Steven Hayward, a "green conservative," will be the University of Colorado's first visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy.

Hayward was one of three finalists for the position. On Wednesday, CU announced his appointment, which will begin in the fall.

In an interview, Hayward said he'd like to teach a course on "free market environmentalism." He'll also teach political science courses on constitutional law and American political thought. Hayward said he would like to co-teach a lecture with a professor who has liberal leanings.

Hayward -- the Thomas W. Smith distinguished fellow at Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio -- said the conservative perspective is often missing at universities because many professors are simply not familiar with serious conservative literature and don't spend much time in discussion with conservative scholars.

"I'm not going to pick any fights or start any gratuitous controversies," he said.

His appointment will be for one year.

"Dr. Hayward brings an impressive breadth of knowledge to this position, having researched a range of environmental, historical and political issues," said Steven R. Leigh, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at CU.

Leigh added that Hayward's recent investigations of environmental issues "bring important dimensions to discussions on campus. ... He also shows dedication to our teaching mission, planning a well-defined range of courses. We are pleased that he will join us as a visiting scholar."

The other finalists for the position were Linda Chavez and Ron Haskins.

The visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy is a three-year pilot program supported by private money. More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.

Hayward said the new position is a bold experiment for the university and that good teaching should make students -- no matter their political leanings -- better thinkers.

He said he wants students with every kind of opinion to feel welcome in his classroom.

Hayward holds a Ph.D. in American studies from Claremont Graduate School. He has been the F.K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he was principal author and project director of the AEI's "Energy and Environment Outlook."

He has been a visiting lecturer in the government department of Georgetown University and is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. He has also served as a Bradley fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.