These days, administrators at public universities must be very jealous of their counterparts at private institutions. As non-governmental actors, private college administrators can suppress any speech they don’t like – or, probably more to the point, that displeases their dissent-intolerant student constituents. There is no better illustration of the extremes to which a university will … Continue reading How ‘Soft Censorship’ Works at College
At Middlebury, where Charles Murray was prevented from speaking about the disintegrating white working class, college president Laurie Patton made some appropriate comments on the need for free speech. But her remarks seemed slightly out of focus, as if the crisis revolved around discord between two groups of students, not basic freedom of expression, and … Continue reading Colleges Still Lack Integrity on Canceled Speeches
Anthony Esolen is an embattled professor at Providence (R.I.) College, an aggressively Catholic believer at an institution run by Dominican priests but less forthrightly Catholic than he is. Esolen teaches Renaissance literature and the development of Western culture. Among his books is a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy regarded as one of the best. He … Continue reading A Catholic Professor’s Problems at a Catholic College
While ersatz “credit recovery” and grade inflation devalue the high school diploma by boosting graduation rates even as NAEP, PISA, PARCC, SAT, and sundry other measures show that no true gains are being made in student achievement, forces are at work to do essentially the same thing to the college diploma. Observe the new move by CalState … Continue reading How to Make College as Bad as High School
Every so often, someone in the higher ed establishment does a bit of cheerleading for the team –proclaim that college degrees are so beneficial that the country should try to put far more young people through college. The most venerable such effort is a report that the College Board puts out every three years entitled … Continue reading Enough of the College-for-Everyone Agenda
Many of my colleagues and students are responding to the results of the 2016 presidential election with fear, disappointment, and disbelief. For some, Trump’s victory and the social unrest that followed dramatically changed their perceptions of Americans, democracy, and human nature. They are mourning the loss of a progressive dream. Although I share my colleagues’ … Continue reading How Colleges and Universities Foster “Hate Culture”
By Rod Dreher Many readers will have heard of Anthony Esolen, the robustly orthodox Catholic literature professor at Providence College, the Dominican-run college in Rhode Island. Prof. Esolen is the author of a number of books, including an exquisite translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is one of the three translations I recommend to anyone who asks me … Continue reading Diversicrats Take on Catholic Scholar at Catholic College
The Obama administration has repeatedly violated civil liberties on campus. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has been the chief culprit, but the Department of Justice has played a role too. They have attacked free speech, demanding that school officials censor politically-incorrect speech. They have also pressured colleges to stack the deck against … Continue reading What the Feds Have Done to Colleges and Schools
In an essay on Catholic higher education published in First Things before his death in 2009, Fr. Richard Neuhaus wrote: “When a school is haggling over its mission statement, it is a sure sign that it has already lost its way.” While Fr. Neuhaus never taught on a Catholic campus, he understood that debating over … Continue reading Catholic Colleges Define Down Their Catholic Identity
National Universities (in order of rank or tie) Princeton University (NJ) Harvard University (MA) University of Chicago (IL) (tie) Yale University (CT) (tie) Columbia University (NY) (tie) Stanford University (CA) (tie) Massachusetts Institute of Technology Duke University (NC) (tie) University of Pennsylvania (tie) Johns Hopkins University (MD) National Liberal Arts Colleges Williams College (MA) Amherst College … Continue reading 2017 US News Top Ranked Colleges
The federal government happily subsidizes inferior state colleges that graduate few if any of their students. That includes Chicago State University, which has a 12.8 percent six-year graduation rate. The Obama administration has rewritten federal student loan rules in a way that encourages colleges to raise tuition and effectively subsidizes the worst colleges the most. The Federal Reserve Bank of … Continue reading Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools
One of the pillars of our education establishment, The Education Trust, recently published a report meant to pressure colleges and universities with large endowments into spending more of their earnings on one of its pet causes – very low or even free tuition for students from poorer families. The study, “A Glimpse Inside the Coffers: … Continue reading Top College Endowments Are Political Targets Now
By Chance Layton In April, when the U.S. Department of Education released its list of religious colleges with exemptions from certain Title IX regulations, it unleashed a torrent of outrage and criticism directed against “bigoted and “intolerant” institutions of religious instruction. Two hundred thirty-two colleges had requested waivers from the Department’s gender identity non-discrimination policy, which would … Continue reading Gunning for Religious Colleges in California
Nearly 600,000 foreign undergraduate students now study at US colleges and universities, some 165,000 of them from China, the total from China grew by nearly 30 percent in 2009/2010, with a percentage rise in double digits every year since, according to the Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors” report, funded by the U.S. Department of … Continue reading How Chinese Students Are Changing Our Colleges
Not long ago, I wrote a piece for City Journal about my alma mater entitled, unsubtly: How My Friends and I Wrecked Pomona College. I saw it as a very belated mea culpa, for it detailed the malicious glee with which, back in the Sixties, we student radicals forced well-meaning, weak-willed administrators to abandon the … Continue reading I Helped Shove My College Downhill
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?
