Taking On Higher Ed

TAMPA, Fla. — The Republican Party’s 2012 platform has strong words for higher education's alleged failings, on ideological bias as well as unsustainable tuition hikes. The lengthy document, approved here today at the party's annual convention, also draws a hard line on standard party litmus tests affecting colleges, such as immigration, public employee unions and embryonic stem cell research.

The GOP’s playbook praises colleges for their research clout and recruitment of foreign talent. But the overall tone about the sector is combative.

“Ideological bias is deeply entrenched within the current university system. Whatever the solution in private institutions may be, in state institutions the trustees have a responsibility to the public to ensure that their enormous investment is not abused for political indoctrination,” the platform said. “We call on state officials to ensure that our public colleges and universities be places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance favoring the left.”

Bias also harms university research, the Republican plan said in an apparent reference to climate change. “We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research,” according to the document, which did not specify what those incentives are.

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