Year: 2020

At Wright State, Critics of Marxism Need Not Apply

It is widely acknowledged that social-science and liberal-arts faculty at American universities are disproportionately of the left, and the hard-left in particular. Criticism of this fact often revolves around the idea that professors preach in their classrooms, and students facing such a faculty come away with a distorted view of how the world works and […]

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The Quiet Constitutional Crisis

This political season has been dizzying. The steep, plunging lows—the COVID mess and the urban riots—are such that they have left many of us queasy. Enough so, that in bleak moments a shadow of doubt passes through our minds: perhaps our governing system cannot bear the burdens we face and could come undone. It is […]

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The “Four Olds” of American Higher Education

That trends come and go in education is a maxim that needs no explanation. Under the guise of innovation, faddish pedagogical strategies and well-funded reform movements are as sure as the sun rises. The best of these innovations serve to enhance teaching and learning. The worst, and by far the majority, are often presented as […]

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How Political Correctness on Race Fuels Polarization

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. Craig Frisby usefully points us to the way moral innovators and “virtue-signaling” corporate imitators have stretched the meaning of racism beyond where objective social science and common […]

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Data-Driven Accountability is Coming to Higher Ed

Most people and institutions are held accountable, however imperfectly. We all know of a charlatan who has yet to be exposed, or a shady institution that is coasting on its reputation, but eventually, the truth wins out. With any luck, that moment has arrived for higher education. Last fall’s publication of the most comprehensive college […]

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In Review: Michael Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit

The 2019 college admissions scandal made it clear that, in American colleges and universities, students have three options for entry: the back door, the side door, and the front door. You enter through the back door when your parents donate huge sums of money to the institution. This procedure is not illegal, although many people […]

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Racism: What It Is and What It Is Not (Part III)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. Part II of this series illustrated how the concept of “racism” has come to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean—which, over time, has diminished in its […]

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Loudoun County, Va., Racially Discriminates and Cracks Down on Conservative Teachers

The Loudoun County Public Schools are planning to impose illegal racial preferences in student discipline, and have already made changes to school admission policies that are being challenged in court. They also plan to restrict teachers’ out-of-school speech, by punishing them for speech that disagrees with school policies, and by punishing teachers who fail to […]

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Dep’t of Ed Investigates University for Removing Critic of Affirmative Action

The federal Education Department is investigating the University of Pittsburgh for free-speech violations and false statements, after the University took action against Professor Norman Wang for publishing an academic paper critical of race-based affirmative action. The University removed Wang as Program Director at its medical center solely due to his paper. The Education Department is […]

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Cancel Culture: Tool of the Maoists

Cancel culture is quickly moving toward its logical end as an unabashed, even celebrated, tool of cultural Marxists, who are keen to repress views outside the accepted orthodoxy of the day. Those who initially promoted campus shout-downs and dis-invitations have escalated their assault on academic freedom. They now employ threats of violence, intimidation tactics, and […]

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I Want To Return To The Classroom And You Should Be Begging Me To…

On July 18th, 2020, the New York Times Sunday Review published an opinion piece by Ms. Rebecca Martinson, a public school teacher from northwestern Washington, on how afraid she was that she might be asked to return to the classroom this fall as the COVID pandemic continued to ravage the country. She started her piece with […]

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Rethinking Higher Education Delivery in the Modern Age

For the last decade higher education has been in steep decline, even before students were abandoned to fend for themselves and their futures while our so-called elites dithered over what to do about COVID-19. But higher ed was in trouble long before the coronavirus pandemic. According to Forbes, enrollment is down “more than two million […]

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Critical Race Theory and New Racism: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

This essay is a succinct and pointed explanation of Critical Race Theory (CRT). It is intended for those who have heard about CRT in the news and wonder how it is connected to the hyper-racialization of the last six months. But it is also for those knee-deep in personal research about Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity […]

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Racism: What It Is and What It Is Not (Part II)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. In Part I of this series, an attempt was made to break down the meaning of the word “racism” using basic rules of word morphology. Unfortunately, commentaries […]

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Bleemer Blooper: How UC is Using Fake Research to Promote Prop. 16

Everyone is familiar with fake news. Now the University of California (UC) has presented us with what can only be described as fake research: an unpublished policy paper by a UC employee, Zachary Bleemer, criticizing Proposition 209 and defending affirmative action. The paper was also shared and distributed by the UC Office of the President. […]

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The Cultural Revolution: Coming to a Campus Near You

