Higher education

The PC Behind the Bloat

Featured image The Wall Street Journal also reports today that a number of larger universities are starting to make cutbacks in the bloated ranks of administrators.  As is well known, the number of highly paid administrators at colleges and universities has grown much faster than classroom instructors over the last decade or two.  Between 2001 and 2011, the Journal reports, the ranks of college administrators grew 57 percent, while the number of »

Diversity or Perversity?

Featured image It’s not really true that every other course here at the University of Colorado at Boulder is about race, class, and gender.  It just seems that way.  Such courses are widely advertised on all the campus bulletin boards, like the special course in the sociology department pictured here (click to embiggen).  In fact, if you did a scientific survey of the campus bulletin boards, my guess is that four-fifths of »

Charles Murray at Boulder

Featured image There was a fair amount of media coverage of Charles Murray’s recent visit to Duke University, where the campus Ignorati fussed and flibbered, and a group of students organized a walkout a few minutes into Charles’s lecture.  Because, you know, you wouldn’t want to hear some contrary points of view at a university.  Apparently beclowning themselves over the wrongful persecution of the lacrosse team a few years ago wasn’t enough »

The Daniels apology

Featured image I’ve been to just about every Fall briefing and annual dinner held by the Center of the American Experiment — John Hinderaker is past chairman of the center and I am a former board member — but I missed this year’s Fall Briefing earlier this month. The speaker was former Indiana Governor and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels. I thought the speech would be a little — how to put »

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Harvard Says No

Featured image The big rage among the enviro left on campus today is to pressure universities to divest their endowments of all stock holdings in “fossil fuel” companies.  (I put “fossil fuels” in quotation marks for a reason: see the addendum below.)  Plainly this is a page borrowed from the divest South Africa movement of the 1980s. Harvard has had a look at the idea and said, “No, thanks.”  President Drew Faust’s »

Another Sequel for My Sokal-ed Life

Featured image It was barely a week ago that I was recalled the original Sokal Hoax and noting its recent sequel out of Eastern Europe.  You’d think humanities journals would be on to this kind of stunt, but surely science journals wouldn’t fall for this. Would they? The Economist reports this week that a complete hoax has indeed happened in scientific publishing.  But not just in one journal; rather, the potential hoax »

Off on a Gender-Bender

Featured image Today’s entirely predictable and un-satirizable headline comes from the Puffington Host:  “Nadine Schweigert, North Dakota Woman, ‘Marries Herself,’ Opens Up About Self-Marriage.”  The only questions here are: what took us so long, and will the IRS allow an additional dependent exemption on the Form 1040? I mean really, I had to double-check to make sure the Puffington Host hadn’t merged with The Onion: A 36-year-old North Dakota woman who married »

How to Fix the Humanities

Featured image Over on the Minding the Campus website, there’s a symposium up today on how to fix the humanities in higher education, with contributions from seven fine thinkers.  Mine is listed first: Rescuing the humanities from the slough of postmodernism and its other debilitating afflictions would require replacing many of the current faculty in our universities with new faculty that is not hostile to our civilization and its principles.  This is »

My Sokal-ed Life, The Sequel

Featured image Back in the Dark Ages before there were internet blogs (1996) NYU physicist Alan Sokal scandalized the humanities with his phony article for the postmodern journal Social Text, entitled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” Sokal, who describes his own politics as fairly left, described the article as “”a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense…structured around the silliest quotations [by postmodernist »

Why Can’t Liberals Help It? (Updated)

Featured image You may have seen the news of the professor who went off on a rant against Republicans recently at Michigan State University, calling Republicans “dying white people who raped this country.” (The video is posted below; note that he threatens a student who apparently expressed some dissatisfaction with the instruction he was receiving.)  Ho hum, just another day at the university office, you might say. But note that this instructor, »

Quote of the day

Featured image Steve Hayward’s lecture on the dearth of conservatives in academia is well worth reading in its entirety. Steve wears his learning lightly; he entertains as he instructs. From his lecture I have extracted this excerpt as the quote of the day: In Vietnam, still run by the Communist Party, the very selective national university is offering free tuition to anyone who signs up for the university’s curriculum in Marxism. They’ve »

God and Man at Boulder?

Featured image So last Thursday I delivered an inaugural public lecture for the university’s Center for Western Civilization, on the subject “Why Are There So Few Conservatives in Higher Education, and Does It Matter?”  Quite a large audience turned out, and the discussion period was, shall we say, spirited.  Let’s  just say it was a good thing I brought my kevlar underwear and asbestos dress shirts with me. I won’t post the »

Two Random Thoughts on Political Science

Featured image I juxtapose these two contemporaneous comments just for the heck of it: Generally speaking, one may wonder whether the new political science has brought to light anything of political importance which intelligent practitioners with a deep knowledge of history, nay, intelligent and educated journalists, to say nothing of the old political science at its best, did not know at least as well beforehand. —Leo Strauss, 1963. I majored in Government »

Calling Tulane Law School

Featured image In response to “Letten it be” a reader writes: I just called Tulane Law School to register a complaint regarding Dean James Letten. The call answerer in the Dean’s Office said that she could not comment on this situation, other than to say that she knew nothing about it and that the video is wrong and has been edited to make him look bad. Wait, I thought you knew nothing »

Letten it be

Featured image I found the video of James O’Keefe’s latest Project Veritas venture in this Campus Reform post by Josiah Ryan. In the video former United States Attorney James Letten exhausts his vocabulary of invective in calling out O’Keefe. “You are a nasty cowardly little spud, all of you, you’re hobbits,” Letten shouts. Running a little short of ammo, he adds: “You are less than I can ever tell you. You are »

My Leftist Quotient Quiz: A Work in Progress (with Update)

Featured image Okay readers, you can help me out here.  As I’ve been studying higher education more closely in connection with my imminent full immersion experience, I’ve become convinced that a lot of campus leftists don’t think they’re very far left.  Even if they admit to being liberal, they think of their views as close to mainstream, because on our cloistered campuses, their views are “mainstream.”  (Wait till they get a load »

Commence This

Featured image Our friends at the Young America’s Foundation note that there are exactly zero conservatives among the commencement speakers at Ivy League universities this year, though this shouldn’t surprise anyone by this point.  I have a theory on this: the Ivy League is still reeling from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 Harvard commencement address, “A World Split Apart,” which was a fulsome attack on everything that Harvard stands for.  It could well have »