Two weeks have passed since a student mob shouted down visiting lecturer Charles Murray at Middlebury College, injured a professor, and jumped up and down on Murray’s car. But college President Laurie Patton still hasn’t acted to deal with any of the perpetrators. The action necessary was laid out clearly and forcefully by Rod Dreher … Continue reading Crime But No Punishment at Middlebury?
Photo: The Rutland Herald I’m surprised there hasn’t been more outrage about the somewhat violent silencing of Charles Murray at Middlebury. I feel more than a little threatened by the fact that a political scientist was actually injured in the line of duty. I thought I had prudently chosen a profession where that just couldn’t … Continue reading The Bubble at Middlebury
Below is an excerpt from an article by Rod Dreher in The American Conservative on Middlebury students shouting down and harassing visiting speaker Charles Murray: “Middlebury College is on trial now. Its administration will either forthrightly defend liberal democratic norms, or it will capitulate. There is no middle ground. … These little Maoists studying at … Continue reading Middlebury Will Either Defend Democratic Norms or Capitulate
Photo: Erielle Davidson for The Daily Wire A few months ago, AEI’s student group at Middlebury College invited me to speak on the themes of Coming Apart and how they relate to the recent presidential election. Professor Allison Stanger of the Political Science Department agreed to serve as moderator of the Q&A and to ask the first … Continue reading Charles Murray on Why He Was Silenced at Middlebury
Last week came two more court decisions involving due process and campus sexual assault. The first, which involved a student at Case Western Reserve University, had Judge Christopher Boyko (a George W. Bush appointee) ruling that it was plausible the accused student was innocent and the CWRU had manufactured inculpatory evidence—but there was nothing he … Continue reading Weaponizing Title IX at Middlebury
Stop the presses. The president of a well-known college has actually come out for diversity of ideas, rather than just the narrow form of diversity prized on campus (skin color, gender, sexual orientation). In a baccalaureate address at Middlebury College’s graduation, President Ronald D. Liebowitz talked about the “value of discomfort” in listening to and … Continue reading Praising Discomfort at Middlebury
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
Monday’s Chronicle of Higher Education featured an article by Sarah Brown, a very one-sided article, on a gathering dealing with campus efforts to cope with sexual assault. It reviewed a federally-funded program, the National Center for Campus Public Safety, to better train colleges in adjudicating allegations of sexual assault. “I want to get this right,” … Continue reading Another Unbalanced View of Campus Sex Hearings
The case of Yale basketball player Jack Montague, who was expelled from Yale, allegedly because of a rape charge, has gotten a lot of press in the last few days. At this stage, I know nothing of the facts of the case, but I do know that Montague has lawyered up and his father told … Continue reading Accused, Expelled, and Smeared as a Rapist—at Yale
Yale is the only university that regularly issues reports on its handling of sexual assault complaints, the result of a 2012 resolution agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The university is also unusual in reporting so many sexual complaints, the result of its peculiar decision to broaden the campus definition of “sexual assault” … Continue reading Yale’s Imaginary Crime Wave
Student activists pressing universities to divest from fossil fuels are of two minds about free speech. They want it for themselves, but don’t seem keen on allowing it for opponents. The divestment movement didn’t invent free-speech hypocrisy, but divestment activists offer a range of old and new reasons as to why opposing views should not … Continue reading DIVESTERS: NO FREE SPEECH FOR OPPONENTS
And then there were none. In early August Psi Upsilon, the sole remaining residential fraternity house at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was suspended for the 2015-2016 academic year over an investigation by law enforcement over alleged illegal drug activity inside its house. Until the fall of 2014, there were three fraternity houses at Wesleyan, … Continue reading Wesleyan Finishes off Its Frats
When I was in college I got a job one summer blasting, scraping, and sanding the corroded sides of dry-docked ships. It sounded like nasty, if well-paid, work. But before I could don gloves and mask in my war on barnacles, some union called a strike and my job was wiped out. I ended up … Continue reading Metal Fatigue and Campus Pessimism
