Higher education

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 »

Say it ain’t so, Phil

Featured image According to Joe Asch, “word from the inside” at Dartmouth is that no students are currently under investigation or facing College discipline for the Black Lives Matter invasion of Baker Library last November. Readers will probably recall that BLM demonstrators stormed into the library shrieking racist vulgarities and intimidating students who were trying to study. I hope Joe’s sources are mistaken. Otherwise, as Joe says, it means that at Dartmouth »

The China Question

Featured image As we periodically ponder what is going on with China’s slowing economy, it might be worth stepping back to take in a more fundamental question. China’s fabulous growth over the last 25 years appears to call into question a favorite thesis of free marketeers such as Milton Friedman, namely, that in the long run you can’t have free markets and undemocratic government. You can for a while—think Chile in the »

From the NAS

Featured image National Association of Scholars executive director Ashley Thorne writes to note that NAS has just published a long, formal statement by NAS president Peter Wood about academic and intellectual freedom. It runs close to 11,000 words and is the most extensive statement NAS has ever made on the subject. Ashley adds: This is a long-meditated response to the Black Lives Matter/cry-bully protests and the anemic responses of many college presidents »

Missouri “muscle” prof charged with assault

Featured image Melissa Click, the University of Missouri professor who called for “muscle” to remove a reporter, has been charged with the crime of assault. The charge is based, I think, on the allegation of Mark Schierbecker, a Missouri student and videographer, that Click, not content to wait for muscle, grabbed his camera and pushed him while he was filming. The specific charge against Click is third-degree assault. This is a class »

A Broadside to Brodhead

Featured image Richard Brodhead is the president of Duke University, which means he’s a member of a higher order of invertebrates. He especially disgraced himself in the handling of the Duke lacrosse case, which turned out to be wholly phony, but not before Brodhead summarily fired the lacrosse coach and condemned the three students involved. Although he later apologized and reinstated the students, he never lifted a finger against the Gang of »

Uncomfortable thoughts about “uncomfortable learning”

Featured image Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University — in an article for the Washington Post called “Why my campus needs ‘safe spaces'” — presents paragraph after paragraph of pernicious nonsense about race in the higher education context. By doing so, however, he provides a service; he demonstrates how perniciously nonsensical the prevailing campus racial paradigm has become. Schapiro centers his discussion on the following episode that he says occurred at another »

Authentic Academic Gibberish

Featured image One of the obscure classic satires of modern times is the “mockumentary” called “The Rutles,” a dead-on spoof of The Beatles as reimagined, sort of, by Monty Python. (Eric Idle was one of the main inspirations and stars of the late 1970s film, which is available on YouTube and elsewhere.) One of my favorite scenes is Idle as “Prof. S.K. Krammerhead III, Jr,” described as “an occasional visiting professor of »

Rattling the Primates at the Monkey Cage

Featured image I’ve been wanting for a very long time to say something about the Monkey Cage, one of the specialized blogs (along with the Volokh Conspiracy) that the Washington Post has shrewdly embraced. Whereas the Volokh Conspiracy is a libertarian-leaning legal blog, the Monkey Cage is populated by academic political scientists. I haven’t seen an explanation for the name behind the blog (correction: a sidebar cites H.L. Mencken: “Democracy is the »

Today’s Higher Education Fillip

Featured image Ashley Thorne of the National Association of Scholars, mentioned here the other day about the problem of politicized science, has out today a Top Ten list of “Roses and Thorns” in higher education for 2015 (though the year isn’t over yet, and I hear some students are protesting “White Christmas” because it is . . . well, you know how this absurd sentence ends). The list includes Mattress Girl from »