Academic left

The Worst College President In America

Featured image Up to now, the coveted title of “Worst College President in America” belonged without question to George Bridges of Evergreen State College in Washington, as we noted here back in 2018. But a new challenger has arisen, and has wrested the title from Bridges: Kathleen McCartney of Smith College. We wrote here last week (in “The Disgrace of Smith College“) about the case of Jodi Shaw, the Smith College staff »

Will *France* Save America?

Featured image Yes, that is a ridiculous headline. And yet, as we noted here last week, what does it tell us about the present condition of America that the president of France, Emanuel Macron, has a better grasp of perversity and danger of our “woke” culture than the President of the United States? The New York Times has followed up on its first startling account with a report this week on steps »

The Disgrace of Smith College

Featured image Back in November I made brief mention of the case of Jodi Shaw, a student life coordinator at Smith College, the fancy women’s college in Massachusetts that counts among its alumna Nancy Reagan. Shaw, a Smith graduate herself who is a self-described liberal, got in trouble with the Smith College administration when she went public on YouTube with complaints about the blatantly racist so-called “anti-racism” programs and campus atmosphere that have »

Things You Don’t Expect in the Times

Featured image The liberal wunderkind Ezra Klein has recently become a regular contributor to the New York Times, which will broaden the Times‘ range of perspectives from A to A. Still, it is fun to see Klein note the obvious—that if California is the Progressive model of governance for the nation, the results are . . . really bad. In “California Is Making Liberals Squirm,” he notes: California has the highest poverty »

Donald Trump and the post-modernists

Featured image George Will sees a relationship between Donald Trump’s lack of regard for the truth and the left’s post-modern lack of regard for the notion of objective truth. Of Trump, Will writes: He began his political career spouting birtherism and concluded it — he will not be back; like vaudeville, he is yesterday’s entertainment — raving about an election-rigging conspiracy so vast that it involved legions in many states, and so »

The purge of conservative voices proceeds apace

Featured image America’s institutions are using the invasion of the Capitol building by a relatively small number of extremists as a pretext for carrying out a purge of conservatives that they have long desired. The barons of the social media world are leading the charge, but others are following. The latest conservative victim of the purge is Rep. Elise Stefanik, a member of Congress. Harvard has removed her from the Kennedy School’s »

The Counterrevolution Begins

Featured image Eventually I’m going to get around to thinking through and writing up my view that while misguided Millennials lean heavily progressive at the moment, the next generation of young people is going to swing sharply to the right out of rebellion against the stifling conformity of the progressive left that went into hyperdrive this year. In part I’m taking in the lessons of M. Stanton Evans’s first book in 1961, »

This Week in Wokery

Featured image It’s official at Nature magazine: if a published study goes against the diversity narrative and hurts someone’s feelings, it needs to be retracted. Last month Nature Communications published a deep-dive analysis of statistical differences in the academic careers of female scientists who had female mentors versus male mentors. Alas for the study, it found better outcomes for female scientists who had male mentors. The study was conducted by three Arab »

Starting at Second Base

Featured image For the short 2020 season, major league baseball adopted a rule providing that in extra innings, each team would start the inning with a runner on second base. Weird, I thought. But stranger still, starting at second base has come to our nation’s colleges. St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, from which two of my kids graduated, is passing out a flyer with helpful suggestions on how to avoid covid »

How to lose friends & influence people

Featured image I wrote about Princeton University Professor Joshua Katz in “Professor Katz’s declaration,” citing his essay “A declaration of independence.” Professor Katz has now followed up on his “declaration” in remarks to Yale’s William F. Buckley, Jr., Program with a speech titled “How to lose friends and influence people.” In the course of his remarks Professor Katz cites Matt Taibbi’s essay “The left is now the right” and refers to Andrew »

Podcast: The Three Whisky Happy Hour: College Shop Talk

Featured image “Lucretia” and I had fully intended to work through our long-promised (or is it that threatened?) and now thrice-postponed seminar on the philosophical roots of leftist snobbishness and condescension, but we got diverted—strange that this keeps happening—by some notable campus news stories from last week. Naturally there were several stories of colleges disgracing themselves, capitulating to the student mob in the usual cowardly fashion (Haverford, Smith), but one university (yay »

Who or What Killed the Liberal Arts?

Featured image Mark Bauerlein of First Things and Emory University offers this Tweet of lament today that certainly fits with my own retrospective: To be sure, back in those days the liberal arts faculty tilted left, and occasionally quite radically left, but the liberal arts enterprise was more grounded in a body of serious, if mistaken, ideas that could be contested. I’m not joking when I say I wish our universities actually »

The Higher Ed Meltdown Accelerates

Featured image In my Geek in Pictures post a couple days back I included this chart showing that the financial impact of COVID on colleges and universities has led to serious job cuts—back to the level last seen in 2008, right before the last major economic crisis. (Strangely, as you can see from the chart, the financial crisis in 2008-09 barely slowed the overall rise of university employment levels at all, unlike »

Chicago Vs. Smith College

Featured image As is well known, you aren’t allowed to criticize Black Lives Matter (still less say anything as offensive as “All Lives Matter”), Critical Race Theory, or any aspect of transgenderism. And it seems increasingly difficult to criticize the orthodoxy of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) in any way. Witness the case of Dorian Abbot, a professor of geology at the University of Chicago, who has criticized the DEI orthodoxy. He’s »

Can Democrats Give Up Identity Politics and White Guilt?

Featured image It is slowly dawning on some Democrats that their uncritical embrace of identity politics and mindless slogans like “defund the police” cost them in this election. Mark Lilla has been trying to warn Democrats about this since Trump won four years ago, though it resulted in Lilla (a committed liberal Democrat) being called a “white supremacist” by several of his Columbia University faculty colleagues. His most recent piece, “When Will »

How Corrupt Are American Universities?

Featured image The Department of Education has completed an investigation into American universities’ compliance with federal law relating to reporting of foreign gifts and contracts. As you might expect, our universities believe that laws are for the little guys: American Universities failed to report $6.5 billion in foreign gifts and contracts, an investigation by the Department of Education found. Federal law requires schools to disclose substantial foreign gifts and contracts to the »

Breaking: College President Finds a Spine

Featured image As I’ve long joked, I think truth in advertising for college presidencies would require the job qualification clause, “Spinal removal surgery necessary.” And among university presidents I have regarded suspiciously (which is nearly all of them) is Northwestern’s Morton Schapiro. I may need to rethink my attitude about Shapiro. Unsurprisingly there is a critical mass of radical students and leftist hangers-on who are demanding that Northwestern University abolish its campus »