Last summer Reed Irvine, the major-domo of Accuracy in Media, gave the world yet another truth squad called Accuracy in Academia, aimed at monitoring what professors tell students and exposing their supposedly left-wing views. This push for a conservative orthodoxy mistakes what universities and scholarship are all about. It has been rightly condemned by the American Assn. of University Professors as a threat to academic freedom. Though Accuracy in Academia says that it wants "balance" in what students are taught, what it really wants is conformity with its own political opinions.
At first, Accuracy in Academia seemed hardly worth attention. But now it has raised more than $50,000 and recruited volunteer "monitors" on 150 campuses to attend classes, make notes on what professors say and turn them over to be published in the organization's newsletter. So far, eight or nine faculty members have been targeted for further investigation, according to Les Csorba III, Accuracy in Academia's executive director.
Though university administrations say that they will not be influenced by the organization's assertions, the intimidation implicit in its program cannot be ignored. The specter of students filing reports on their teachers to an outside political organization recalls some of the darkest times in this country's modern history.