Higher education

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 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 American popular »

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 »

Amherst flirts with Orwellian “language guide”

Featured image Last month, Amherst College’s office of diversity and inclusion issued a 36-page “Common Language Guide.” The document seeks to impose left-wing identity politics on the campus through the creation of a common way of talking about the left’s favorite issues. The document is truly Orwellian. The “Common Language Guide” isn’t easy to find on the internet, but you can access it here. The document consists, as the name suggests, of »

Jeffrey Hart, 1930-2019

Featured image When Jeffrey Hart died this past February, I posted the appreciation I had written for National Review in 1997. In my appreciation I wrote of Professor Hart in his aspect as a teacher. The just-published April 2019 issue of the New Criterion includes a brilliant tribute to Professor Hart by New Criterion managing editor James Panero. Like me, James is one of many among several generations of Dartmouth students whom »

Trump’s free speech on campus order, Stanley Kurtz’s take

Featured image Stanley Kurtz has devoted a vast amount of time and energy to the fight for freedom of expression on college campuses. I can’t think of anyone better qualified than Stanley to comment on President Trump’s executive order on the subject. Stanley strongly supports the order. He considers it “an inflection point in a decades-long struggle over the direction of the American academy” and indeed “a game-changer.” Stanley makes short work »

Trump set to issue order on campus free speech

Featured image As I write this, President Trump is poised to issue (or perhaps has just issued) an executive order directing federal agencies to tie research and education grants for colleges and universities to more aggressive enforcement of the First Amendment. Trump had announced his intention to issue such an order at the CPAC conference last month. According to the Wall Street Journal, the order instructs agencies, including the Departments of Education, »

Abolish the Ivy league—Or Break It Up?

Featured image The college admissions scandal that broke last week is another delightful reminder of the hypocrisy of academic liberalism, but I don’t think we’ve gotten anywhere close to grasping the full dimensions of it. Glenn Reynolds has long argued that we should “abolish the ivy league” in the name of equality, but I can think of another remedy, such as applying antitrust laws to what has obviously become a market-protecting cartel. »

Lessons and non-lessons from the college admissions scandal

Featured image The college admission fraud revelations are a scandal of some significance. The fraudulent behavior was reprehensible and fairly widespread. There are lessons to be learned. I agree with Heather Mac Donald that the two main ones are that “an elite college degree has taken on wildly inflated importance in American society, and the sports-industrial complex enjoys wildly inflated power within universities.” However, some of the lessons being extracted from the »

The college-admissions fraud

Featured image It seems like last year, but it was only last week that United States Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling announced the indictments and related arrests in the college admissions bribery scheme dubbed Operation Varsity Blues by the authorities. The Department of Justice has posted a press release with links to the charging documents filed so far here. It lists 50 defendants. Lelling held a big press conference with the FBI »

More on the Admissions Scam

Featured image We learned in recent months that the extent of pedophilia and sex abuse among Catholic clergy, and the church hierarchy coverup, was much more extensive than we had previously thought, and we may still have not got close to the heart of that matter. I’m wondering if we may find out something similar with the scandal that broke this week about buying admissions to elite colleges. Although the current indictment »

Who Declared This To Be Crazy Week?

Featured image Did I miss something, or did Trump use his power under the National Emergencies Act to declare this week to be Crazy Week? Because there sure does seem to be an extra helping of crazy going on, and it’s only Wednesday! • The college admission scandal is just too delicious to be believed. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of hypocritical, liberal-run institutions. One aspect of the scandal is »