Jacques Berlinerblau is Professor and Director of the Center for Jewish Civilization at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Later this month he is likely to become the most unpopular professor at Georgetown, and possibly America.
Berlinerblau has written Campus Confidential: How College Works or Doesn’t, for Professors, Parents and Students to be published on June 13. Berlinerblau’s previous book How to be Secular resulted in the Washington Post describing him as “the Rodney Dangerfield of Secularism,” doesn’t hold back with his new work, which Heat Street has read.
Berlinerblau tackles the liberal bias among college professors: “For the past three decades, liberal professors in the humanities have been overthought, outpublished, outgeneraled, and outhired by the radical Left.”
He adds: “Scholars of the radical Left…evince a single-mindedness in pursuing well-paid work for their colleagues that would make any union boss blush.
“The radical left is many things. But its countless microschools of thought also comprise one vast and highly successful tenure and promotion network.
“Its professors’ relentless focus on placing their doctoral students in tenure-track jobs, logrolling via glowing letters of recommendation for promotion, and greenlighting each other’s publication projects is the stuff of legend in the academy.”
He adds: “What concerns me is the existence of entire subdisciplines where scholars who wouldn’t attend these [left-wing] rallies happen to be the ones whose career prospects are diminished.”
Yet Berlinerblau reckons most of his colleagues are too lazy and inadequate to wage coordinated campaigns to politically indoctrinate students: “As for professors, few of them possess the charisma, charm, or verbal sorcery required to brainwash students.”
Campus Confidential critiques fellow professors for not being present and for being uninterested in meeting the needs of their students. Students get it in the neck for regarding education as a low priority.
Berlinlerblau attacks what he calls “the status quo of subjecting an undergraduate to a high proportion of inadequately paid, demoralized, itinerant part-time professors.”
He adds: “In most cases, the high-profile professors that burnish a school’s reputation are nowhere to be found on the quad…the anthropologist will be doing fieldwork in Rangoon. The psychologists will be granted ‘release-time’ to draft a proposal for a three-year, multimillion-dollar research project.
“The political scientist will be leading one graduate seminar per semester for God and country. And the famous economists…I actually don’t know what famous economists do.”
The result, he concludes, is that “many deserving scholars routinely find themselves trapped in dismal professional situations that are completely incommensurate with their achievements.”
In turn he notes: “Undergraduates are busy and distracted. They are cross pressured by jobs, club activities, internships, romance, social obligations, other classes. Put simply, students have a lot going on in their lives—and not much of it has to do with us.”
Berlinerblau depressingly concludes: “A great scholar-teacher is a sort of accident”.
Campus Confidential is published June 13 by Melville House