[Marxism] Conservative Drops Offer of $100 Bounty at UCLA

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 24 04:53:06 MST 2006


>From the Los Angeles Times
Conservative Drops Offer of $100 Bounty at UCLA

Activist says the bid for classroom information on 'radical professors' 
became a distraction after it provoked a national uproar.

By Stuart Silverstein
Times Staff Writer

January 24, 2006

The conservative activist who is waging a campaign against what he
contends are UCLA's "radical professors" Monday withdrew his offer to
pay students bounties of up to $100 per class to provide information
about their teachers. But he pledged to continue his effort with
unpaid volunteers.

The $100 offer enabled activist Andrew Jones to create a national
media stir last week but also drew heavy criticism from faculty who
complained of a "witch hunt." The furor prompted the resignation of
several prominent members of his organization's advisory board.

Jones, the president and sole employee of the fledgling Bruin Alumni
Assn. and a former leader of the student Bruin Republicans, said the
payment offer had become "a distraction from the real problem, which
has been all along the issue of classroom indoctrination by UCLA
professors."

He vowed to keep his campaign alive without payments to students,
saying that it is necessary to counter leftist instructors who
improperly push their opinions on students. Jones said, however, that
UCLA's assertions that selling instructors' materials would violate
University of California policy and raise copyright infringement
issues has had "a chilling effect" on students' willingness to
participate.

Jones, 24, characterized his initial plan to pay for taped or written
accounts of comments teachers make in class as legal
"news-gathering," but said, "We don't want to add to the problems of
UCLA students who are already being abused in many of these cases by
professors."

However, his change in tactics failed to satisfy UCLA officials.
Lawrence H. Lokman, a UCLA spokesman, said University of California
rules bar the distribution of course materials unless permission is
granted by the instructor and campus chancellor. As a result, he
said, Jones' campaign violates UC policy even if no payments are
involved.

Jones said one student, whom he declined to identify, had committed
to participate in the paid campaign and will now do so as a
volunteer. Other students have said that they might join in, Jones
said.

Meanwhile, the effort suffered another defection. Radio talk show
host Al Rantel, of KABC in Los Angeles, announced that he would
resign from the advisory board of the Bruin Alumni Assn. That follows
last week's resignations by former congressman James Rogan, Harvard
historian Stephan Thernstrom and emeritus UCLA English professor
Jascha Kessler.

Rantel said he remained concerned about the politicization of college
campuses, but that Jones "has mishandled the issue horribly."

"Now what's happened is that the whole project is discredited," he
said. "Now it looks like a bunch of crazies who were trying to go
after innocent professors, which certainly wasn't what I supported."

Robert N. Watson, an English professor who was one of the academics
singled out for further scrutiny on Jones' http://www.uclaprofs.com
website, said Jones "withdrew the money offer because professors
figured out they could bankrupt him by encouraging masses of their
students to submit recordings. He's still recruiting spies, and it
will damage education if professors have to worry constantly about
what could be taken out of context and used to make them look bad, as
Jones does so unscrupulously."

But another professor on Jones' "Dirty Thirty" list of targeted UCLA
professors, historian Ellen DuBois, said she remained concerned that
Jones' effort was part of a broader campaign by conservatives to seek
passage of an "academic bill of rights" to regulate discussions in
university classrooms.

Jones, who graduated from UCLA in 2003 with a political science
degree, was known on campus for his aggressive tactics against
affirmative-action advocates, antiwar activists and other liberals.
After graduation, he was fired from at least two jobs, including one
as a researcher for conservative activist David Horowitz. Jones
formed the independent alumni group last year, raised $24,000 and
persuaded an impressive array of conservative scholars and
politicians to join its advisory board.






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