Higher education

The Trial as how-to manual

Featured image Does anyone read Kafka anymore? I doubt that high school and college students take him up as faithfully as we once did, but the bureaucratic tyrants running the Department of Education in the Obama administration appear to have drawn on Kafka’s Trial as a how-to manual rather than a modernist warning of a nightmarish future. The book opens: “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he »

The Princeton report — an alum’s view

Featured image John and I have written about the report issued by something called the Trustee Committee on Woodrow Wilson’s Legacy at Princeton. The committee was formed in response to the occupation of the Princeton president’s office by black students demanding, among other things, that Wilson’s name be purged from prominent Princeton institutions named after the former president. Based on recommendations in the report, Princeton refused to purge Wilson, choosing instead to »

Free speech under attack at the University of Pennsylvania

Featured image Last Friday, protesters at the University of Pennsylvania shut down a campus foreign policy discussion forum featuring CIA director John Brennan. They accomplished this by disrupting Brennan’s speech. The protest was organized by Penn’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). I shouldn’t be surprised that SDS, an odious and notoriously anti-democratic outfit from the 1960s to which I once belonged, is back. Heck, even the Industrial Workers of »

Proof That Colleges Are Making People Stupid

Featured image This story out of Indiana University yesterday hardly needs comment (but I’ll supply some anyway): Everyone mistook a priest for a KKK member last night Rumors of a klansman on campus have proven false after a priest innocently made his way through Bloomington. Last night around 9:15 PM, social media became a furious storm of confusion regarding a man in white robes roaming along 10th St. and purportedly armed with a »

Princeton gives back of hand to black student protesters

Featured image As John reports below, Princeton has decided to keep Woodrow Wilson’s name on its School of Public and International Affairs and on one of its residential colleges. Readers will recall that last fall, after black student protesters occupied the office of Christopher Eisgruber, Princeton’s president, Eisgruber bought peace by agreeing to initiate conversations concerning the present legacy of Woodrow Wilson on campus, including the black students’ request to remove Wilson’s »

El Nino Comes to George Mason

Featured image News out just this afternoon that George Mason University’s fine law school will be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University. I know that the law school’s dynamic dean, Henry Butler, has been working on this idea for a while, and secured $30 million in new contributions to the school (which will go mostly to student scholarships).* So congrats to Henry and GMU. And expect lefty »

American University law faculty members disgrace themselves

Featured image Recently, a student at American University Washington College of Law put a note on the door of a law professor stating “All Lives Matter.” This expression of what ought to be truism caused the AU law faculty to freak out. Nearly sixty faculty members and staff signed a letter calling this an “incidence of intolerance.” A sounder position would hold that objecting to the statement “All Lives Matter” as a »

Emory alumni speak

Featured image Emory University alumnus Ed Thayer (’05C) forwards us a copy of an open letter signed by him and several other Emory alums. He writes: “This latest episode at Emory has struck a nerve with a segment of alumni and over the weekend we penned the letter below. Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit posted the letter we wrote this morning and since you and your blog have been covering this issue very »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Vindicating Madonna

Featured image Someone went and took Madonna’s 1980s hit “Material Girl” (“‘Cause we are living in a material world/And I am a material girl”) and turned it into an academic journal, the Journal of Material Culture. And it offers gems—no, pearls!—like this: The politics of vibrant matter: Consistency, containment and the concrete of Mussolini’s bunker Nadia Bartolini, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK. Abstract: »

At Emory, Orwell 1984!

Featured image The sight of chalked messages proclaiming Trump 2016 around the Emory University campus has allegedly induced unbearable suffering among some 40 to 50 of the students. These students have brought their suffering to the attention of Emory President Wagner with the demand that he do something about it. I took a quick look at the doings on campus in “At Emory, a trail of Trump tears.” Emory University Professor Harvey »

At Emory, a trail of Trump tears

Featured image Emory University crosses the current race for the GOP presidential nomination with tales of the Ivory Tower. Students protested on campus earlier this week at the Emory Administration Building following a mysteriously appearing series of overnight, pro- Trump for president (“Trump 2016”) chalkings. The chalkings were too much to bear for many students who received no trigger warnings. “I’m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here],” one student said. “But »

The Duke lacrosse case revisited

Featured image Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson wrote the definitive book on the Duke lacrosse case with the apt title Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. The case continues to resonate; it represents a sort of reductio ad absurdum for the wretched disgrace of political correctness on campus. As such, it proved both a harbinger and a template. Ten years after the »

This Week’s Academic Argle-Bargle

Featured image We have a winner for this week’s Power Line Academic Gibberish Award, which I think will back up the most obvious reform needed today: make academics write in plain English. If academics were required to write in jargon-free English, many would be homeless in 30 seconds: Herewith a Ph.D abstract from the University of East Anglia (the same folks who brought us “climategate”—coincidence?): … and … between I and Thou »

Your Higher Ed Tax Dollars at Work

Featured image Now here’s some real higher education value for your tax dollars: Cats are the stars of the internet. Jessica Gall Myrick, assistant professor of media at Indiana University, explores why cat videos are so popular: I am an assistant professor at the Indiana University Media School. I received my Ph.D. in Mass Communication and a certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013. Prior to returning to graduate »

CRB: Unsafe spaces

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books is in the mail and, thanks to our friends at the Claremont Institute, I have read it in galley to select a couple of articles to be submitted for the consideration of Power Line readers. At the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 a year, the CRB affords the most cost-effective political education available in the United States of America. Subscribe by »

Thanks to Boulder Power Line Readers

Featured image So it was a fun but quick one-day visit back to Boulder, Colorado, yesterday, for a panel discussion on “Climate Change After Paris.” (Short answer: Same as before Paris.) It was a typical academic panel: five people with more or less conventional views on climate change, and—me. That’s what’s known in academia as “balanced panel.” Actually, I felt like it was barely a fair fight. For them. I won’t repeat »

Stress takes a toll at Brown

Featured image Natan Sharansky is one of the great men of our time. Charged with fabricated crimes as a citizen of the Soviet Union, he suffered for nine years in the gulag until his eventual release and emigration to Israel. He tells the story in his moving memoir Fear No Evil. He has turned his experience to good use in thinking through issues of human rights, as in The Case for Democracy »