By Richard Vedder I didn’t sleep too well last night, thanks to Heterodox Academy’s (and NYU’s) Jonathan Haidt and John Leo, who recently carried on a provocative exchange in this space. Two questions really bothered me: Why is there so little intellectual diversity in the academy? And what can we do about the related problem … Continue reading How the Leftist Monoculture Took Over the Campus
Political correctness – the academic aping of the class struggle — has increasingly generated campus hijinks unintentionally redolent of the cartoonist Al Capp’s 1960s depiction of S.W.I.N.E. (Students Wildly Indignant about Nearly Everything). Recently, referring to the plague of campus hoaxes regarding rape and race, capped off by the ruckus at Oberlin College because of … Continue reading The Leftist Intellectuals Hovering over the Campuses
Free speech on campuses has come on hard times. By now, we are all too familiar with the litany: invited speakers disinvited, talks by honored guests disrupted by shouting protesters, vandalism and riots forcing the cancellation of events, campus security announcing it cannot guarantee public safety. The disruptions and attacks come almost entirely from an … Continue reading Universities, Free Speech and the Rise of the Spit-Viper Left
A paper recently published in Econ Journal Watch, “Faculty Voter Registration in Economics, History, Journalism, Law, and Psychology,” shows what almost everyone believes to be true – that college faculties in the social sciences are predominantly left of center. More than that, it shows that this is truer in some fields and geographic regions than … Continue reading College Faculties, Heavily Tilted Toward the Left, Shun Diverse Viewpoints
When Reason Goes on Holiday is a new book with a distressingly familiar theme: intellectuals who preached reason and research while glorifying romantic ideals of revolution and the ideas of Lenin, Mao and Castro. The author, Neven Sesardic, deals with some big names in modern philosophy and shows that the wooly-headed politics associated with the … Continue reading Beware the Political Philosopher
Our recent campus upheavals, focusing at times on offensive speech, have provoked a worry: are colleges infantilizing their students? Last March, the journalist and cultural critic Judith Shulevitz raised this concern in a tour de force of an op-ed, in which she argued that protecting students from offensive speech, except in the most extreme cases, … Continue reading Should Colleges Coddle the Whiners?
“Academe is Overrun by Liberals. So What?” UCLA historian Russell Jacoby both declares and asks in a long Chronicle of Higher Education essay. Although published on April 1, it is presumably not an April Fool’s joke. For a number or reasons — not all of which coexist easily —Jacoby dismisses out of hand the notion … Continue reading Is the Glut of Liberals In Academia Benign?
Mitchell Langbert, a professor at Brooklyn College, wrote last week about the grandly titled and resolutely leftist faculty union that he and all teachers at CUNY are stuck with, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC). Langbert mentioned, briefly, that PSC had made no effort to defend our excellent writer, KC Johnson when KC was under attack … Continue reading The Power of Buzzwords, like ‘Dispositions” and ‘Social Justice’
By Fred Siegel Twenty-five years ago, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.—premier historian of twentieth-century American liberalism, highbrow courtier to the Kennedys, and grey eminence for the Kennedy’s would-be successors—published The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society. The Schlesinger of the 1950s idolized Adlai Stevenson, whose professorial demeanor endeared him to academia. Academic expertise was, as … Continue reading America’s ‘Soft Civil War’ Is Here
The students at Mizzou and Yale caught in twin episodes of contrived campus racial hysteria have been described as narcissists and self-indulgent brats catered to by their parents who told them how special they were and expecting the same judgment from college. Handed what they understand as the attitudinal keys to the kingdom, they’re enraged when … Continue reading After Many Woeful Failures, the Colleges Avoid Change
It’s easy to mock the sheer silliness of postmodernism. But the pretensions of our present-day sophists, who traffic in knowingness as opposed to knowledge, have wormed their way off campus and into American life. No evidence, no logic is required to take a position on any issue since everything is merely about story telling backed by … Continue reading Postmodernism Comes to CUNY
Scott Walker made himself into a presidential candidate with his victory over the minions of Madison, Wisconsin. Despite the howling demonstrations inside and outside the state capital building, Walker succeeded in passing ACT 10. It stripped the public sector unions of their most powerful organizing tool — the dues check-off, by which unions fees were automatically deducted … Continue reading SCOTT WALKER VS. THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
John Dewey said the job of education was to free students from the intellectual captivity imposed by “village truths,” the groupthink version of reality they had grown up with. But the irony now is that liberalism, once created in opposition to small-town traditionalism, has generated its own all-encompassing “village truths” creating conformism on today’s campus. Students are now subject to a … Continue reading How Our Campuses Came to Reject Free Speech
People reading Frank Macchiarola’s obituary today will, no doubt, be struck at the variety of his achievements. Frank, who wrote for this site, was widely regarded as the most successful New York Schools Chancellor, but he was also a success as a Law School Dean, Chair of Charter Commissions, CEO of the NYC Partnership and … Continue reading Frank Macchiarola, an Extraordinary Man
Alan S. Kahan has cast new light on an ongoing conflict with origins in classical antiquity if not earlier. Kahan’s Mind vs. Money: The War Between Intellectuals and Capitalism is a learned and engaging account of the tension between the amorality of the marketplace and the moralism of would-be priestly authorities. Until the Enlightenment, merchants … Continue reading 150 Years of Contempt for Free Markets
In trying to explain why even the best of students have sometimes received an exceedingly narrow education, former Congresswoman Heather Wilson touches on the issue of academic self interest. “Perhaps,” she writes, “faculty members are themselves more narrowly specialized because of pressure to publish original work in ever more obscure journals.” It’s a good point … Continue reading Is College Education Too Narrow?
The trajectory of my career changed in late 2006, although I could never have recognized it at the time. I am a tenured full professor of journalism at Michigan State University. I was sitting in my office when a student dropped by and identified himself as the chairman of the MSU College Republicans. They needed … Continue reading Beware the Sensitivity Gestapo
“Each successive generation since the mid-60s has read less, mastered a smaller body of knowledge, and possessed a more meager vocabulary than its predecessors. What makes the members of the current generation different is that they appear unembarrassed by their ignorance. The products of a school system devised and maintained by the processed-oriented professors of … Continue reading Troublemaker
On June 4th of this year Paul Berman published an extraordinary 28,000 word New Republic essay on contemporary Islamic philosopher Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University and his liberal apologists, Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash, who write for the New York Review of Books. Berman’s essay was criticized by some for being too long, too … Continue reading Trying To Answer Paul Berman
Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash are two of the leading critics of Ayan Hirsi Ali whom they deride as an “enlightenment fundamentalist” for her defense of free speech in the face of violent Islamic intimidation. They are also two of the leading apologists for the sophisticated Islamism of Tariq Ramadan, the grandson and intellectual … Continue reading “Liberal” Professorial Apologists For Radical Islam