Higher education has begun a transformation similar to the Chinese “Cultural Revolution” of 1966. This claim may sound extreme, but look at the similarities for yourself. Like the Cultural Revolution, the energized identity-politics movement presents itself as a cleansing force. Pure Maoism was being corrupted by covert capitalist sympathizers—they had to be rooted out. In […]

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Coalition demands illegal racial discrimination at Cornell

A faculty coalition at Cornell University is calling for race-based hiring and promotions. What it is demanding violates two laws against racial discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. 1981. That’s because Cornell has no justifiable rationale for using race in employment decisions at all, much less to the extent that […]

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Comply, Evade, Violate: Three Responses to the New Title IX

We’re now more than one month into the implementation of the new Title IX regulations—improvements which the nation’s higher-education establishment uniformly opposed. The amended regulations require two major changes: they narrow the definition of sexual harassment (but not sexual assault) to the definition offered by the Supreme Court in Davis. And they confine a university’s […]

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Racism: What It Is and What It Is Not (Part I)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. A writer for a popular online entertainment publication once remarked that a James Bond movie is often only as good as its villain. This applies to the “Black […]

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$1 Billion Price Tag Put on UW-Madison’s Minority Programs

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s new 2020 Diversity Plan, described in her July 8, 2020 blog entry, is more disturbing than suggested by the bland front-page headline: “Blank targets racial climate” (since retitled “National unrest sparks new efforts by UW-Madison to improve campus climate”). The chancellor’s array of proposed new “commitments” to diversity reflects her response to recent […]

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Will Virginia teach critical race theory to kindergartners?

This week, the Virginia Board of Education will meet to discuss a report that may promote destructive racial ideologies — the August 2020 “Report from the Governor’s African American History Education Commission.” James Sherlock laments “the fiercely negative approach to the teaching of African American history offered by the Governor’s Commission.” He says says its […]

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Understanding “Black Lives Matter”

The statement “black lives matter” must be affirmed in light of the recent killing of George Floyd. The police officer did not act as if Mr. Floyd’s life mattered, and by extension, as if black lives matter. His actions, and those of many other policemen, have failed to recognize the equal worth and dignity of […]

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In Review: Vicky Osterweil’s “In Defense of Looting”

In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, one of the novel’s heroes describes Robin Hood as “a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, has demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters. … It is this foulest of creatures—the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and […]

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Countering the Mob at SDSU

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! – in Marmion, Sir Walter Scott, 1808 Jean Twenge, a social psychologist at San Diego State University, gives us the most detailed picture yet of the behavior, values, and mental state of today’s teenagers and college students. She calls the generation after […]

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Defending our Universities from the Ideological Onslaught: An Invitation to Action

As you read this, an open letter that I recently wrote is circulating online among academics and professors who share a deep concern about the rising ideological conformity and intimidation on display in our colleges and universities. As of the publication of this brief invitation, 41 academics from all over the world have signed the […]

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The Intellectual Fragility of White Fragility

Editor’s Note: This article the first in an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. Five years ago, no one had heard of the term “white fragility.” But today, fueled by social media, elite corporations, and educational institutions, white fragility (and Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book of that […]

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COVID-19 and Online Education’s Stealth Expansion

Last spring semester began with my five courses offered in the usual classroom setting and ended with all of them converted to an online format. My community college, along with virtually all of higher education, went into complete lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all of our courses were either canceled or taught […]

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A New Academy, A New History, and A New Language

When Robert Taft and Adlai Stevenson faced off in the 1952 presidential race, I don’t remember any proposal to overhaul the humanities. Both candidates loved America but had differing political views. Universities were not yet on the front lines of the culture war—institutions had their own leanings, but these views were largely limited to the […]

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Dear Black Lives Matter: What is the alternative to the nuclear family?

If Black Lives Matter were actually about protecting and enriching black lives, then it would be a praise-worthy organization—but it’s not. BLM’s stated goals have little to do with black lives and more to do with social revolution. One of the movement’s founders, Patrisse Cullors, once described BLM’s members as “trained Marxists.” Indeed, they are. […]

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Anti-Racism’s Threat to Academic Freedom

Medpage Today reports that “a paper advocating against affirmative action in cardiology programs is melting under a blast of Twitter heat.” Melting is more wishful thinking than reporting—the substance of the paper was untouched by the firestorm, which was instead inflamed by the author’s opinions—but the assault has indeed been vicious. It also raises an ominous […]

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