Higher education

Next Month at Grove City

Featured image For all readers in the environs of the greater Pittsburgh/northwestern Pennsylvania area, next month, on Saturday, August 11, I’ll be giving the wrap-up keynote address for the two-day summer conference of the National Association of Scholars, which is being held at Grove City College. The conference is open to the public, though there is a modest registration fee and the deadline to sign up is Friday of this week. It’s »

Campus Liberals Denounce Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Featured image You may not know whom President Trump will appoint to the Supreme Court, but liberal students do. Or think they do, anyway. Campus Reform–an excellent organization, by the way–asked a number of college students what they thought of the nominee whose selection Trump had announced. Their responses are entertaining: It is hard to fully appreciate the invincible wall of ignorance against which we conservatives are contending. »

Leaving Santa Fe

Featured image I am leaving Santa Fe this morning after spending a week studying Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man in the St. John’s College Summer Classics program. Other courses offered during week 1 of the Summer Classics program studied Epictetus’s Discourses, Jane Austen’s Emma (my wife took this one), Melville’s short fiction, the biblical book of Exodus, the origins of film noir in the 1940s, the origins of calculus and lessons in leadership »

The patriotism gap

Featured image Gallup conducts an annual poll on American patriotism. Participants are asked how proud, if at all, they are to be Americans. This year’s poll found a low ebb in patriotism, with 47 percent of Americans checking the “extremely proud” box. That’s down from a high of 70 percent in 2003. Democrats, liberals, college graduates, and people ages 18 to 29 are the least proud to be American. Only 32 percent »

Sometimes it’s the crime you didn’t commit that nails you

Featured image That’s the theme, or at least the punchline, of Preston Sturges’ classic movie “The Great McGinty,” among other works of art. It may also end up being the kicker in the class action lawsuit against Harvard for discriminating against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions. Harvard wants to admit African-Americans and Latinos more or less in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population. It can’t do so if it makes admissions »

Reading queerly at Princeton

Featured image Campus Reform reports that Princeton University is offering a course next semester that aims to teach students to “read queerly” by examining “the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told.” Students will learn about the “theory, narrative, and aesthetics” of “queer literatures.” The Princeton course guide explains: We will consider the historical etymology of the term queer and think through its affiliate terms and acronyms: lesbian, gay, »

Is this the Sandra Day O’Connor moment?

Featured image In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-based preferences by the University of Michigan Law School, The vote was 5-4. In her majority opinion, Justice O’Connor concluded that the University has a compelling interest in promoting diversity in the classroom. However, O’Connor also said: [A]ll governmental use of race must have a logical end point. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial »

Harvard’s experts undercut the case for race-based admissions

Featured image Charles Lane of the Washington Post discusses the suit brought by Asian-American plaintiffs charging Harvard with racial discrimination in undergraduate admissions. The column is from the “on the one hand this, on the other hand that” school of opinion writing — not a despicable approach, either in general or to this topic. To me, the most interesting bit of information in Lane’s column is this: Harvard’s expert witness told the »

Shame of Harvard Med School

Featured image We have moved to territory inviting if not beyond satire at the prominent Harvard-affiliated Brigham Health academic health care system in connection with its Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School’s teaching Hospital). Last week the Boston Globe reported the recent accomplishment of Brigham Health president Dr. Betsy Nabel. Dr. Nabel has removed 31 portraits of former department chairmen from the hospital’s Bornstein amphitheater because they are all men and »

Statistics establish Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-Americans

Featured image John wrote here about the class action lawsuit that accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions. The plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, arguing that they should prevail based on facts not genuinely in dispute. One fact not genuinely in dispute is that Harvard’s own researchers found statistical evidence that the University’s undergraduate application process discriminates against Asian-Americans. In 2013, the Harvard Office of Institutional Research found that Asian-Americans »

University Suicide Watch, Chapter 5

Featured image Today’s higher education implosion news comes from my graduate alma mater, Claremont Graduate University, which emailed everyone yesterday about the imminent closure of its graduate program in philosophy. I’ll update this if I get any better inside information, but I suspect declining enrollment is the main cause, though I hear many programs at CGU are running deeply in the red, so this may be just the first program to go »

University Suicide Watch, Chapter 4

Featured image When last we checked in on the unassisted suicide-in-progress of American universities, we noted that Hiram College in Ohio is eliminating several departments in the humanities and social sciences, following the similar announcement of a University of Wisconsin branch campus. Today’s humanities demolition derby is occurring at Rider University in New Jersey, as reported this morning in the Wall Street Journal. This news is upsetting the faculty! Cue the world’s smallest »

University Suicide Watch, Part 3

Featured image The suicide of the university proceeds apace: —Item 1 comes from Hiram College in Ohio, which may—gasp!—shrink some tenured faculty positions: Last December, Hiram College wrote to alumni to assure them that an ongoing academic redesign of the 168-year-old liberal arts college, led by President Lori Varlotta, would proceed in an orderly fashion. Foreign language, philosophy and religious studies programs may take the worst hits. “Everybody is scared to death,” one »

Arizona enacts effective campus free speech legislation

Featured image My friend Stanley Kurtz has been working tirelessly throughout the U.S. to persuade state legislatures to pass effective legislation protecting campus free speech at public universities. To be effective, the legislation must go beyond simply banning restrictive speech codes and so-called free speech zones (limited areas where controversial speech is permitted), important though such bans are. It must also establish a system designed to discipline students who engage in speaker »

Prison vs. The Captive Mind?

Featured image It’s apparently big news that it now costs more to house a prisoner in California than it does to send someone to Harvard for a year. From the Los Angeles Times: The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year. That’s enough to cover the annual cost of attending Harvard University and still have plenty left over for pizza »

Scenes from a campus mall

Featured image City Journal has just posted the video below reporting Heather Mac Donald’s experience on the front lines of the campus free-speech war. This video is part of a special collaboration with John Stossel and City Journal contributors (other videos in the series are accessible here). City Journal has posted this video together with a transcript under the heading “The campus free-speech crisis.” Heather joins Stossel to talk about the free-speech »

Amy Wax speaks (YouTube edition)

Featured image We’ve written several times about Amy Wax, the distinguished professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School who has spoken truth to political correctness in the face of threats to her livelihood and attacks on her character. Penn law dean Ted Ruger has now succumbed to demands that Professor Wax be barred from teaching the required first year course on civil procedure. This past Thursday the National Association of Scholars honored »