We are reviving the Sheldon award for worst college president of the year. It is named for the late Sheldon Hackney, who presided over many college disasters, including Penn’s water buffalo controversy and the theft of a complete edition of the University of Pennsylvania student newspaper that included a column criticizing affirmative action. The thieves … Continue reading Worst College President of 2015—Who Wins the Sheldon?
How can it be that, in the face of daily news of murders, grotesque punishments, and open oppression by radicals abroad, here at home American college students, who have grown up with degrees of freedom and autonomy virtually unknown in most times and places, agitate for restrictions on their own campuses, demand rules, regulations, and … Continue reading How Political Correctness Corrupted the Colleges
With so many campuses under renewed pressure to create “safe spaces” from political speech and dissent, growing numbers are asking us at Heterodox Academy: Where can I (or my children) go to encounter at least some modicum of viewpoint diversity among the faculty? While there are many college guides with an eye to politics, they point … Continue reading A College Guide to Viewpoint Diversity
This is the introduction to the November 10, 2015 report: Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels – from the National Association of Scholars. A movement focused on persuading college trustees to sell off institutional holdings in coal, oil, and gas might sound like a minor trend. Students protest things … Continue reading A Movement to Turn Colleges and Students Against Coal, Oil and Gas
Following student protests, the President of Pomona College has acceded to a long list of demands from blacks and other “marginalized” students, according to a report in the Claremont Independent, a magazine covering the Claremont McKenna consortium of colleges in Claremont, California. President David Oxtoby reportedly signed off on demands that include the following: A diversity … Continue reading Has Pomona College Caved to Protesters?
British feminist Julie Bindel was scheduled to speak at Manchester University on a panel discussing the subject “From Liberation to Censorship: Does Modern Feminism Have a Problem with Free Speech?’ That question was answered by the university student union, which canceled her appearance on the panel as a potential violation of “safe space” for transgender … Continue reading Feminist Censored from Censorship Panel
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has just released its sixth edition of “What Will They Learn,” examining the coherence (or lack of it) of the subjects and courses American college students take. These are excerpts from the executive summary. By and large, higher education has abandoned a coherent, content-rich general education curriculum. … Continue reading THE CHAOS OF COLLEGE CURRICULA
Sixty-six percent of the graduates of my alma mater earn more than people who have only a high-school diploma. This fact comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education’s new “College Scorecard.” I took advantage of the online interactive system to see how well Haverford College alumni stack up in the race to achieve financial … Continue reading College Scorecard: How Much Will You Earn?
These comments were delivered at the 2015 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Symposium on “The Future of Higher Education” June 3 in Washington D.C. The event was co-sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and National Affairs. The full transcript of the symposium is here. Some conservative critics say that the main problem in American higher education … Continue reading Emptying Content from College Courses