Higher education

Non-existent hate crime prompts $1 million diversity initiative

Featured image The Daily Caller reports that the University of Delaware is launching a $1 million “diversity” initiative in response to a non-existent hate crime. The “hate crime” consisted of “nooses” supposedly found hanging from a tree on campus. But the police found, and demonstrated through a video, that the alleged nooses were just the remnants of paper lanterns from an earlier campus event. No matter. One administrator said the mere thought »

Best Academic Abstract Ever [With Comments By John and Paul]

Featured image Appearing right now on the SSRN bulletin board is the following abstract; it’s going to make me reconsider some of my prejudices about Harvard: Can Philosophy Be Justified in a Time of Crisis? Nathan J Robinson Harvard University September 3, 2015 Abstract: In this paper, I take the position that a large portion of contemporary academic work is an appalling waste of human intelligence that cannot be justified under any »

Penn State vs. The State Penn?

Featured image I used to joke that it costs as much to house an inmate in the California state prison system as it would to send the same person to Stanford, but that sending the inmate to Stanford (at least in the humanities) would be bad for the inmate. Turns out this may not be such a joke after all. I missed the story a couple weeks ago about a debate staged »

Obama Administration Snubs Hillsdale

Featured image On September 12, the Obama administration rolled out its online College Scorecard. The Scorecard is intended as a resource for students and parents, and gives basic information–cost, graduation rate, starting salaries of graduates, ethnic composition of student body, and so on–for, President Obama said, “every institution of higher education.” Only it doesn’t. If you search for colleges in Michigan, 97 results come up. But Hillsdale College, one of America’s better »

Once More with Peter Schramm

Featured image It was great of Jason Stevens, professor at Ashland University, to write a tribute yesterday to Peter Schramm in the pages of the Wall Street Journal (and kudos of the Journal for running it). The Ashbrook Center has posted the article on their website so you don’t have to workaround the Journal‘s subscriber paywall. Jason reminds us at the end of one of Peter’s favorite classroom devices—an acorn: He began »

Racial disparities confound Washington Post

Featured image In separate articles, today’s Washington Post takes up two racial disparities revealed by recent studies. The first pertains to “degree selection.” Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports: African-American and Hispanic students disproportionately earn more bachelor’s degrees in low-paying majors, putting them at higher risk for financial instability after graduation, according to a new study from Young Invincibles, an advocacy group. . . . The highest paying majors through mid-career were primarily in science, »

Today’s Rim Shots

Featured image So, these quips emerged in the course of yesterday’s afternoon class that ranged from logical positivism in law to federalism and Justice Louis Brandeis’s famously wrongheaded sentence in New State Ice v. Liebmann about the states being “laboratories of democracy.” So I hear there’s a new movie coming out from Hollywood about logical positivism: “Straight Outta Comte.” Ba-da-dish! States are the “laboratories of democracy”? These days more like the “meth »

APSA After-Action Report

Featured image Later on I’ll post a summary of my APSA panel on the Harry Jaffa—Walter Berns feud, which was a lively affair. To the left you can catch me and Hadley Arkes after the dust had settled. It turns out that one of the biggest unexpected controversies at the just-concluded American Political Science Association annual meeting was over . . . whether infants could enter the exhibit hall. Apparently we found »

College Corruption

Featured image Allan Guelzo of Gettysburg College, author of several fine books about Lincoln and the Civil War, posted these news items on his Facebook page earlier today. I don’t know the source of these news nuggets, but I am sure they are accurate. I think the fourth one is the most significant: • The University of Akron lays off 160 employees, closes its press, multicultural center and theatre • South Carolina »

Here ze comes

Featured image Glenn Reynolds links to a Daily Mail article highlighting usage notes issued by a gay rights official at the University of Tennessee, where Glenn teaches. The university official has advised staff and students to stop using “he” and “she” – and switch to “xe,” “zir,” and “xyr” instead. The idea is to avoid any implication that mankind is divided into men and women. This is discouraged as “binary” thinking. In »

A conversation with Christina Hoff Sommers

Featured image In the latest of his Conversations, Bill Kristol draws out former philosophy professor Christina Hoff Sommers on the myriad of subjects to which she has contributed her wit and wisdom over the past 20 years or so (video below, about one hour). Among the subject on which she speaks with authority and interest are the movement for “safe spaces” on campus, how feminism went awry, the war against boys, the »

Ivy League honors conservative justices by not honoring them

Featured image Law professor John McGinnis finds that Ivy League schools are giving short shrift to conservative Supreme Court justices when they confer honorary degrees. Is anyone surprised? The numbers are stark. Of the fourteen honorary degrees bestowed by Ivy League institutions to living Supreme Court justices twelve went to those on the left of the Court. Justice Ginsburg is the champ: she has an honorary degree from every Ivy League university »

Inside higher ed: Reimagine this

Featured image A faithful reader writes from deep inside higher education: One of my responsibilities is tracking down ads for our recent PhDs. I just came across this one for SDI Training Manager. It’s self-parody, and so is good for laughs. Until one looks up the office of the vice chancellor under whom the successful candidate for this $70,000 position (more money, incidentally, than most college professors make) would be working. That’s »

Celebrating Peter W. Schramm

Featured image In “Peter the Great for our time” Steve wrote about the event celebrating the life and career of Peter Schramm after the event held in his honor at Ashland College’s Ashbrook Center earlier this week. Peter is engaged in a death struggle with cancer that has elicited the prayers of his many friends and admirers. The Ashbrook Center has now posted the summary and video of the event here. The »

It’s not easy going green: A comment

Featured image A reader who must remain deep under cover writes to comment on Kathy Kersten’s column “It’s not easy going green.” He writes: Dear Mr. Johnson As a professor in the natural sciences, I get a lot of sustainability emails – and have sometimes seen the linkage between white patriarchiality and our lack of sustainability – the technology of the other cultures was always in harmony with nature (tell it to »

Gelernter on fire

Featured image David Gelernter is an old-fashioned Renaissance man. He is professor of computer science at Yale University, chief scientist at Mirror Worlds Technologies, contributing editor at the Weekly Standard and member of the National Council of the Arts (more here). We have proudly hosted several of his thoughts on the present discontents. Professor Gelernter is the author of books that suggest a kind of Herodotean interest in everything human. Professor Gelernter »

It’s not easy going green

Featured image Our friend Katherine Kersten is a senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis. Kathy has a graduate degree from the Yale School of Management and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. She can be reached at [email protected] This important column originally appeared in the Star Tribune and is now posted under the heading “Campus sustainability: Going green is just part of the »