Troubling News from North Carolina

I’ve written previously about the scandal at the University of North Carolina, where for several years, students (who were disproportionately members of UNC athletics teams) took no-show courses in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. UNC has, not altogether convincingly, maintained that the scandal is solely an academic scandal and is solely confined to … Continue reading Troubling News from North Carolina

Wright At Northwestern, Opinion At Dartmouth, And Beer

– After being offered and then denied an honorary degree by Northwestern University, Jeremiah Wright returned to speak at that institution on Friday, in a speech closed to media. The Daily Northwestern was there, and, while Wright’s remarks don’t seem to be particularly interesting, the opinions of students present clearly were. One attendee, echoing opinion … Continue reading Wright At Northwestern, Opinion At Dartmouth, And Beer

Northwestern Makes The Cold War Disappear

In order to fulfill the requirements for a major in history at Northwestern University, my daughter took a course called “The Cold War At Home.” As one might imagine in the hothouse of the college system, left wing views predominate. The students read Ellen Shrecker, not Ronald Radosh. Joseph McCarthy has been transmogrified into Adolf … Continue reading Northwestern Makes The Cold War Disappear

Universities, Free Speech and the Rise of the Spit-Viper Left

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

The Seven Deadly Sins of Higher Education

About 15 years ago I began writing extensively about the rising cost of higher education, even starting a research center (the Center for College Affordability and Productivity) focused on that topic. I am now convinced that rising costs are NOT the dominant problem facing our universities. There are at least seven deadly sins –not precisely … Continue reading The Seven Deadly Sins of Higher Education

Are 3-Year Bachelors Programs Worth It?

Three-year bachelor’s degrees are back in the news mostly because colleges and universities are coming under heavy pressure to make higher education more affordable. Last month New York University, one of the most expensive schools, launched its “NYU Accelerate,” which officials called “a new program that outlines pathways to make it easier for some students to … Continue reading Are 3-Year Bachelors Programs Worth It?

Can We Save Public Universities?

There was a time not so long ago when elite public institutions, such as the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin, more than held their own against competition from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and other elite private institutions. Berkeley’s reputation for academic excellence in the 1950s and 60s … Continue reading Can We Save Public Universities?

The Age of Liberal Education Is Ending

America’s universities are collapsing into a miasma of postmodernism and multiculturalism. They have been approaching peak radicalization for several decades now, but in recent years the cultural left has pushed toward a complete takeover of our campuses. A hyper “political correctness”—with trigger warnings, safe spaces, micro-aggressions, censorship, and sometimes even physical violence—has enveloped our universities. … Continue reading The Age of Liberal Education Is Ending

2017 US News Top Ranked Colleges

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

Wear that Batik Dress and You’re a Cultural Appropriator

 What follows are excerpts from the keynote speech on “Fiction and Identity Politics” delivered September 8 at the Brisbane Writers Festival in Australia by Lionel Shriver. Let’s start with a tempest-in-a-teacup at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Earlier this year, two students, both members of student government, threw a tequila-themed birthday party for a friend. … Continue reading Wear that Batik Dress and You’re a Cultural Appropriator

Why Colleges Don’t Have Fair Hearings on Sexual Assault

Some politicians and media outlets seem to believe that college and university campuses are beset by a culture that is indifferent to rape and that the procedures for investigating and adjudicating claims of sexual assault are so one-sided as to constitute gender discrimination against female accusers. In reality, schools for decades have denied meaningful due … Continue reading Why Colleges Don’t Have Fair Hearings on Sexual Assault

Progressive Policing of Speech Moves Off Campus

“Hate speech is excluded from protection,” CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tweeted last year, echoing a dangerously common misconception. “Hate speech isn’t free speech,” people say, assuming they have a right not to hear whatever they consider hateful language and ideas. Government officials sometimes share this view: The Mayor of West Hollywood confirmed to Eugene Volokh … Continue reading Progressive Policing of Speech Moves Off Campus

The Endless Muddle of Transgender Policy

(Part II) The incoherence of the new Office for Civil Rights transgender policy becomes even clearer when one looks beyond bathrooms to locker rooms, and the athletic teams they serve. The “Dear Colleague” letter states that “Title IX regulations permit a school to operate or sponsor sex-segregated athletics teams when selection for such teams is … Continue reading The Endless Muddle of Transgender Policy

