation, telecommunications and public
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Government:
Paying for Green Government: Financing and Implementing
This course is designed to provide an in-depth introduction to
planning and funding greener government operations. The
Environmental Finance Center will lead a participatory workshop
that focuses on the finance and policy challenges that arise when
local governments consider implementing energy efficiency, green
building, fuel efficiency, waste reduction, alternative energy
projects, and other sustainability initiatives. Participants will
learn how to select green projects for their community; what basic
finance tools are available for green projects; how to leverage
third-party equity to take advantage of tax credits; and how to
apply for guaranteed energy savings contracts. The course will also
cover relevant information on how to apply federal stimulus money
to greener government.
State University, Women's Studies: Racism and
This course focuses on racism and sexism through a critical
analysis of race and gender equality/inequality. A primary
objective of this course is to provide students with information
and conceptual tools necessary for understanding the structure and
composition of race and gender inequality in the United States
today. The focus on both racism and sexism provides a perspective
that is quite different from those of courses that deal with race
or sex alone. Racism and sexism have much in common that suggests
their combined study. The course examines the way in which these
processes are socially constructed and defined and how these
constructions and definitions are experienced in daily life at an
individual level and societal level. The course also examines how
social control dependent on power, privilege, and advantage
continues to perpetuate sexism and racism.
University of Washington, Environmental Studies:
Examines introductory studies of environmental racism and
ecological injustice in the United States and select areas of the
world. Reviews environmental justice theories and methods applied
to risk science, ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation,
and sustainable development. Includes comparative studies of social
movements for "eco-justice."
University of California, Berkeley, African American
Studies: Black and Female: Eyeing the Spirit
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of
African American Studies with an emphasis on African American
feminist thought. The course is organized around three topic areas:
Defining Black womanhood, the Black female body, and Black women's
relationships and their relationships with others.
State University, Political Science: The Politics of the
"The Politics of Scarcity" examines some "big" questions about
the prospects for humans in general and democracy in the United
States in particular. Much of the reading assumes that our
civilization faces the twin problems of increasingly serious
shortages of resources and a growing ecological crisis that
threatens the basis of life. Further, it argues that these "twin
crises" feed upon each other, and that together they pose serious
short and long run challenges to survival. Some readings attribute
these problems to the dominant values that characterize modern
Western society. The course does consider some dissents from this
perspective, arguments that things will be just fine. However, it
concentrates on problems and predictions of trouble. Thus, the
class does not claim to present an evenly balanced assessment.
Rather, it recognizes that most of what we learn, read, and see
supports the status quo and assumes our civilization and
energy-dependent way of life will continue. Consequently it makes
sense to emphasize the less frequently argued position that we may
be headed for disaster.
University of Washington, Sociology: Who Gets Ahead?
Public Schooling in America
Addresses fundamental questions about the relationship between
education and society. Examines why some students learn more and
advance further than others; what factors shape how schools are
run/organized and which materials are taught; how race/class/gender
affect students within schools; how schools maintain our economic
system and can become more effective.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gender and Women's
Studies: Lesbian Culture
Exploration of lesbian culture and history. Focuses on the
history, meanings, and representations of relationships among
women; critically analyzes the concepts of lesbian perspective,
theory, aesthetic, and sensibility.
College of William & Mary, Government: The American
The politics of U.S. social policy in historical perspective.
Topics vary by year but usually include retirement pensions, health
care, and programs for the poor.
University of Texas-Austin, Anthropology: Black
This course examines 20th century approaches to Marxism through
the Black liberation tradition. It focuses on the works of key
theorists and writers from Africa and the diaspora, with an
emphasis on expanding existing theories to incorporate analyses of
gender and sexuality. The course explores political economies and
libidinal economies from 19th century enslavement to 21st century
University of California, Los Angeles, LGBT Studies:
Queer Arts in Los Angeles
This course will introduce students to the wide gamut of queer
arts in Los Angeles, including photography, painting, posters,
films and performance art. There will be a special focus on queer
Latina/o artists, AIDS art, and censorship. Attendance at a queer
art exhibition or performance will be required. Students will learn
the technology necessary to create a collaborative class website on
Queer Arts in L.A. Employing website-building technology will teach
students to research, select, synthesize, and visually represent
the information necessary to introduce a general public to the work
and contributions of queer artists in Los Angeles
University of Michigan, Women's Studies: Latina Women
in the U.S.
Who are Latina
women? What makes them unique? What commonalities and differences
do they have with women of other backgrounds and with Latino and
other men? This course is an exploration of Latina women's
experiences in the United States. We will focus especially on
Chicana, Nuyorican/Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and Dominican
American texts, with some discussions of Central American and South
American issues. The class has a comparative race and ethnic
studies framework and significantly addresses issues of racism. We
also read and view contributions by lesbian and bisexual women, and
discuss issues of sex, gender, sexuality, misogyny, and homophobia.
Class materials will include historiographic and expository essays,
novels, films, and autobiographical/ethnographic writing
Kate Edwards is the program officer for chapter services for Young
Americans for Freedom, a Project of Young America’s Foundation.