From the LA Times:
A fledgling alumni group headed by a former campus Republican leader is offering students payments of up to $100 per class to provide information on instructors who are “abusive, one-sided or off-topic” in advocating political ideologies.
The year-old Bruin Alumni Assn. says its “Exposing UCLA’s Radical Professors” initiative takes aim at faculty “actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic.” Although the group says it is concerned about radical professors of any political stripe, it has named an initial “Dirty 30” of teachers it identifies with left-wing or liberal causes.
Some of the instructors mentioned accuse the association of conducting a witch hunt that threatens to harm the teaching atmosphere, and at least one of the group’s advisory board members has resigned because he considers the bounty offers inappropriate. The university said it will warn the association that selling copies of professors’ lectures would violate campus rules and raise copyright issues.
The Bruin Alumni Assn. is headed by Andrew Jones, a 24-year-old who graduated in June 2003 and was chairman of UCLA’s Bruin Republicans student group. He said his organization, which is registered with the state as a nonprofit, does not charge dues and has no official members, but has raised a total of $22,000 from 100 donors. Jones said the biggest contribution to the group, $5,000, came from a foundation endowed by Arthur N. Rupe, 88, a Santa Barbara resident and former Los Angeles record producer.
Jones’ group is following in the footsteps of various conservative groups that have taken steps, including monitoring professors, to counter what they regard as an overwhelming leftist tilt at elite colleges and universities around the country. He said many of these efforts, however, have done a poor job of documenting their claims. As a result, Jones said, the Bruin Alumni Assn. is offering to pay students for tapes and notes from classes.
24-year-old Republican Andrew Jones is clearly looking for a war to fight. As luck would have it, there’s a big one going on in Iraq right now. Somebody should point him toward the local enlistment office.
On a related note, Hannity — always looking for somebody new to hassle — has been encouraging his listeners to tape their professors lately as well. It’s a disturbing trend, but I think that it can be easily dealt with — if you’re a student and you see one of your peers trying to covertly tape your professor, just make sure the professor knows about it.
… a reader points out that many students tape their classes instead of taking notes. I guess the key word here is ‘covertly’. But hell, I’m just riffing here. It just seems like there ought to be an easy way to push back on this crap.