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
This year is the 30th Anniversary of the publication of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind. That book made Bloom and anyone who liked it unambiguous enemies of the humanities. Bill Bennett, Dinesh D’Souza, Lynn Cheney, the founders of the National Association of Scholars and the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, Roger … Continue reading The Decline of the Humanities and Who’s to Blame
In an attempt to document “the impact of web-driven political outrage” on the lives of professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education launched a series called “Professors in the Political Cross Hairs.” Updated periodically whenever a new story unfolds of web-based attacks on professors for their classroom comments, opinion essays, tweets, or Facebook posts, The Chronicle … Continue reading The Campus Left’s Mass Attack on Amy Wax and Middle Class Values
I have been reading essays by David Horowitz for nearly fifty years, starting when he became an editor of the radical new-left magazine, Ramparts, in 1968, and I was a high school student prepping for debates about the Vietnam war. David famously moved beyond his red diaper origins, his Marxist enthusiasms, and his admiration of … Continue reading David Horowitz: Battlefield Notes from a War Gone Unnoticed
On both sides of the Atlantic, complaints are frequently raised about the relative absence of intellectual and political diversity in the Academy. The main emphasis of these criticisms is that teachers holding conservative and right-wing views are seriously underrepresented in university departments, particularly in the social sciences and the humanities. Responsibility for the feeble state … Continue reading The Long Plight of the Right on Campus
Portland State University scholar Bruce Gilley drew a lot of attention with his August 29 article on Minding the Campus, “Why I’m leaving the Political Science Association.” A week or so later, he provoked an even greater controversy by telling readers of the Third World Quarterly what they don’t want to hear. “The Case for … Continue reading The Article that Made 16,000 Ideologues Go Wild
Looking forward to a lively annual conference of the American Political Science Association, due to start this week in San Francisco, I proposed a panel on “Viewpoint Diversity in Political Science.” After all, I thought, wasn’t the 2016 election a signal lesson in the continuing relevance of diverse viewpoints in the American body politic? My … Continue reading Why I’m Leaving the Political Science Association
American University’s pervasive left-wing political climate has not prevented nasty racial incidents, but it sure has facilitated official overreaction antithetical to academia. AU is rapidly moving further than many other colleges and universities to enshrine ideological indoctrination into the curriculum in the name of diversity and inclusion. Racist Incidents on AU’s Campus The campus witnessed … Continue reading Diversity Overreach at American University
Maranto and Woessner reply to Peter Wood’s excellent critique: Our recent Chronicle of Higher Education essay makes the case that while conservatives and libertarians are dramatically outnumbered among higher education faculty by those on the left, fears that college students suffer ideological indoctrination are overblown. In his sensible, nuanced reply, our friend Peter Wood suggests … Continue reading Are Conservative Fears of Campus Indoctrination Overblown?
Robert Maranto and Mathew Woessner are not alone. They are two political scientists who assure us that leftist domination of the faculty does not mean that college students are coming away from their campuses indoctrinated in progressive ideology. Maranto and Woessner’s latest version of this argument was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education as … Continue reading Yes, Campus Indoctrination is Real
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?