Higher education

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 »

The song remains the same

Featured image Driving over to see the Center of the American Experiment’s worldwide premiere of No Safe Spaces at the Parkway Theater this past Tuesday, I had a flashback to the premiere of a movie that we promoted at the Campus Theater in 2007: Indoctrinate U. That film also depicted the parlous state of free speech in higher education. After working on the film for three years, director Evan Coyne Maloney came »

Who Needs Wokileaks?

Featured image I got a large response from my latest whimsical Tweet yesterday: But who needs it, since most of the scandals of higher education today are out in plain sight? Such as this announcement for a brand new “Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Minor” at the University of Denver, which reads like a parody: The new Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) minor brings together the best of what the University has to »

Railroaded Purdue student to get his day in court, but it wasn’t easy

Featured image Purdue University suspended a male student for a year after his former girlfriend accused him of sexual assault. The male student was also kicked out of the school’s Navy ROTC program. This cost him his scholarship and his plan to pursue a career in the Navy. The male student denies committing sexual misconduct. He also alleges that Purdue took the disciplinary action through a shoddy process in which, among other »

The Continuing Crisis of Higher Ed

Featured image I’m behind in a roundup of important signs and signals of the crisis engulfing our colleges and universities right now, but there’s one story out this week that deserves flagging for immediate attention: Two-Thirds of American Employees Regret Their College Degrees A college education is still considered a pathway to higher lifetime earnings and gainful employment for Americans. Nevertheless, two-thirds of employees report having regrets when it comes to their »

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 »