That Bruce Benson is one brave guy
So how do we know that Bruce Benson is brave? Because he just won the Courage in Education Award from the Steamboat Institute.
We were pretty excited over here at BW trying to guess exactly what Bruce had done to get his award. Did he pull students out of a burning dorm room? Did he do CPR or use the Heimlich on somebody? Did he jump in front of that bus with the buffalo on it to push some unsuspecting pedestrian out of the way at the last second?
Nope, nope and nope.
It seems that Bruce has been declared the bravest man in education this year because he — according to the Steamboat Institute — “has made huge strides in advancing conservative thought and policy,” and “encouraging intellectual diversity and free speech” and not “caving to the pressures of ‘political correctness.’”
Holy crap, are you kidding me? It sounds like a Donald Trump rally. If you stood on top of the Dalton Trumbo Free Speech Fountain and said Bruce Benson was brave, the damn thing would split in half and the sky would grow dark.
Bruce Benson is an oil and gas gazillionaire and Republican Party political operative. The man was responsible for creating the largest Republican 527 in the state. That’s a tax-exempt organization that gets around all the laws about buying elections in order to buy elections.
Not only that, Benson has stood around watching as more than one of his school’s professors has been fired for things they’ve said. Free speech my ass.
And when students wanted to express their right to free speech on April 20, he actually sent in riot police, drenched the quad in fish guts and closed the whole stinking university just to quash “non-conservative” opinion, aka free speech.
He has helped turn the Leeds School of Business into a Republican Party/oil and gas industry PR firm. And under his watch, the CU Foundation’s managers spend more time studying the Koch brother’s game-plan than they do furthering the real goals of higher education.
That’s not bravery, Mr. Benson.
But the Steamboat Institute wasn’t completely wrong. You do deserve the award for being the nation’s most conservative university president — conservative as in you are a Koch acolyte committed to using the university system to further you own Republican and oil and gas agenda. That part of the award you deserve.
Just don’t call it courage. That insults everything a university stands for.