Although this WSO thread has moved off topic, I liked this bit from Daniel Binder.

I agree that professors should be more or less objective in their teaching. Unfortunately, I have found that many fail to do that. In a number of classes I have taken, it has been clear that the professor was liberal. The best professors here avoid that. Before taking Leadership Studies 125 with Prof. McAllister, more than one person told me that he was one of the more conservative professors on campus. Once I took the class I really couldn’t understand what those people were talking about. He encouraged discussion on everything and never injected his own bias into the material. In fact, if a student made a point, he would take the opposite (liberal or conservative) simply to force the person to back up his or her views. I don’t want to turn this post into a fan letter, but my point is that McAllister seems to be one of the profs who really “gets” it and teaches fact, not opinion, but at the same time encourages students to form their own opinions.

1) It is certainly a true statement that McAllister is one of the “one of the more conservative professors on campus.” At Williams, if you’re a Scoop Jackson Democrat, you might as well be a charter member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

2) I am pleased to see McAllister, an EphBlog author, praised in this way. I have heard similar praise for Marc Lynch and Sam Crane. Perhaps blogging makes you open-minded. Or open-minded people are more likely to appreciate blogs. Or something.

3) It would be nice to hear more details about the “many” professors at Williams who “fail” to be objective in their teaching. True? I am not looking to start a Horowitzian witch-hunt, but I do like details. Perhaps Blinder or someone else could supply them. It isn’t even necessary to name the professors. Just tell us what professor X did or said that, in your view, was not “objective” teaching.

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