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all commencement speeches say more or less the same thing. All that really changes in the annual dusting off of “follow your heart,” “fix the world,” and “dare to face the great challenges” is the precise address of the heartfelt, world-fixing, great challenge that lies ahead. The space … Continue reading The Remarkable Class of 2015 Must Save the Planet
The post-Ferguson and post-Garner racial agitation has led to a wave of violent rhetoric and actual violence in the United States. Street protesters have called for “pigs in blankets,” declaring, “Arms up, shoot back,” and asking, “What do want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now.” This rhetoric has campus amplifiers. Is the infatuation with violence … Continue reading Campus Tolerance for Violence
Well, the 2015 U. S. News & World Report rankings are out, and here are the elite Top 10 for “National Universities”: 1. Princeton 2. Harvard 3. Yale 4. Columbia 4. Stanford 4. University of Chicago 7. MIT 8. Duke 8. Penn 10. California Institute of Technology And here are the rankings of the Top … Continue reading US News Rankings: Not Quite Ho-Hum
This article is third in a series on “the year that was” in higher education. The first two articles are here and here. Campus activism is, by and large, the world of make-believe. Whenever students occupy a president’s office, Tinkerbell is not far away. Whenever faculty demand a boycott, Professor Dumbledore winks at Professor Snape.
In analyzing the backlash against the American Studies Association’s demand for a boycott against all Israeli colleges and universities, two numbers are important: 81 and 4. No fewer than eighty-one college or university presidents have personally denounced the boycott (as helpfully compiled by Avi Mayer); the number is likely higher. But only four colleges or … Continue reading Just How Sincere Is the Anti-ASA Backlash?
Just three days after the American Studies Association announced its boycott of Israeli academic institutions, I was able to report here that Brandeis University and Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg would cancel their institutional memberships in the ASA. I predicted that more colleges and universities would join those two after the break. But some are not waiting. … Continue reading American Studies Association Boycott Update:
The Condemnations Pour In
As colleges begin using massive open online courses (MOOC) to reduce faculty costs, a Johns Hopkins University professor has announced plans for MOOA (massive open online administrations). Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg, author of The Fall of the Faculty, says that many colleges and universities face the same administrative issues every day. By having one experienced group … Continue reading Forget MOOCs–Let’s Use MOOA
PETER WOOD: Samuel Goldman seeks to distinguish the small and marginal subset “conservative defenders of liberal education” from other kinds of conservatives. He places these poor folks “in a blind alley.” They are, he says, at odds both with “potential allies outside the conservative movement” and with the conservative movement itself, which finds its center of … Continue reading Are Conservative Academics Stuck in a Blind Alley?
Two Responses to Samuel Goldman (and Peter Lawler)
Two trains carrying loads of conflicting values, requirements, and prohibitions affecting college admissions and hiring are hurtling rapidly toward each other, but no one seems aware of the impending collision. On one track, the Supreme Court is probably poised to impose new restrictions on race- and ethnicity-conscious policies in Fisher v. University of Texas and … Continue reading Preferences for Gays (and Gay Pretenders)?
When Isaac Newton went to the University of Cambridge several centuries ago, he studied seven days a week, at least ten hours a day, and actively avoided the revelry that some Cambridge undergraduates engaged in even then. No one expects American undergraduates to work as hard as Isaac Newton or as medieval monks. However, … Continue reading Majoring in Fun
The controversy over the Chronicle essay by Naomi Schaefer Riley provided an unusually rich insight into the mindset of defenders of the academic status quo. Over and over again, Riley’s critics advocated either a blatant double standard or transparently absurd positions. Take a few examples: On the double-standard front, in a twitter exchange with FIRE’s … Continue reading On Double Standards and Fantasy-Land Arguments
Professor of English Mark Bauerlein of Emory University reports on a harmonious conference on the humanities. Harmony is all very well, but perhaps the conference might have done better to raise embarrassing questions that might have made it more contentious – such as that English Departments have shifted away from offering traditional literature and instead … Continue reading An Unexpected Harmony on the Humanities, But…