Higher education

The Power Line 100: The Commanding Haidt

Featured image I tended to let the Power Line 100 Best Professors in America series go dormant last academic year while I served out my time as an inmate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and it is past time to bring it back. And who better to inaugurate the revival of this series than NYU’s Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind. He is not only tall, but his name »

What’s Wrong With ‘American Studies’ in One Sentence

Featured image American Studies is intended to be a cross-discipline combining literature, history, political science, and one or two other fields (anthropology and philosophy perhaps), and that’s what it did when I emphasized the field through the History and Government departments at Claremont more than 30 years ago. It was a wonderful way of having truly interdisciplinary discussion on key issues past and present. But today, like so many other areas in »

Department of Useless Intellectuals

Featured image I’ve decided against starting a regular feature, or worse still a contest, to treat the question of who are America’s most over-rated intellectuals, because if you answered “All of them,” it would be difficult to gainsay such a common sense conclusion. It would of course be hard to top someone with the megaphone of Tom Friedman, who writes in his column today: ISIS operates just like an “invasive species” in »

Call me Ishmael–Ms. Ishmael

Featured image A friend forwards this message from the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Middlebury College to all faculty, staff and students at the college. This just in: Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students, We are writing to share exciting news with you regarding the college’s new preferred name and gender pronoun procedure, an option for identifying oneself in BannerWeb. This initiative was born from a proposal presented to the Administration in »

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale: The speech they didn’t want you to hear

Featured image The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale has just posted the video of its entire September 15 event featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali. WFB Program president Rich Lizardo tells the story of events that followed the WFB Program’s public announcement of the event in the Yale Daily News column “We invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at Yale–and outrage ensued.” Following the public announcement, the Muslim Students Association at Yale »

Hirsi Ali heightens the contradictions

Featured image Our friends at the Washington Free Beacon have dug up the brief video clip below of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale on Monday. This is the clip of her speech that has been running on FOX News. I would like to post a video of her speech in its entirety (please write me at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com if you know where one is), but this is what we have now. The »

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale

Featured image Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke to a full house at Yale last night under the auspices of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program. The Yale Daily News reports that she spoke “without significant interruption or disturbance.” The YDN notes the lack of disruption because Hirsi Ali’s appearance provoked the vehement opposition of the Muslim Students Association at Yale under the leadership of one Abrar Omeish. The MSA at Yale “sent a »

Allah and Ali at Yale

Featured image The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale is hosting Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus today. Her appearance has provoked the Yale Muslim Students Association to issue a letter in protest with 35 co-signers (the letter is quoted in part here, here and here). In the spirit of Buckley himself, Yale’s Professor David Gelernter addresses the Yale MSA: I love your new free-speech concept! Obviously this woman should »

At Least They’re Not Blaming Bush

Featured image Paul notes immediately below that it is unlikely that Fred Ryan, the former Reagan aide who has just been named the new publisher of the Washington Post, will make any serious changes to the Post’s ideological profile, or he wouldn’t have been picked. It will be fun, though, to watch low-information liberals (but I repeat myself) react to the headline “Former Reagan Aide Named Publisher of the Post.” Who could »

The Wagner case decision

Featured image This past February Paul wrote about the case of Teresa Wagner v. Carolyn Jones, Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law in this post. Like Paul, I had read Peter Berkowitz’s Wall Street Journal column over the previous weekend and noted that the oral argument in Ms. Wagner’s appeal was scheduled before the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul the following Thursday morning. TaxProf Paul Caron picked up on »

Massive resistance at UCLA

Featured image The regime of affirmative action — of preferences administered on the basis of race — is illegal in California. It nevertheless continues to operate, though it necessarily does so under conditions of secrecy and deceit. See, for example, Tim Groseclose’s Ricochet post “‘Independent study’ shows UCLA is cheating on admissions.” When it comes to persistence in unlawful behavior involving race, university administrators are a hard case. Professor Groseclose returns to »

Farewell to Boulder

Featured image I depart from Boulder on Friday morning to return to California.  The year certainly went by fast–too fast.  I should like to have stuck around for another year, since I know even better now how to torment campus liberals.  Anyway, I decided I needed to make one last gonzo bike ride through town and up and back down Boulder Canyon.  Here’s a three-minute highlight reel of the Final Bike Ride: »

The NAS invites you

Featured image Our friends at the National Association of Scholars write to alert us that this is the last day of NAS’s write-your-own-trigger-warnings contest. Readers of the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, the Daily Caller, and College Insurrection have been submitting entries. The NAS would love to have Power Line readers get in on the fun. You are cordially invited: What do you wish you knew about a book before you were »

Scenes from the Front Lines: PC at Chicago

Featured image I’ve received a remarkable and detailed report from the front lines from an undergraduate student about how the culture of political correctness infects even the University of Chicago, which I had hitherto thought to have resisted much of this.  I’ve redacted the name of the student, and edited down the length:   The lack of economics literacy on campus is stunning, that too at a university with the rich tradition »

Commence(ment) Firing, Plus a Modest Proposal

Featured image The latest news about the infantilism that has overtaken colleges and universities is that Michael Bloomberg unexpectedly came to the defense of common sense and genuine liberal values in his commencement speech at Harvard this week: “There is an idea floating around college campuses – including here at Harvard – that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for »

To the class of 2014

Featured image In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, Admiral William McRaven drew on his basic SEAL training to derive “10 lessons to help change the world” (video below). In this season of “repressive tolerance” on campus, the University of Texas has distinguished itself for its sobriety in calling on Admiral McRaven to do the honors at commencement. Admiral McRaven’s speech raises the question whether one can learn the lessons »

The lonesome death of Hump Day

Featured image From Glenn Reynolds’s current USA Today column, I learn of a story in our back yard on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul: the cancellation of a therapeutic Hump Day. KSTP/Eyewitness News reports that Hump Day was to have featured a camel brought to campus for petting. Petting the camel was to “help relieve stress for students as they study for exams, said school spokesman »