Some of you may have read about UCLA alumni Andrew Jones lately. If not, here’s the skinny:
A fledgling alumni group headed by a former campus Republican leader is offering students payments of up to $100 per class to provide information on instructors who are "abusive, one-sided or off-topic" in advocating political ideologies.
The year-old Bruin Alumni Assn. says its "Exposing UCLA’s Radical Professors" initiative takes aim at faculty "actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic." Although the group says it is concerned about radical professors of any political stripe, it has named an initial "Dirty 30" of teachers it identifies with left-wing or liberal causes.
Some of the instructors mentioned accuse the association of conducting a witch hunt that threatens to harm the teaching atmosphere, and at least one of the group’s advisory board members has resigned because he considers the bounty offers inappropriate. The university said it will warn the association that selling copies of professors’ lectures would violate campus rules and raise copyright issues.
The Bruin Alumni Assn. is headed by Andrew Jones, a 24-year-old who graduated in June 2003 and was chairman of UCLA’s Bruin Republicans student group. He said his organization, which is registered with the state as a nonprofit, does not charge dues and has no official members, but has raised a total of $22,000 from 100 donors. Jones said the biggest contribution to the group, $5,000, came from a foundation endowed by Arthur N. Rupe, 88, a Santa Barbara resident and former Los Angeles record producer.
Chris Bray (also of UCLA) has a proper response to Jones and the BAA:
We’re joining the cause. Because monitoring and thought reform only work if all putatively conservative cadre participate, we’re offering to help Andy keep an eye on his own mind. Surveillance Central is soliciting tapes and notes of everything Andrew Jones says in a public venue. We’ll post transcripts online, and — as Andy is helpfully offering to do for the university that employs UCLA professors — we’ll offer Andy’s future employers and business partners detailed transcripts and briefings of everything Andy says, along with our complete evaluation of his degree of right-thinking and wrong-thinking. It’s all in good faith, of course. We just want to help Andy to receive the same great service he’s offering to provide for others.
The name of the blog? Surveillance Central: Watching Andrew Jones