Higher education

Cowardice at Harvard

Featured image While I’m still enjoying the schadenfreudey yumminess of Oberlin’s comeuppance, worth catching up with the latest news from Harvard. You may have followed the story of how Harvard recently removed law professor Ronald Sullivan and his wife (also a law professor) Stephanie Robinson, as deans of the undergraduate Winthrop House at Harvard. The campus wokerati targeted Sullivan for the sin of joining Harvey Weinstein’s defense team, which he did on »

Accountability for Oberlin [With Comment by John]

Featured image Oberlin College in Ohio may be one of the most egregious politically correct campuses in the nation. Back in 2013, the campus closed down for a day of “racial sensitivity training” despite the fact that the administration knew that the supposed “racial incident” that prompted this “crisis” (someone spotted wearing Klan robes on campus) was a hoax. Then in 2016, Black Lives Matter and a number of super-woke Oberlin students »

A Better Way to Fight China?

Featured image Scott noted this morning the 30th anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. This set me to thinking about Trump’s trade strategy with China (and now Mexico) and an old memory. Almost 12 or 15 years ago now I was teaching a class at Georgetown as a visiting lecturer, and one of my students was a young Chinese lady who seemed very bright, though quiet »

Roger Kimball: Restoring the lost consensus

Featured image Roger Kimball is a man of many parts. He is the author of more than a dozen outstanding books on art, politics, and intellectual history. He is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion. He is the publisher of Encounter Books. He is an eloquent columnist and regular commentator on current events in the Notes & Comments section of the New Criterion as well as other outlets including PJ »

The Antidote

Featured image Over at The Federalist, Joy Pullman draws our attention to a new working paper from the University of Arkansas that finds liberal bias in academia manifesting itself in lower grades for conservative students. From the abstract: We find that while standardized test scores are the best predictors of grade point average, ideology also has impacts. Even with controls for SES, demographics, and SAT scores, liberal students report higher college grades »

The “adversity score” gambit

Featured image I want to add a few observations to those of Scott and Heather Mac Donald regarding the “adversity score” that the College Board offers to provide to colleges along with applicants’ SAT scores. First, college admissions offices already know the information that yields this score. Charles Deacon, the dean of undergraduate admissions at Georgetown acknowledged: We have so much personal data on all our applicants that we don’t feel the »

Scoring the adversity score

Featured image You may have heard that the College Board has announced the implementation of a proprietary secret sauce affecting college applicants who take the board’s SAT tests. The secret sauce will supply the colleges with an “adversity score” of each applicant for use by the schools in addition to the SAT scores themselves. Is this because the colleges are incapable of figuring it out for themselves, or because the board is »

Notes from the College Apocalypse (3)

Featured image I have heard a number of left-leaning professors dismiss tales of ideological craziness and extremism on campus as just “isolated incidents”—mere anecdotes to be dismissed as little more than a craze that will pass like the Hula-Hoop. But at some point, the plural of anecdote is “data,” and I wonder just how many “anecdotes” of campus insanity are necessary before the “pattern recognition” of social science or anthropology kicks in. »

Congress must act to protect campus free speech

Featured image Today, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) released a statement calling on Congress to include protections for campus free speech in the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The NAS statement is signed by more than 100 prominent educators and public figures concerned with higher education. The logic behind insisting on the inclusion of protection for campus free speech is straightforward. Congress needs to stop funneling money to colleges »

Learning from Legutko at Middlebury

Featured image Over the weekend Steve called out Middlebury College as another college that deserves to die when it canceled a planned public lecture by the Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko. Legutko was the editor of Solidarity’s official journal of philosophy and, since Poland overcame its Communist subjection, he has served at the highest levels of Polish government as well as in the EU’s European Parliament. He is also the author, as Carl »

Competing values clash in LGBT-related dispute at Yale Law School

Featured image There’s a controversy at Yale Law School over a policy whereby Yale gives financial support for public-interest fellowships only if the employer does not discriminate in hiring based on gender and sexual orientation. Sen. Ted Cruz accuses Yale of blacklisting Christian organizations like Alliance Defending Freedom and of punishing Yale students whose values or religious faith leads them to work for such groups. Cruz says he intends to hold a »

The College Apocalypse, Continued

Featured image Recently I had a conversation with a prominent political scientist from one of our most elite universities—I won’t name either since I haven’t been able to verify what he told me—who said that last year this particular university graduated only two majors in English literature. Not two graduate students—just two majors in the entire undergraduate senior class. (I’ll only go so far as to say that this particular university is »

A major test case for campus free speech

Featured image Stanley Kurtz alerts us to a story that, he says, “will mark a major turning point in the campus free-speech crisis, whether for good or ill.” The case comes from the University of Arizona where students disrupted a Career Day presentation by Border Patrol agents. Normally in these cases, the students doing the disrupting get off with no punishment or, at most, a light slap on the wrist. But that’s »

A crooked line at Villanova

Featured image I wrote last week about the new Maoist student evaluations adopted at Villanova University in “Villainy at Villanova” and in “Feel the truth, unity & love.” My object here is to support the message sent to the world from inside the belly of the beast by Professors Colleen Sheehan and James Matthew Wilson in their Wall Street Journal column “A mole hunt for diversity ‘bias’ at Villanova.” If you are »

Sunday morning coming down: Philip Furia, RIP

Featured image On Friday we received the sad news that University of North Carolina-Wilmington Professor of English Philip Furia had died at the age of 75. Professor Furia died on April 3 following a stroke and fall at his home in Wilmington. The news came to us via Professor Furia’s friend Tony L. Hill, who is aware of the many acknowledgements of my debt to Professor Furia’s work deepening our understanding of »

Feel the truth, unity & love

Featured image In “Villainy at Villanova” I wrote about the Wall Street Journal column by Villanova Professors Colleen Sheehan and James Matthew Wilson as well as the response by the Villanova president and provost. The president and provost were big on the truth, unity, and love the new “diversity” questions in the student evaluation would bring to Villanova. Professors Sheehan and Wilson decried the enforced conformity they threatened. Sociology Professor Rory Kramer »

Villainy at Villanova

Featured image Last week the Wall Street Journal published the mind-boggling column “A Mole Hunt for Diversity ‘Bias’ at Villanova” (behind the Journal’s paywall), by Villanova Professors Colleen Sheehan and James Matthew Wilson. Sheehan is a professor of political science and a co-director of its Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good, Wilson a professor of religion and literature. They write from inside the belly »