Higher education

While Grijalva grates

Featured image Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson asks herself how the media would treat a given behavior if it were practiced by a Republican. If the media would go ballistic, Attkisson suggests, the same behavior ought to be deemed newsworthy when a Democrat practices it. As she explains in her memoir Stonewalled, she calls it The Substitution Game. There is more than one reason why Attkisson resigned her employment with »

Martin Heidegger, Call Your Office

Featured image Martin Heidegger’s “Rector’s Address” at Freiburg University in 1933 was one of the milestones—and therefore lowest points—of the rise of Nazism in Germany, as his profession that Nazism represented the “inner truth and greatness of the German people” was prelude to his purging the university of Jewish faculty and students.  I’ve been wondering how long before this sentiment re-emerged explicitly in American universities, especially those enamored of anti-Israel gestures such »

A Modest Proposal to Reduce “Inequality”

Featured image So Obama has had to abandon his plan to tax 529 college savings plans to pay for his “free” community college proposal, because lo and behold lots of middle class people are 529 savers.  But Republicans could still enable Obama to pay for this proposal with a tax that actually hits the genuine rich: a surtax on large private college endowments—say on all endowments that are more than something like »

Manners, Courtesy, and Other Tools of Oppression

Featured image In my classrooms, I uniformly use the practice of the University of Chicago’s old graduate programs, in which I address students as “Mr. Jones” or “Ms. Smith.” It introduces a modicum of formality and respect, which counterbalances the more casual, conversational, and indeed often stream-of-consciousness style of my classes. (I hate straight-up lecturing; likewise I dislike the presumptuous faux-familiarity implied by the easy use of first names.) My sense is »

Dabbling in higher education — Obama’s latest “free stuff”

Featured image State of the Union addresses are nearly unwatchable even when one likes the president giving it. Given my view of President Obama, I don’t intend to watch tonight’s spectacle. We know in advance that Obama will use the speech to tout his proposal that two years of community college be made available for free to all “responsible” students, with funding to come primarily from federal taxpayers. This is another one »

Women without vaginas

Featured image C.S. Lewis decried “men without chests.” He coined the phrase in The Abolition of Man, still worth reading after all these years. Indeed, Bill Kristol harks back to Lewis in his current Weekly Standard editorial “Men with chests.” I wish Lewis were still around. He could update the book with a section on “women without vaginas.” He would introduce the analysis with a look at what happens when women become »

Calling All Students

Featured image With so many universities being either leftist swamps, or, with their crucial departments such as history, philosophy, and political science being mindlessly boring, serious students now must look outside the universities to complete their education. If you’re especially perceptive and disciplined, you can read good books on your own. This was Churchill’s method, as described in the chapter “My Education at Bangalore” in My Early Life. But it is not »

The Community College Subversion?

Featured image Is Obama’s initiative for “free” community college an oblique shout-out to the cancelled NBC show? It wouldn’t seem to have much else to recommend it, and it can be seen as yet another payoff to a key constituency group—community college professors and students. But a sharp-eyed Power Line reader sends in another way of looking at this idea: The One has created a real opportunity for creating havoc in a »

First They Came for the Sociologists. . . [Updated]

Featured image I’m currently working on a long article analyzing why more academics who know better don’t stand up to the braying mobs of the politically-correct Left. There’s a lot to this problem—stay tuned for the full article when it appears—but one part of it reminds me of the famous quote from Martin Neimoller about the Nazis: First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Last week Ammo Grrrll took up the question of microaggressions in A LIFE FULL OF MICROAGGRESSIONS. The question of microaggressions has taken shape on campus, where sensitive souls face mortal peril every day. It only makes sense that Ammo Grrrll returns this week with MICROAGGRESSIONS GO TO COLLEGE. She writes: In the Autumn issue of City Journal, the brilliant and brave writer Heather Mac Donald, lifted the lid on the »

Great thinkers revisited

Featured image With the focus on last year and the new year, we might take advantage of the holiday or the long holiday weekend to refresh our acquaintance with the great thinkers. The Great Thinkers site is produced by the Center for Constitutional Government; it builds on the Conversations with Bill Kristol to introduce viewers to “the great thinkers of Western [political] thought.” The site seeks to aid students and other interested »

Settled Science: Liberals Are Ruining the Social Sciences

Featured image A forthcoming article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (yeah, it’s not on my regular reading pile either, but it’s a Cambridge University Press journal) is attracting a lot of pre-publication buzz, because it argues that the field of social psychology—but really extending to social science generally—is badly hobbled by its liberal monoculture. (You can download a PDF of the paper “Political Diversity Will Improve Social Psychological Science.”) It’s a long »

In Today’s Mailbag. . .

Featured image Oh goody—a new journal dedicated to the holy trinity of race, class, and gender, because I’m sure there’s a shortage of outlets for scholarship in this field.  Here, in full, is an email communication I received today: Dear Steven Hayward: We are thrilled to announce that the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics (JREP) is now open for submissions and review! This moment has been years in the making, and »

Pinker Steps Up Against Harvard Anti-Israel BDS

Featured image Paul wrote yesterday about the mendacity of the Israel BDS (“Boycott, Divest, Sanctions”) movement at Harvard, where the presence of a water dispenser made by an Israeli-based company in Harvard dining halls was called a “microaggression” by the permanently aggrieved. Late yesterday the widely noted psychologist Steven Pinker stepped up, writing to Harvard’s president Drew Faust and provost Alan Garber to protest in the strongest possible terms against capitulating to »

Water machines as microaggression

Featured image Increasingly, we hear the term “microaggression” tossed around by the infantile left. But what does it mean? As far as I can tell, a microaggression is an affront — real or imagined for the sake of being affronted — so trivial that few stable adults would notice it and none would give it a second thought. When the term is used, the only aggression in sight is that committed by »

My take on the campus “rape culture”

Featured image I agree with John that there is no “rape culture” on college campuses. But I also agree with Joe Asch, the proprietor of Dartblog, that sexual assault, or, at a minimum, serious sexual harassment, is a real problem at colleges and universities. I base my conclusion in part on conversations with a dozen or so current college students or recent grads. Not all of them see the situation the same »

Conservative Muslim’s opinions produce “existential worry” at University of Michigan

Featured image Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, is a conservative. Worse, he expressed his conservative views as a columnist for a school publication. As a result, Mahmood was subjected to vandalism. Messages were left on his apartment door calling him obscene names and telling him to “shut the f*** up.” The vandals also left a picture taken from Mahmood’s Facebook profile with his eyes X’d out. This »