Higher education

What I believe

Featured image Larry Bacow, the president of Harvard, blasted this email to members of the Harvard Community: The last several months have been disorienting for all of us. COVID-19 has profoundly disrupted the lives of people worldwide. It has caused more than 365,000 deaths around the globe and more than 100,000 in the United States alone. Forty million Americans have lost their jobs, and countless others live in fear of both the »

Epstein had Harvard office after conviction for sex crimes

Featured image Harvard University president Larry Bacow has sent a memo to Harvard “alumni and friends.” The memo provides what Bacow says is an “update” on “the full review of Jeffrey Epstein’s connections to the University.” Bacow’s memo discusses only Epstein’s financial contributions to Harvard. He states: The report [by Harvard’s general counsel] confirms that the University received a total of $9.1 million in gifts from Epstein between 1998 and 2008 to »

Arizona House passes campus intellectual diversity bill

Featured image I wrote here about Stanley Kurtz’s tireless efforts to work with state legislatures to pass laws that protect campus free speech and promote intellectual diversity. I discussed, in particular, what Stanley calls the third wave of campus reform legislation. The third wave focuses on intellectual diversity. Stanley explained: The basic idea is to have public universities create offices of Public Policy Events, which would be charged with organizing debates, panel »

Premoting campus freedom and intellectual diversity, the third legislative wave

Featured image My friend Stanley Kurtz has worked tirelessly with state legislatures to pass laws that protect campus free speech and promote intellectual diversity. Stanley’s efforts have paid off. Beginning in 2015, a number of state legislatures passed laws banning so-called campus free-speech zones. Two years later came the second wave of campus reform legislation. These laws not only abolish free-speech zones but provide for the disciplining of students who shout down »

Angela Davis does Yale

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports that Yale tapped Angela Davis as a Martin Luther King Day speaker last week. Who, students might have wondered if they had been so inclined, is Angela Davis? The Yale Daily News identified her in its story on her speech as an “activist.” Ron Radosh recalled in the 2012 Washington Times column “Jury isn’t out on Angela Davis” when the D.C. Superior Court »

CRB: Pride and prejudice at Harvard

Featured image This morning we conclude our celebration of the twentieth year of the second coming of the Claremont Review of Books. Its new (Fall) issue is in the mail. The magazine has moved to a sleek new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). The editors have made the new issue freely accessible for the next few days. This is the last of my previews. Each of the four pieces previewed here »

Fish out of water

Featured image Once upon a time, Stanley Fish was a state of the art radical professor — “a scrappy advocate of multiculturalism, affirmative-action hiring quotas, campus speech codes and openly subversive strains of post-structuralist critical theory,” to quote the view attributed to his critics by the New York Times. Fish transformed the Duke University English department into a bastion of “deconstructionism” — the view that literary texts acquire meaning only as a »

Trump combats anti-Semitism on campus

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order that will enable the government to consider discrimination against Jews to be a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This means that colleges and universities can lose federal funding if they fail to combat discrimination against Jewish students. Trump’s move is a response to the growing number of anti-Semitic incidents on our campuses. To receive Title VI protection, Jews must »

Administrative bloat and the attack on campus free speech

Featured image Almost since the start of Power Line in 2002, we have reported with dismay the descent of American colleges and universities into a leftist bastion of illiberalism. Most of our focus has been on professors, and not without reason. They are the ones who have degraded the teaching of humanities through their obsession with identify politics and disdain for Western Civilization. However, I came away from this year’s ATHENA Roundtable »

Princeton today

Featured image Four years ago, we published an article by a distinguished alum of Princeton University. He documented the leftist takeover of Princeton, tracing it back to the late 1960s and the rise of William Bowen and Shirley Tilghman. He wrote: Over the years, beginning as early as the 1960s and 1970s, Princeton loaded up its faculty with liberals, socialists, Marxists, and other fellow travellers, and more recently, with people like Paul »

Noble savages revisited

Featured image At my oldest daughter’s primary school in the 1990’s, study of the Yanomamö bushmen permeated the curriculum. By the time my daughter moved on from the school to seventh grade, I believe she “knew” (I think much of what she was taught isn’t true) more about the Yanomamö than she did about American history. I should have been paying more attention, but I had other battles to fight with the »

Racial discrimination forever, Harvard edition

Featured image Scott has already written about the decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which upholds excluding many Asian-American applicants to Harvard who, by all objective criteria should be admitted, on the theory that they fit the stereotype of being, in effect, too serious. Harvard doesn’t really think the Asian-American applicants are too serious. It just needs an excuse for keeping a lid on the number of Asian-Americans at Harvard »

Affirmative action forever, Harvard edition

Featured image Federal district court judge Allison Burroughs has upheld Harvard’s racially discriminatory admissions policy in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (embedded below). Long story short: Harvard’s discrimination is all in a good cause. Asian-Americans are only incidental victims and they aren’t treated any more poorly in the process than white students. Harvard doesn’t mean anything invidious by it. The AP story on the ruling is here. Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s 2018 »

Attn: Yalies—Time to Rally

Featured image This week’s mail brought me Anthony Kronman’s new book, The Assault on American Excellence, which begins with a chronicle of the follies of Yale University, where Kronman teaches and once served as dean of Yale Law. I’ve been looking forward to this book, as I’m a fan of Kronman’s previous books, especially Education’s End. I got to meet Prof. Kronman at a terrific colloquium about Max Weber last year at »

The Collapse of English Lit at Columbia

Featured image Scenes from the higher education apocalypse: I don’t know whether Columbia University’s graduate program in English literature is as premier in the field as it was back in the glory days of Lionel Trilling, but yesterday the Chronicle of Higher Education reported this: Columbia Had Little Success Placing English Ph.Ds on Tenure Track. “Alarm” Followed, and the University Responded The story is unfortunately behind the Chronicle‘s paywall, but when you »

China’s assault on free speech in Australia and New Zealand

Featured image Last year, we wrote about Confucius Institutes, Red China’s vehicle for conducting ideological warfare in the United States. Beginning in 2004, the Chinese government planted “Institutes” that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States. As the National Association of Scholars (NAS) has documented, the Confucius Institutes avoid Chinese political history and human rights abuses, portray Taiwan »

The war on standards and the assault on American excellence

Featured image I have written many times about the war on standards — the effort to discard or lower standards because members of certain groups fail, to a disproportionate degree, to meet them. Battlegrounds in the war on standards include, but are not limited to, college admissions, employment selection, school discipline, and the criminal justice system. A new book by Anthony Kronman bears the title The Assault on American Excellence. Predictably, American »