U. of Colorado at Boulder Names Steven Hayward Its First 'Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought'

American Enterprise Institute

Steven Hayward says his goal is not to push his own political views but to make students better thinkers.
March 13, 2013

Steven Hayward has been named the first "visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy" at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a position created with the intent of broadening intellectual diversity among the flagship campus's left-leaning faculty.

Mr. Hayward, a fellow at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, in Ohio, will begin his one-year appointment this fall. It is part of a three-year, $1-million pilot program financed entirely by private donations.

He is scheduled to teach four undergraduate courses: three in political science and one in environmental studies. The university will also encourage him to lead public events designed to foster diverse political discussion.

"Dr. Hayward brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to this position, having researched a range of environmental, historical and political issues," Steven R. Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in a news release. "He also shows dedication to our teaching mission, planning a well-defined range of courses."

Mr. Hayward, who holds a Ph.D. in American studies from Claremont Graduate University, in California, has served as a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, and the Heritage Foundation. He has published several scholarly essays, as well as a book on environmentalism, and has worked as a visiting lecturer in government at Georgetown University.

Keith E. Maskus, associate dean of social sciences at Boulder and head of the search committee for the position, said that the job had been designed, in part, to change the public's perception of the institution and that it would help balance the perspectives to which students are exposed.

Mr. Hayward said his goal was to make students—regardless of their political ideology—better thinkers, and not to push his own agenda.

"This is an experiment to see what works," he said. "It will be interesting to see how someone like me integrates into the specialized nature of this large research university."

When asked if he had any fears stepping into the role, he laughed. "If I were 30 years old," he said, "I would be terrified." He said living in Washington and working in politics had helped prepare him.

"I look forward to the challenge," he said. "I want to show them a conservative can hit the equivalent of big-league pitching."

Mr. Hayward was one of three finalists for the position, each of whom visited Boulder and gave public speeches on the campus last month. The others were Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity, and Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.