Long regarded as a bastion of liberal philosophy, the University of Colorado, Boulder is breaking tradition, appointing conservative author and political commentator Steven F. Hayward to become the school's first-ever Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought.
The new position, which is a three-year pilot program supported by private funds, was created to make school's left-leaning faculty more diverse, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.
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"This is a bold experiment for the university and me to see whether the ideological spectrum can be broadened in a serious and constructive way," Hayward said on the University of Colorado, Boulder's website.
More than 20 donors collected upward of $1 million for the program.
Hayward, who frequently writes on environmentalism, law, economics, and public policy, will be teaching during the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters. He is tentatively scheduled to teach four undergraduate courses, three of which are in the political science department. Another in environmental studies, is called Free-Market Environmentalism, The Denver Post reported.
Hayward pointed out that college classrooms should not advocate a single ideology.
"Good teaching should make all students, of whatever disposition, better thinkers," he said. "In the humanities, this should be done by considering fairly the full range of perspectives on a subject. That’s the way I intend to conduct classes while I am visiting at the university, and I hope that students of every kind of opinion will feel welcome in my classroom."
Reacting to the temporary appointment, Steven R. Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at CU-Boulder, said Hayward was selected for his expansive knowledge.
"Dr. Hayward brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to this position, having researched a range of environmental, historical and political issues," Leigh said, adding his investigations of environmental issues "bring important dimensions to discussions on campus."
CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano also expressed his excitement about the news.
"[Hayward]'s record of scholarship, commentary and publishing on subjects ranging from energy to the environment to the U.S. Constitution will spark further debate, discourse and critical thinking among our students and contribute to the diversity of our academic community," DiStefano said.
A fellow at the Ashbrook Center at Ohio's Ashland University, Hayward's essays have been published in The Washington Post, National Review, and the Weekly Standard.
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