Transgender and the Transformation of Civil Rights

Although it seems as though the transgender tsunami has been howling forever, in fact it hit the shore of national fixation only four months ago, in March, when the North Carolina legislature passed, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed, House Bill 2, which restricted access to the state’s public sex-segregated restrooms by, well, sex, as defined … Continue reading Transgender and the Transformation of Civil Rights

The Fisher Decision: Not Good News, But…

The Supreme Court today upheld the University of Texas’s use of racial preferences in student admissions.  The vote was 4-3, with Justice Kennedy writing the majority opinion, joined by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor (Justice Kagan was recused).  Justice Alito write a powerful, 51-page dissent, which he read from the bench. Needless to say, for … Continue reading The Fisher Decision: Not Good News, But…

The Feds Make a Mess of Sex and Gender

The never-resting Office for Civil Rights (OCR) U.S. Department of Education and the equally insomnolent Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department have just issued their latest “Dear Colleague” letter advising the stewards of the nation’s schools of their newest responsibility. The “Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students” consists of five pages of text, … Continue reading The Feds Make a Mess of Sex and Gender

Limp Administrators Let the Angry Few Take Over

The tumultuous, racially charged demonstrations that rocked American campuses this fall show few signs of abating. In fact, they’re spreading across the country because student activists have been emboldened by their “successes.” For example, at the University of Missouri, the president and chancellor resigned amid protests (even the football team threatened to go on strike) … Continue reading Limp Administrators Let the Angry Few Take Over

Appalachian State Takes Diversity Groveling to a New Low

College officials usually wait until there has been some “crisis” – most often imaginary, based on a hoax or misapprehension – before they introduce new measures meant to “improve diversity” on campus. At Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, however, the administration recently introduced a new “bias incident response team” (BIRT) as a way to … Continue reading Appalachian State Takes Diversity Groveling to a New Low

Judge Ends Mockery at Chattanooga

Earlier this week, Tennessee Chancery Court Judge Carol McCoy overturned the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s decision to brand one of its students, Corey Mock, a rapist. The case attracted an unusual amount of attention. Mock had been a star wrestler for the UTC program. His accuser, Molly Morris, had gone public with her version of events … Continue reading Judge Ends Mockery at Chattanooga

WHY ELITE STUDENTS GET ELITE JOBS

The conventional meritocratic recipe for success is simple enough: study hard in school, get good grades, be involved in one’s community, find an appropriate college, apply for jobs in your field of study, and everything else falls in place. But that’s not how it really works says Lauren A. Rivera, author of Pedigree: How Elite Students … Continue reading WHY ELITE STUDENTS GET ELITE JOBS

Hamstringing Online Colleges

Federal rules for state authorization of online college teaching raise some odd questions. Why is Massachusetts charging $40,000 for an online college to hire a work-from-home professor living on the Vermont-Massachusetts border? Why does North Carolina demand a $37,000 fee before allowing administrators with a distance learning university to meet prospective students face to face? … Continue reading Hamstringing Online Colleges

ARE SCOTT WALKER’S UNIVERSITY BUDGET CUTS A WIN FOR STUDENTS?

Should college professors teach more? Specifically, should professors at public research universities devote more time to teaching undergraduates, and less to research? In two states this, um, academic question has become a political controversy, one likely to crop up elsewhere. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican presidential candidate, has proposed a tuition freeze and … Continue reading ARE SCOTT WALKER’S UNIVERSITY BUDGET CUTS A WIN FOR STUDENTS?

NOT IN AN ELITE COLLEGE? NO WORRIES!

Frank Bruni is a New York Times columnist who has figured out something important – many Americans are completely caught up in the costly, pointless, and often damaging obsession with getting their children into our supposedly elite colleges and universities.  His new book, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, is his effort at … Continue reading NOT IN AN ELITE COLLEGE? NO WORRIES!

The Muslim Call to Prayer at Duke

On January 14—a Wednesday—Duke University announced its decision to broadcast a Muslim call to prayer (the adhan) on campus at 1:00 every Friday afternoon.  An uproar ensued, fueled in part by Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) writing about the decision on his Facebook page.  The next day, Duke backed down, canceling its plan to issue the amplified adhan from … Continue reading The Muslim Call to Prayer at Duke

Duke a Fat Target for Due Process Lawsuits

Among the many institutions facing due process lawsuits none, perhaps, is more deserving than Duke, a university that all but defined hostility to due process in the lacrosse case. The school lost in court last year, in a case filed by Lewis McLeod, whom Duke had branded a rapist after a highly dubious procedure. McLeod … Continue reading Duke a Fat Target for Due Process Lawsuits