When a baby is crying loudly in the other room, often the best thing to do is to let the baby stop crying on its own.

However, I find that I love Bowdoin far too much to keep quiet in the face of the insulting study that is being funded by Tom Klingenstein and conducted by the National Association of Scholars (NAS).

Last year, Alex Williams '12 and I responded in the Orient to several rather silly claims that Mr. Klingenstein made regarding the history department, in which he showed not only an incredibly poor understanding of the Bowdoin course catalogue, but also a willingness to bend facts in order to score cheap political points.

I simply do not understand why he feels the need to attack Bowdoin, and only Bowdoin, so openly and persistently.

Certainly there are many liberal arts schools that are far to the left of this community. But Mr. Klingenstein justifies his obsessive fixation on Bowdoin by claiming that President Barry Mills insulted him during last year's convocation address—even though Mills did not mention Klingenstein by name or give any substantial reference to his identity.

Does Mr. Klingenstein simply have extremely thin skin?

I certainly do not want to attack him ad hominem (he might be so insulted as to fund a study to discover my own personal political biases), but one must wonder why this is such an important issue to someone who, in his own words, has never "been particularly attentive to or been involved in a direct way" with regard to higher education.

Now he has proposed a study of Bowdoin, conducted by an overtly conservative organization, the NAS, designed to analyze our curriculum, and our values, with the predetermined conclusion of showing that Bowdoin lacks intellectual diversity.

Of course, such a study will likely only briefly discuss the wide array of courses and ideas that are taught at this tiny New England college.

It will likely only draw upon the same tired conclusions: that Bowdoin professors are too liberal and that students tend to be on the left end of the political spectrum.

But I doubt that it will make a substantive claim as to how this negatively affects the education received by Bowdoin students. The NAS is not being paid to conduct a study to improve Bowdoin—rather, it is being paid to find evidence to support Mr. Kingenstein's narrow political ideology.

Mr. Klingenstein is certainly welcome—even encouraged—to contribute to a larger conversation about how to expand the intellectual diversity at Bowdoin.

But I urge him to understand one critical point, which so far seems to have eluded him.

This is not an issue of liberal or conservative, nor is it an issue of balancing out bias with bias. The solution to an academic bias is not to hire people who think differently: it is to hire individuals who can teach students to think about problems and ideas from multiple sides of an issue. With a quality teacher, the side of the issue that he or she agrees with is largely irrelevant.

The liberal arts are about exposing students to a wide range of ideas, to enable them to understand and think about issues and problems from an array of perspectives in order to create cultured and knowledgeable citizens of the world.

Having attended Bowdoin for almost seven semesters, it is clear to me that many faculty members are deeply dedicated to making sure that their classes present a wide range of ideas, approaches and sources.

I am inclined to think Bowdoin's deep commitment to intellectual diversity—which was the point of Mills' 2010 convocation address—will be ignored in the forthcoming NAS study.

In fact, students at liberal arts institutions are not unwilling to criticize the liberal arts education.

At Bowdoin, there are many students who would love to engage in an open scholarly conversation about academic diversity. I certainly would count myself among them.

But would Mr. Klingenstein actually want to participate in the scholarly debate?

I believe that he could have something important and worthwhile to say on the subject.

But, if he wants the Bowdoin community to take him seriously, he must demonstrate intellectual seriousness and stop with the punditry, which is tiresome and not worthy of any serious response.

Until Mr. Klingenstein (or his study) proves that he has something substantive to say beyond his cheap political games, I believe the noise surrounding his study should be ignored by the student body, the faculty, and the larger academic community.