Evergreen College Gets an ‘F’ In Lessons Learned

When Branch Rickey picked Jackie Robinson to integrate major league baseball, Ford Frick, president of the National League, turned out to be an unexpected hero. Four Dodgers demanded to be traded and a group of St. Louis Cardinals said they would go on strike rather than take the field against Jackie. Frick crushed the rising rebellion with a blunt ultimatum: “I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do will encounter swift retribution. All will be suspended even if it wrecks the National League for five years.” The rebellion collapsed.

Contrast Frick’s courage with the conventional tame responses by American college presidents when radical students tell them what to do. During the melee at Middlebury, president Laurie Patton made brave noises but apparently imposed quiet slaps on the wrists, though a professor had been injured.

Related: Colleges Are Drawing the Contempt They So Richly Deserve

At Mizzou, president Tim Wolf, near tears, simply quit without taking any useful action at all. At Yale, in a pointless debate about Halloween costumes, president Peter Salovey, after a sedate and reasonable professor was encircled, cursed out and threatened (“we know where you live”), took no relevant action. The two professors involved, noticing that Yale had no principles it was willing to defend, quit.

And today Evergreen State, having failed to protect two white professors last year when radicals ordered all whites off campus for a “Day of Absence,” is paying the price for its folly, including president George Bridges’ unwillingness to handle increasingly aggressive protests.

Bridges might have simply delivered a variation on Ford Frick’s speech: “No one will be banned from this campus, for even one day, because of the color of his skin.”

Related: The Revolution Turns on Its Base

Jillian Kay Melchior reports in The Wall St. Journal today that applications to Evergreen this fall are down 20 percent, and current students are fleeing. Only 60% of first-time, first-year students who enrolled last fall stayed through the end of the school year, a full 8 percentage points below the prior year,” said a report commissioned by Evergreen and released in April.

Based on fall 2018 enrollment projections, Melchior reports, nearly 25 full-time adjuncts will lose their jobs, as provost Jennifer Drake wrote in a Feb. 15 email. The college has had to tap its emergency reserve fund for $1.3 million so far to cover the costs of the “events of spring 2017,” including legal settlements. Evergreen has delayed the construction of a $42 million, 375-bed dorm and has cut its operating budget by nearly $6 million.

Evergreen has doubled down on identity politics, Melchior says, advertising a “bias response team to handle reported slights, a three-day “time of absence,” cultural competency sensitivity and anti-bias training, plus an administrative reorganization plan heavy on “equity and inclusion.”

Melchior predicts things will get worse for Evergreen, which, she says, would be rough social justice.

John Leo

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

23 thoughts on “Evergreen College Gets an ‘F’ In Lessons Learned

  1. PS: they renewed Bridges’ contract! With a RAISE, yet!

    Huge timesaver for the rest of us, though – now nobody needs to pay any attention to any rhetoric emerging from Evergreen for the next few years; instead, we can turn our attention to the next leftist dumpster fire masquerading as a university.

  2. If I ever receive a resume from an Evergreen alumnus, i will immediately destroy it.
    Milleniofascism such as this has no place in any civilized society.

  3. It’s amazing how liberals are so blinded by their loss that they would adopt self-destructive political positions.

    A minority only college in Washington state; that does not seem to be a very good idea.

  4. First off, spending $42 million for a 375-bed dorm is insane. Second, these liberal colleges that are all about political correctness are not preparing their students to make it in the grown-up, competitive world.

  5. A hippy “college” for kids who can’t get admitted anywhere else finally jumps the shark and appears headed down the “get woke, go broke” tubes. Of course the college gets an F for lessons learned. The place was never about learning in any meaningful sense, nor is the Regressive Left. They are about spinning delusional fantasies of opposition, “transgression” and contempt and forcing them on as many others as possible.

  6. It costs each studenr tens of thousands of dollars a year to attend Evergreen. By that measure, each day during the academic year can cost several hundred dollars per student. To deny students even a single day of class and access to the campus for any reason short of a natural disaster is to cheat those students out of classes, services, and use of facilities they paid for. Those students should file a suit against the school to be reimbursed and/or the school officials prosecuted for fraud.

  7. I got very lucky-my daughter said she didn’t want to waste time and money on 4-6 more years of high school. She joined the US Navy and became an electrician’s Mate Nuclear. After 2 years training and 4 years (2 combat deployments) on the Nimitz, she now has a fantastic job, no debt, and money in the bank. She also grew up!

  8. This is the generation that will be running the country someday. We need to cut them off at the pass.Most of the professors at universities were part of the anti war hippy movement of the 60 s and 70 s.

  9. “applications to Evergreen this fall are down 20 percent, and current students are fleeing. Only 60% of first-time, first-year students who enrolled last fall stayed through the end of the school”
    Yeah, well who needs ’em? They’re just a bunch of privileged, white, patriarchal racists anyway! /s

  10. Schools are charged with turning their students into adults. Instead, what we get are their adults reverting to high school students. These are the fruits of their labor over the past decades.

  11. It’s pretty obvious that Bridges is in full agreement with the radical students. Why taxpayers are still funding this school is a mystery.

  12. “The Evergreen Mental Asylum for the Politically Insane” seems more accurate (and imho sounds better as well).

  13. Just imagine if the president of Columbia U in 1968 had stood up to the radical students. How different the state of universities might be.

    1. One day, the brilliant types at Starbucks will figure out that they do not need to hire a college graduate in order to get a competent barista.

  14. You could probably make a pretty good business out of printing up tee shirts with the slogan “Condemning Free Speech Hurts My Feelings”.

  15. The left ruins everything it touches. A parent would have to be nuts to send a kid to this lunatic asylum.

    1. I have received a few materials about this college, because my family and I live in western Washington. I perused the material and considered it, but then read all about their craziness with allowing rampant hatred of whites and violence to go on. Tossed the info, looked at other colleges for my teens.

  16. Here, locally, in Olympia, WA, we refer to it as “The Evergreen State College for the Politically Insane”. I believe that accurately sums up the situation.

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