Professor Jacobson recently discussed the devastating report on Bowdoin College’s lack of intellectual diversity and serious academic content, as well as the college President’s smug response to a professor who wrote to the President about the issues.

Those remarks, and many others like them, must have found their mark.  David Hench of the Portland Press Herald covers the defense offered by this Maine college administrator.

Bowdoin College’s president says a scathing critique by a conservative academic organization is “mean-spirited and personal” and misrepresents the venerable college.

President Barry Mills’ response to the National Association of Scholars report appeared in the most recent issue of the Bowdoin Daily Sun.

The 359-page critique, entitled The Bowdoin Project, faults the Brunswick liberal arts college for among other things, “an unintentional bias against views that differ from progressive ideas,” a curriculum that lacks coherence and inadequate emphasis on American history and traditional scholarly values.

In his piece titled: “Setting the Record Straight,” Mills said the report was an attack on the college and its values.

“It exaggerates its claims and misrepresents both what we do at Bowdoin and what we stand for,” Mills wrote.

The report criticizes the school for not requiring history majors to take courses in American history. Mills responded by saying that the requirements are intended to steer students towards courses they might not otherwise take and that virtually all the school’s history majors take courses in American history every year.

Mills responded to the critique that the school’s world view is “antithetical to the American experiment” by listing the school’s monuments to graduates who fought in the nation’s wars and citing the campus performance this year by the United States Marine Band.

Mills emphasized the validity of the school’s values of building a student body representative of “America and the world,” providing opportunity to those previously excluded and preparing students to become global citizens in careers that require critical thinking.

“We are not a fragile or insecure institution, and we will not abide personal attacks and unsubstantiated tirades by those with deep pockets and a personal or political axe to grind,” Mills wrote.

When a progressive states that critique is “mean spirited”, rest assured that the description offered is accurate. The Bowdoin Project’s charges seem on target:

But after 1969, it abolished all general education requirements and turned from what it called “collegiate” education to what its president at the time called “liberating” education. Out went the old standards and in came a new focus on race, class, gender, and the environment. Out went the old style of scholarly generalists as teachers and in came the new style of research specialists as faculty members. The new Bowdoin dedicated itself to the achievement of social justice and to reshaping America in the image of progressive politics.