LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is helping the conservative arm of a public university in Virginia raise money for what he describes as an effort to counteract "the propaganda and misleading information" put before students by "pro-big government professors."
Paul, R-Ky., signed a 10-page fundraising letter seeking gifts for the Learn Liberty Project at George Mason University's Institute for Humane Studies. Its suggested giving levels range from $100 to $10,000.
"Students will be able to go back to their classrooms and challenge socialistic professors with the facts," Paul writes in the letter. "They'll learn to listen to big government politicians with a more critical ear, and resist the temptation to give away their freedoms in exchange for the false premise of `safety.' "
The Learn Liberty Project is an Internet-based initiative aimed largely at college-age people who are interested in politics. It includes lectures on taxes, business and other topics. The Internet classes are free, and some of them are currently available.
Paul's spokeswoman, Moira Bagley, told The Courier-Journal she didn't know how he came to make the pitch for the institute ( http://bit.ly/pHPbAX). Marty Zupan, the institute's president, couldn't be reached for comment.
Paul, an ophthalmologist, does not appear to have any academic ties to George Mason, which is in Fairfax, Va., or the Institute for Humane Studies. He did his undergraduate work at Baylor University and attended medical school at Duke University.
Paul has not solicited contributions for Western Kentucky University, in his hometown of Bowling Green, said Bob Skipper, a spokesman for the school. University of Louisville spokesman Mark Hebert said that officials there aren't aware of any solicitations he has made for U of L.
Conservatives have long complained about a liberal bias at the nation's colleges and universities.
John Thelin, an education professor at the University of Kentucky, said he believes that in general there is a degree of liberal bias among college and university faculty. But he said it largely depends on the subject being taught.
"I'm not so sure it holds up in economics," he said. "At UK, the school of business is not a hotbed of labor studies."
Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com
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