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
Harvey Mudd College has been roiled by a self-study, informally titled the Wabash report, that referred to some anonymous faculty declaring that efforts to promote diversity in the student body had lowered the quality of the school. At first, the school tried to block publication or censor parts of the report, completed in 2015, but … Continue reading Some Faculty Say Diversity Lowers Academic Quality
Imagine if the CUNY administration had issued a general message to all CUNY faculty last year, asking them to “teach resistance” in one of their classes, to focus a “discussion of the [Obama] administration policies relevant to their subject.” Such a move would have been seen as a clear transgression of academic freedom and would have … Continue reading CUNY Union Calls for Faculty to Teach Controversial Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’
The data are beginning to bear out the popular theory that free speech on campus is in steady decline. A study commissioned by the William F. Buckley Center at Yale found that 51% of college students favor speech codes to regulate speech for both faculty and students. Relatedly, a Pew poll found that a full … Continue reading The Campus Left Discovers Free Speech
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
With the demise of the Friedrichs case, with the post-Scalia Supreme Court giving a 4-4 victory to organized labor, it seems likely that the faculty unions that currently exist at public universities will survive. At the same time, the increasing number of adjuncts creates a potentially awkward situation: should faculty unions equally seek to represent … Continue reading Faculty Unions and the Problem of Adjuncts
What’s going on when a public university feels entitled to ask potential faculty members questions clearly aimed at ferreting out their political and social commitments? Such questions, reminiscent of loyalty oaths and the demands of totalitarian regimes would seem to have no place in an educational institution in modern-day America. But for some years now, … Continue reading Political Tests for Faculty?
According to many critics, the case is shut. Higher education — the one American institution that should make intellectual diversity a first priority — actually appears to do just the opposite. In fact, some critics suggest that universities have made it a top priority to create an environment of intellectual homogeneity – to an extent … Continue reading Affirmative Action for Conservative Faculty?
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
John K. Wilson, editor of The Academe Blog, severely criticized Peter Wood’s January 13 article, “What Candidates Can Do for Higher Education Now.” His text is below, followed by Peter Wood’s reply. By John K. Wilson National Association of Scholars president Peter Wood has a column at Minding the Campus today arguing for an 7-point plan for … Continue reading Left vs. Right on Higher Education
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
Here’s how conservative scholar Steven F. Hayward responded to the question, which was asked by the Intercollegiate Review Michael Sandel, who is a critic of the left from within the left; Robert Putnam, whose work tends to ratify a lot of conservative insights about social order; William Galston, one of the few liberal students of … Continue reading Which Thinkers on the Political Left Do You Most Respect?
The Supreme Court will consider two key cases relating to higher education this term. Fisher could curtail the use of racial preferences in admissions. Friedrichs could require higher-education unions to represent only those members who agree with the union’s usefulness. As currently structured, public employee unions, including those at colleges and universities, must refund the portion … Continue reading CUNY’s Faculty Union and the First Amendment
Last Wednesday, 72 left-wing groups, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, American Association of University Women, and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, asked federal civil-rights officials to crack down on anonymous politically-incorrect speech on campus, which they claim violates federal civil-rights laws such as Title IX. They claim they are concerned about “harassment” on anonymous … Continue reading Yik Yak—Latest Target of the Anti-Free-Speech Left
Along with many others, I received an email last week from Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors. Because the AAUP is best known for defending academic freedom, valued by both liberals and conservatives, and because it represents the academic profession as a whole, it has cultivated a reputation for nonpartisanship. Fichtenbaum … Continue reading The AAUP Takes a Sharp Left Turn
By Taylor Schmitt I have some confessions to make: I am a liberal. I am pro-choice. I favor the legalization of gay marriage and marijuana. Given supreme authority, I would drastically cut our military budget and use the money to institute a single-payer healthcare system (certainly not something many of my colleagues at the Independent would agree … Continue reading How the Far Left on Campus Ruined Liberalism
In a recent edition of The Tiger, Clemson University’s official student newspaper, 110 faculty and staff members published a petition endorsing seven “demands” of the “Coalition of Concerned Students.” Demands 2-7 call for Clemson officials to construct a multicultural center, provide more funding for “under-represented student groups,” increase affirmative action hiring, rename “offensively named buildings,” … Continue reading Some Clemson Faculty Call for Censorship
Two years after MOOCs grabbed higher-ed headlines and recession-battered students began calling for cheaper college options, what do professors think of online education? According to Inside Higher Ed’s 2014 survey of faculty attitudes on technology, they’re cautiously becoming more hopeful about its success, if education consists in conveying information. But they’re increasingly skeptical about its … Continue reading Faculty Are Increasingly Skeptical about MOOCs
This week has featured a potential tipping point in the debate about due process and campus sexual assault. The first event came in publication of an extraordinary column by Ezra Klein, defending California’s “affirmative consent” law. In one respect, it wasn’t surprising to see Klein defend the proposal; too many liberal commentators (not to mention, … Continue reading Is the Left Losing its Mind Over Campus Sex?
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company once had a policy that the CEO could not make more than five times the amount earned by the lowest entry-level employee, capping the CEO’s salary at $81,000 in the early 1980s. By 1995, though, that policy had been eliminated. It turns out that it was difficult to attract … Continue reading Looking at Inequality in Faculty Pay
In a major victory for academic quality, CUNY students’ ability to complete their degrees in a timely fashion, and basic common sense, New York Supreme Court judge Anil Singh has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the CUNY faculty union, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), seeking to eliminate the Pathways curricular initiative. (I wrote about the … Continue reading Major, and Welcome, Setback for CUNY Faculty Union
By Ron Lipsman The essays that appear on this site are often critical of academic faculty. The criticism is frequently legitimate, as faculty are oftentimes complicit in the formulation and execution of academic policies that should garner disapproval. Alas, faculty are too often found at the forefront of efforts to: install speech constraints on the … Continue reading Don’t Beat Up on the Faculty
New York City is bracing for the arrival of its new mayor, Bill de Blasio, whose policy preferences are rooted in the left-wing thinking prevalent in our universities. In his successful mayoral campaign, de Blasio, who collected 73 percent of the vote, had much to say about K-12 education and pre-K education. De Blasio expressed … Continue reading New York’s Left-most Mayor Takes Over
The Huffington Post brings news of faculty complaints at Occidental College. The background: Several months ago, students filed an OCR complaint, alleging that the school’s process for investigating sexual assault complaints was so biased against accusers that it violated Title IX. That process (which nearly all news media ignored) denies the accused student a right … Continue reading Occidental Faculty Suddenly Discover Due Process
CUNY’S faculty union, the Professional Staff Congress, provides something of a funhouse-mirror version of everything that’s wrong with the contemporary academy. Far-left ideologues who vehemently oppose meritocracy, the union leadership seems more concerned with Israeli national security policy or Stella D’Oro breadsticks than securing better pay, benefits, and workload terms for the full-time faculty they … Continue reading The Limits of “Diversity” for CUNY’s Faculty Union