The Left University


Theme: A conference on the domination of American higher education by the Left.

Webcast Date:  December 5, 2017

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Place:  Family Research Council, Washington, DC

Conference Director:  Dr. Richard J. Bishirjian

Description: American higher education began to change character when Progressive intellectuals were given free rein during the Great Depression to change the content of courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Those changes wiped out classical, free market economics, from course offerings in Economics.  Courses in American history and government that formerly celebrated the philosophy of limited government of the Founding of the Constitution of the United States now focused on the suspect economic interests of the Founding generation. The idea that the Constitution was “changing” replaced the traditional view that the Constitution embodied a philosophy that limited federal power.

American higher education saw increased secularization and radicalization of curricula in the Social Sciences and the Humanities. A “Progressive” bias broadened into anti-Americanism and identification of the United States as a primary source of exploitation. That attitude was reinforced in 1931 by Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical, “Quadragesimo Anno,” which affirmed a theology of “Social Justice.”  The influence of that doctrine transformed the curriculum of Catholic colleges and led to their secularization.

When civil disturbances began in the 1960s and early 1970s, students demanded to be free from the traditional “Core” of required courses that was inherited from some distant past. Without the anchor of required core courses, American higher education became what James Piereson calls “the Left University.”

The purpose of this Webcast is to assess whether a reaffirmation of the American way of life can return to higher education in the United States.


Dr. Peter Wood–The Anti-democratic Left and Public Education– National Association of Scholars

Dr. Richard Bishirjian– How higher education became a hostile Left-university and ways to recover.


Dr. Peter Wood has served as executive director and president of the National Association of Scholars from 2007 to the present. Dr. Wood was provost of The King’s College in New York City and  a tenured member of the Anthropology Department at Boston University where he served as associate Provost and chief of staff to BU president, Dr. John Silber. He is the author of Diversity-The Invention of a Concept (2004) and A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Today (2007).

Dr. Richard Bishirjian, was founding President of Yorktown University from 2000 to 2016 and is now President of American Academy of Distance Learning.  He earned a Ph.D. in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Gerhart Niemeyer.  He is editor of A Public Philosophy Reader and author of three books, The Development of Political Theory (1978), The Conservative Rebellion (2015) and The Coming Death and Future Resurrection of American Higher Education (August 2017).

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