The College Fix:
Left-leaning scholars at Stanford had asked faculty senate to seek probe into Hoover Institution
A trio of fellows at Stanford’s Hoover Institution has fired back at an attempt by other faculty members to investigate the institution for making, in their words, “a travesty of honest intellectual debate.”
“If Hoover fellows continue to be targets for character assassination, it will be clear to us what the true nature of free speech at Stanford has become—and not only to us,” wrote Hoover fellows Victor Davis Hanson, Scott Atlas and Niall Ferguson in The Stanford Review this week.
None of the three is exactly a foaming=at-the-mouth rightwinger
- Scott Atlas served on Trump’s coronavirus task force.
- Ferguson was an advisor to John McCain’s U.S. presidential campaign in 2008, supported Mitt Romney in his 2012 campaign and was a vocal critic of Barack Obama
- Victor Davis Hanson is a well known conservative with many speeches and published writings.
In a presentation to the Stanford Faculty Senate on February 11, Stanford professors Joshua Landy, Stephen Monismith, David Palumbo-Liu and David Spiegel gave a presentation in which they harshly criticized statements made by Hoover fellows in the past year, arguing the conservative-leaning Hoover Institution’s relationship with Stanford damaged the school’s reputation.
“While Stanford is an academic research institution, we believe that the Hoover is a partisan think-tank, and this has deep consequences with regard to the way each defines the roles its citizens should play,” the professors argued, saying some public actions by Hoover fellows were “so problematic that to move forward without addressing them would be a disservice both to Stanford and to the Hoover.”
The professors asked for “an impartial committee to be appointed by the Committee on Committees to delve deeper into the relationship between the Hoover and Stanford.”
Ultimately, the motion was amended to simply require “increasing interaction” between Stanford Provost Persis Drell and Hoover Director Condoleezza Rice.
During the debate, Drell — a supporter of Hoover’s continued relationship with Stanford — noted she was “left quite confused” at what the goal of the presentation and the motion was. It passed with the votes of three-quarters of the Senate.
And Rice said after the vote: “If it is a matter of cooperation, of integrating more deeply into Stanford, working more effectively with Stanford, I am committed to that. And I do believe that I know how to do it.”
After the vote, Palumbo-Liu acknowledged defeat.
“We actually had no expectation we would win,” he said on Twitter. “The point was to present an overwhelming case and then expose how terribly complicit so many of our colleagues are. Basically, the Faculty Senate put the foxes in charge of the hen house. But we made our case, and it, and the inaction of the Faculty Senate, is now in the public record.