Higher education

More Scenes from the College Apocalypse

Featured image Two more colleges have just announced cuts in whole departments that conform to my thesis that the politically correct social sciences and humanities are going to wither and die in favor of STEM subjects and practical subjects like business and economics. First up is Goucher College in Maryland, a small liberal arts college that was once a women’s college but which went co-ed in the 1980s. (Jonah Goldberg was in »

Don’t Pull That Trigger (Warning)!

Featured image The first filter of any decent analyst of social policy is to be on guard for unintended consequences and perverse results. Most liberal social policy is rife with these effects—energy efficiency mandates that actually increase energy consumption; minimum wage laws that reduce the incomes of low income workers; health and safety regulations that increase risk by failing to account for tradeoffs; anti-poverty programs that increase poverty, etc. Welcome to the ranks another »

College Suicide Hotline Update

Featured image I wrote here a couple weeks ago about my running theme (perhaps to be a book) about what I’m calling the “suicide of the university,” where declining enrollment and the excessive politicization of the social sciences and humanities will destroy many smaller and second-tier schools. My most recent post looked at politically-correct Earlham College, which is slowly eating its endowment to keep going, along with the data of the plummeting »

Oh, the Inhumanities!

Featured image I’ve written before here and elsewhere that the humanities are dying by suicide at American universities, and that colleges and universities will begin a de facto division into science and tech institutions with a rump of dwindling and politicized humanities and social science fields at the margins. The humanities are dying at most colleges and universities, or to be more accurate, they are committing suicide with their complete embrace of »

Universities: Euthanasia Or Suicide?

Featured image I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I’ll be giving the keynote address for a National Association of Scholars conference at Grove City College next month on August 11. (Still time to register if you are in the hood or want to travel.) I decided to call my address “Should We Euthanize Universities Or Let Them Commit Suicide?” It will be a revision and extension of some of the themes »

The Epic Failure of “Critical Thinking” (UPDATED)

Featured image Most every university today prides itself on teaching “critical thinking” skills, but from the evidence, it appears that many universities are failing at both ends of this term—graduates come out with little capacity for thinking at all, let alone thinking “critically.” (Yes, so-called “critical theory” is a special case of this degradation, but deserves separate treatment.) Case in point is the left’s new It Girl, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who embarrassed herself »

Next Month at Grove City

Featured image For all readers in the environs of the greater Pittsburgh/northwestern Pennsylvania area, next month, on Saturday, August 11, I’ll be giving the wrap-up keynote address for the two-day summer conference of the National Association of Scholars, which is being held at Grove City College. The conference is open to the public, though there is a modest registration fee and the deadline to sign up is Friday of this week. It’s »

Campus Liberals Denounce Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Featured image You may not know whom President Trump will appoint to the Supreme Court, but liberal students do. Or think they do, anyway. Campus Reform–an excellent organization, by the way–asked a number of college students what they thought of the nominee whose selection Trump had announced. Their responses are entertaining: It is hard to fully appreciate the invincible wall of ignorance against which we conservatives are contending. »

Leaving Santa Fe

Featured image I am leaving Santa Fe this morning after spending a week studying Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man in the St. John’s College Summer Classics program. Other courses offered during week 1 of the Summer Classics program studied Epictetus’s Discourses, Jane Austen’s Emma (my wife took this one), Melville’s short fiction, the biblical book of Exodus, the origins of film noir in the 1940s, the origins of calculus and lessons in leadership »

The patriotism gap

Featured image Gallup conducts an annual poll on American patriotism. Participants are asked how proud, if at all, they are to be Americans. This year’s poll found a low ebb in patriotism, with 47 percent of Americans checking the “extremely proud” box. That’s down from a high of 70 percent in 2003. Democrats, liberals, college graduates, and people ages 18 to 29 are the least proud to be American. Only 32 percent »

Sometimes it’s the crime you didn’t commit that nails you

Featured image That’s the theme, or at least the punchline, of Preston Sturges’ classic movie “The Great McGinty,” among other works of art. It may also end up being the kicker in the class action lawsuit against Harvard for discriminating against Asian-Americans in undergraduate admissions. Harvard wants to admit African-Americans and Latinos more or less in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population. It can’t do so if it makes admissions »

Reading queerly at Princeton

Featured image Campus Reform reports that Princeton University is offering a course next semester that aims to teach students to “read queerly” by examining “the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told.” Students will learn about the “theory, narrative, and aesthetics” of “queer literatures.” The Princeton course guide explains: We will consider the historical etymology of the term queer and think through its affiliate terms and acronyms: lesbian, gay, »

Is this the Sandra Day O’Connor moment?

Featured image In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-based preferences by the University of Michigan Law School, The vote was 5-4. In her majority opinion, Justice O’Connor concluded that the University has a compelling interest in promoting diversity in the classroom. However, O’Connor also said: [A]ll governmental use of race must have a logical end point. We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial »

Harvard’s experts undercut the case for race-based admissions

Featured image Charles Lane of the Washington Post discusses the suit brought by Asian-American plaintiffs charging Harvard with racial discrimination in undergraduate admissions. The column is from the “on the one hand this, on the other hand that” school of opinion writing — not a despicable approach, either in general or to this topic. To me, the most interesting bit of information in Lane’s column is this: Harvard’s expert witness told the »

Shame of Harvard Med School

Featured image We have moved to territory inviting if not beyond satire at the prominent Harvard-affiliated Brigham Health academic health care system in connection with its Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard Medical School’s teaching Hospital). Last week the Boston Globe reported the recent accomplishment of Brigham Health president Dr. Betsy Nabel. Dr. Nabel has removed 31 portraits of former department chairmen from the hospital’s Bornstein amphitheater because they are all men and »

Statistics establish Harvard’s discrimination against Asian-Americans

Featured image John wrote here about the class action lawsuit that accuses Harvard of discriminating against Asian-Americans in admissions. The plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment, arguing that they should prevail based on facts not genuinely in dispute. One fact not genuinely in dispute is that Harvard’s own researchers found statistical evidence that the University’s undergraduate application process discriminates against Asian-Americans. In 2013, the Harvard Office of Institutional Research found that Asian-Americans »

University Suicide Watch, Chapter 5

Featured image Today’s higher education implosion news comes from my graduate alma mater, Claremont Graduate University, which emailed everyone yesterday about the imminent closure of its graduate program in philosophy. I’ll update this if I get any better inside information, but I suspect declining enrollment is the main cause, though I hear many programs at CGU are running deeply in the red, so this may be just the first program to go »