Which professors and speakers are worth listening to?
One clue is how much organized opposition he attracts on campus. Given the liberal lockstep mentality that most professors exhibit these days, there is probably a straight line correlation between how much a professor is ostracized and what an original thinker he is.
Think of the professors who have stirred up the most organized opposition over the years. Arthur Jensen. Camille Paglia. Richard Hernstein. E. O. Wilson. All brilliant, and all worth listening to.
Think of the way Ann Coulter was prevented from speaking when she tried to speak at a Canadian university recently. Love her or hate her, she is witty. I disagree with her stance on Iraq -- she is a hawk -- but I had to laugh when I read her suggestion that all the Iraqis be converted to Christianity when the war ended.
The dirty little secret of these protesters is that they would never get so upset over something which wasn't true. If a proponent of the Flat Earth Society were to come to campus, organized protests would not ensue. Think of the way people are never "offended" by something which isn't true. (Call a brilliant fatso stupid, and it will not bother him; call him a porker, and he will bristle.)
Likewise, smug, conventional thinkers hate it when you question their knee jerk way of thinking.
So here's my advice to college students: if there is a professor on campus who is widely despised and reviled by the majority of professors (for his views, not his personal behavior), take his course. You may not agree with him, but he is at least worth listening to. Likewise, if student protesters succeed in shutting down a guest speaker, make an effort to read his books or other writings.
If, on the other hand, a professor's odious personal behavior is overlooked by the rest of the professoriat because of his politically acceptable views, avoid him. He's got nothing original to say, and you may run afoul of him personally.
A campus is supposed to be a place where civilized discourse and argument takes place among open-minded scholars. (This is only a joke because of the rigidity of the liberal mindset of the campus thought police.)
So follow the trail of the protesters -- then listen closely to whomever they're protesting.