Higher education

St. Olaf stands naked

Featured image Star Tribune reporter Maura Lerner covers the unsuccessful efforts of an indomitable college student to bring Ben Shapiro to another crazy campus. The indomitable student is Kathryn Hinderaker. The crazy campus is St. Olaf College. Online Lerner’s story is headlined “Ben Shapiro barred from St. Olaf College during protest anniversary.” In the print edition of the Star Tribune, at the top of page B1, the headline is couched in euphemism: »

University Suicide Watch (2): Campus Blues in the Bluegrass State

Featured image We reported here last week about how the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point is closing several liberal arts departments and laying off tenured professors (gasp! the horror!). Now this news from Kentucky: University faculty alarmed by Kentucky budget language that guts tenure protections By Linda Blackford University faculty around the state are raising red flags over proposed legislative language that appears to let administrators ignore tenure protections as they downsize because »

University Suicide Watch (1): “This No Longer Looks Like a Liberal Arts College.”

Featured image Yep—another new series heading for our periodical updates on the “Suicide of the University,” which is the title of the lecture I gave last month at Arizona State and which I will revise for publication and also post up as a Power Line podcast at some point soon. At that conference I got to meet Bret Weinstein, late of Evergreen State, whose astounding story we covered here, here, and here. I »

No campus free speech problem? Really?

Featured image Andrew Hartman, a professor of history at Illinois State University, argues that there is no campus free speech problem. He claims that college campuses are more tolerant than ever. The latter claim may be true if you’re a transgender illegal immigrant advocating communism. But what is Hartman’s evidence that conservatives don’t have a problem speaking freely and hearing others express conservative views on campus? He presents precious little. He notes »

This Week in Berkeley: The New Free Speech Movement?

Featured image Attention all Bay Area Power Line readers: As Ed Sullivan used to say, this week I’ve got “a really big show” for you. This Wednesday and Thursday I am executing an Inchon landing behind the lines, with a two-day program starting with a late afternoon (5 pm) lecture on “The Metaphysics of Free Speech” from Harvey Mansfield, Harvard’s most well-known conservative. (Click the link to get location and RSVP information.) Then »

Who You Callin’ a ‘Hoogleraar’?

Featured image Last month I was interviewed by a Dutch journalist who was passing through town about what it is like to be an inmate. . . I mean, a professor at a place like Berkeley. The resulting article in Elsevier Weekblad is in Dutch, which I don’t read at all, and in any case, most of the article is behind a subscription paywall. The headline, “Conservatieve hoogleraar: ‘Ook impopulaire ideeën moeten bespreekbaar »

The Higher Ed Crack Up Begins [updated]

Featured image I’ve been predicting, most recently in a lecture last month at Arizona State University that I’ll post up as a podcast at some point soon, that universities would soon begin to divide into two entities—the STEM fields and related practical subjects (i.e., business and economics), and the social sciences and humanities, which would start to shrivel under the weight of the degradations the left has inflicted over the last 40 »

Amy Wax barred from teaching mandatory first-year class at Penn law

Featured image Readers may recall how Amy Wax, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, incurred the wrath of the left, including black law students at Penn, by saying that which must not be said — the social practices at the heart of middle class America from the late 1940’s through the 1960’s are a recipe for success, personal and societal, and their rejection is a recipe for dysfunction and decline. Wax and »

Hating whitey at Stanford

Featured image That’s the title of this article by Rod Dreher. Actually, the article doesn’t show contempt for Whitey at Stanford, just for poor or rural whites from the South. Other whites may be okay at Stanford as long as they keep their heads down and aren’t into the American flag. Dreher’s article is based on this report from the Stanford Review: A week ago, residents of Enchanted Broccoli Forest [apparently the »

What does Stanford have against the American flag?

Featured image Stanford University has denied the College Republicans’ request for a new logo on T-shirts because it shows an “altered version” of the American flag. Stanford said it “does not approve the use of the American (or other flag) on product also featuring our trademarks (including the Stanford name).” Jennifer Kabbany of NRO’s College Fix consulted Stanford’s lengthy trademark guide on the university’s website. Using a word search, she found no »

Why won’t Georgia protect Christian speech on campus?

Featured image Georgia’s public colleges and universities have been using unconstitutional speech zones to suppress Christian speech in a state where traditional Christians make up a large part of the citizenry. The most notorious case involves Gwinnett College. Its speech zone policy has been challenged in court, and Attorney General Sessions has directed the Department of Justice to file a “statement of interest” supporting the challenge. One would think that a bill »

The Confucius Institutes, China’s vehicle for ideological warfare in America

Featured image Last night, I wrote about Taiwan and the growing Chinese threat. The threat I discussed was the military one. In the modern world, ideological warfare goes hand-in-hand with military threats. Thus, though few Americans know about it, we shouldn’t be surprised that China is waging ideological warfare on American college and university campuses. What’s surprising, perhaps, is the complicity of our colleges and universities. China fights its ideological battle on »

Amy Wax looks back

Featured image Last year I wrote about the academic tempest aroused by Professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander in “That which must not be said.” They aroused the tempest with this Philadelphia Inquirer column recapitulating a few home truths. Professor Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She earned an M.D. degree from Harvard in addition to her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. »

Justice Department sides with free speech on campus

Featured image The Justice Department has filed a statement of interest siding with two conservative groups that have sued the University of California at Berkeley for violating their First Amendment rights. The DOJ’s filing argues that the plaintiffs — the Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans — properly pleaded that Berkeley violated these rights, and that therefore the court should not to dismiss the plaintiffs’ case at the pleadings stage. »

Keeping up with Comey

Featured image The College of William & Mary announced last week that former FBI Director James Comey will teach a course on “ethical leadership” at the school next fall. By that time his book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership will be out. The promotional tour will be over. The book will be available for use as a text, or for use by ambitious students seeking extra credit. At William & »

Is The Higher Ed Bubble Starting to Pop?

Featured image Talk of the “higher education bubble” has been around for a while, but two news items today make me think it is starting to pop—and remember, bubbles usually don’t pop instantaneously. The housing crash of 2008 was signaled by visibly deteriorating conditions in the summer of 2007. Likewise, the higher ed bubble is going to resemble the old line about how some rich person went bankrupt—first slowly, then all at »

How Do You Explain Trump at Berkeley?

Featured image This sounds a bit like the old joke, “How do you pet a porcupine?” Answer: “Very carefully.” More than a month ago I was asked during homecoming weekend to speak to an alumni panel on the topic of “Trump and the White Working Class,” along with the distinguished sociologist Arlie Hochschild, author of Strangers In Their Own Land, drawn from her experience of being embedded with rural folk in Louisiana, »