Taxpayers are subsidizing anti-Americanism on university campuses, according to a key witness at a congressional hearing last month. The June 19 hearing investigated charges of bias in programs under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, which finances more than 100 centers for foreign-language and area studies-such as Middle Eastern and African studies-at American universities.
"Title VI-funded programs ... tend to purvey extreme and one-sided criticisms of American foreign policy," testified Stanley Kurtz, a Hoover Institution fellow. According to Mr. Kurtz, area-studies programs are dominated by "post-colonialism," a theory promoted by Edward Said, which holds that promoting democracy is culturally insensitive and that international expertise should not serve American foreign-policy goals.
"Unless steps are taken to balance university faculties with members who both support and oppose American foreign policy, the very purpose of free speech and academic freedom will have been defeated," said Mr. Kurtz.
The American Council on Education, a higher-education lobby, last summer sent a letter defending the program to members of Congress who oversee its funding. But the House Education Committee is taking note of the critique offered by Mr. Kurtz and others, including Martin Kramer of the Middle East Quarterly and Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, as it prepares to reauthorize Title VI.