Higher education

Dabbling in higher education — Obama’s latest “free stuff”

Featured image State of the Union addresses are nearly unwatchable even when one likes the president giving it. Given my view of President Obama, I don’t intend to watch tonight’s spectacle. We know in advance that Obama will use the speech to tout his proposal that two years of community college be made available for free to all “responsible” students, with funding to come primarily from federal taxpayers. This is another one »

Women without vaginas

Featured image C.S. Lewis decried “men without chests.” He coined the phrase in The Abolition of Man, still worth reading after all these years. Indeed, Bill Kristol harks back to Lewis in his current Weekly Standard editorial “Men with chests.” I wish Lewis were still around. He could update the book with a section on “women without vaginas.” He would introduce the analysis with a look at what happens when women become »

Calling All Students

Featured image With so many universities being either leftist swamps, or, with their crucial departments such as history, philosophy, and political science being mindlessly boring, serious students now must look outside the universities to complete their education. If you’re especially perceptive and disciplined, you can read good books on your own. This was Churchill’s method, as described in the chapter “My Education at Bangalore” in My Early Life. But it is not »

The Community College Subversion?

Featured image Is Obama’s initiative for “free” community college an oblique shout-out to the cancelled NBC show? It wouldn’t seem to have much else to recommend it, and it can be seen as yet another payoff to a key constituency group—community college professors and students. But a sharp-eyed Power Line reader sends in another way of looking at this idea: The One has created a real opportunity for creating havoc in a »

First They Came for the Sociologists. . . [Updated]

Featured image I’m currently working on a long article analyzing why more academics who know better don’t stand up to the braying mobs of the politically-correct Left. There’s a lot to this problem—stay tuned for the full article when it appears—but one part of it reminds me of the famous quote from Martin Neimoller about the Nazis: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Last week Ammo Grrrll took up the question of microaggressions in A LIFE FULL OF MICROAGGRESSIONS. The question of microaggressions has taken shape on campus, where sensitive souls face mortal peril every day. It only makes sense that Ammo Grrrll returns this week with MICROAGGRESSIONS GO TO COLLEGE. She writes: In the Autumn issue of City Journal, the brilliant and brave writer Heather Mac Donald, lifted the lid on the »

Great thinkers revisited

Featured image With the focus on last year and the new year, we might take advantage of the holiday or the long holiday weekend to refresh our acquaintance with the great thinkers. The Great Thinkers site is produced by the Center for Constitutional Government; it builds on the Conversations with Bill Kristol to introduce viewers to “the great thinkers of Western [political] thought.” The site seeks to aid students and other interested »

Settled Science: Liberals Are Ruining the Social Sciences

Featured image A forthcoming article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (yeah, it’s not on my regular reading pile either, but it’s a Cambridge University Press journal) is attracting a lot of pre-publication buzz, because it argues that the field of social psychology—but really extending to social science generally—is badly hobbled by its liberal monoculture. (You can download a PDF of the paper “Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science.”) It’s a long »

In Today’s Mailbag. . .

Featured image Oh goody—a new journal dedicated to the holy trinity of race, class, and gender, because I’m sure there’s a shortage of outlets for scholarship in this field.  Here, in full, is an email communication I received today: Dear Steven Hayward: We are thrilled to announce that the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (JREP) is now open for submissions and review! This moment has been years in the making, and »

Pinker Steps Up Against Harvard Anti-Israel BDS

Featured image Paul wrote yesterday about the mendacity of the Israel BDS (“Boycott, Divest, Sanctions”) movement at Harvard, where the presence of a water dispenser made by an Israeli-based company in Harvard dining halls was called a “microaggression” by the permanently aggrieved. Late yesterday the widely noted psychologist Steven Pinker stepped up, writing to Harvard’s president Drew Faust and provost Alan Garber to protest in the strongest possible terms against capitulating to »

Water machines as microaggression

Featured image Increasingly, we hear the term “microaggression” tossed around by the infantile left. But what does it mean? As far as I can tell, a microaggression is an affront — real or imagined for the sake of being affronted — so trivial that few stable adults would notice it and none would give it a second thought. When the term is used, the only aggression in sight is that committed by »

My take on the campus “rape culture”

Featured image I agree with John that there is no “rape culture” on college campuses. But I also agree with Joe Asch, the proprietor of Dartblog, that sexual assault, or, at a minimum, serious sexual harassment, is a real problem at colleges and universities. I base my conclusion in part on conversations with a dozen or so current college students or recent grads. Not all of them see the situation the same »

Conservative Muslim’s opinions produce “existential worry” at University of Michigan

Featured image Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, is a conservative. Worse, he expressed his conservative views as a columnist for a school publication. As a result, Mahmood was subjected to vandalism. Messages were left on his apartment door calling him obscene names and telling him to “shut the f*** up.” The vandals also left a picture taken from Mahmood’s Facebook profile with his eyes X’d out. This »

Columbia law school and “existential worry”

Featured image I thought I had covered every angle of interest to me in the story about Columbia law school postponing the exams of law students “traumatized” by two grand jury no-bills. But the New York Times article that John linked to prompts an additional line of thought. Here is what one Columbia law student, a Latino, told the Times: “The word ‘trauma’ is sort of being misunderstood. It’s not a trauma »

NY Times Reports on Columbia Exam Postponement

Featured image The story that Paul broke about Columbia Law School postponing exams for students who purport to be traumatized by the grand jury proceedings in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases is percolating through the press. The New York Times, Columbia’s home town paper, reports: Columbia Law School is allowing students to postpone their final exams this month if they feel unnerved by the recent grand jury decisions not to »

Bill Buckley Was Right, Chapter 2,000

Featured image Everyone remembers Bill Buckley’s famous axiom that he’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard University. My great teacher Harry Jaffa had a corollary to the Buckley Theorem, which held that it would be better to be educated by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard. Either way, fresh evidence of the »

Damage control at Columbia?

Featured image The Volokh Conspiracy, via Eugene Volokh, has posted an email from one of Columbia Law School’s vice deans regarding requests for postponements of exams by students allegedly traumatized by grand jury outcomes. The email states that “students who wish to request a rescheduled exam, or other similar accommodation, should either write to the office of Registration Services with an individual explanation of the basis of the request, or speak in »