Year: 2020

Another Scheme to Justify Racial Preferences

In 1996 55% of California voters shocked Democrats by approving Proposition 209, which added a provision to the state constitution prohibiting state agencies from “discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or […]

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Culture, Not Biology, Tears Us Apart on Race

In his new book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, Charles Murray’s view is not that the 21st century orthodox rejection of the 19th century European concept of race is wrong, but that it goes too far in rejecting the biological basis of human variation. He thinks, however, that the term “race” […]

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The Real Differences Between Men and Women

For half a century, the push for gender equality has driven America’s social and political agenda and cast women as victims of male bias and repression. Make no mistake—business, entertainment, science, and academia needed reform, and eventually, the hammer that could break the glass ceiling was handed to qualified women who sought the top job […]

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The Collapse of the Fourth Estate

  The Pulitzer Committee has awarded Nikole Hannah-Jones a prize for her lead essay in The New York Times’ “The 1619 Project.” The news doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. It was widely rumored that Hannah-Jones was under consideration, which raised the tantalizing question of how the Pulitzer Committee might find its way the past […]

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COVID-19 Bites Identity Politics

As I write this, I am surrounded by silence: not only the silence of a small university town on lockdown but, also, the silence of the feminists and postmodernists as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over. Where are the usual attacks on white male-dominated science? Where’s the “standpoint epistemology” to tell us how different is […]

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Can the Integrity of Our Colleges Be Restored?

Half a century ago, our colleges and universities were liberal in their orientations and policies. Generally, they treated students and staff as individuals who were judged by their academic achievements and potentials. (Where they existed, the exceptions were numerically minor: children of alumni and athletes.) Students and staff were free to associate with one another […]

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The Language Arts Are in Steep Decline

When I entered graduate school in English in the mid-1980s, I didn’t understand the importance of undergraduate enrollments in the field. I was so caught up in scholarship and research and theory that the junior and senior classrooms didn’t much count. The freshman and sophomore classes were even more remote. They registered to me only […]

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Wanna Teach? Submit a Killer ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Statement

George Will’s column last month on leftist bias in faculty hiring got to the heart of the practice but showed that conservatives can’t do a damn thing about it. He cites the policy at the University of California of requiring all applicants in every field to submit, along with their CV and letters of recommendation, […]

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Virus ‘Stress’ Prompts Students to Demand Easy A’s at Harvard

America’s students will get a lot of pass/fail grades during the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, and Haverford College have allowed students to choose whether to be graded pass/fail for classes this semester. Duke University announced, “all spring courses at the university will default to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade scheme.” The Massachusetts Institute […]

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How Low Can Higher Education Go?

A new book from author John Ellis examines the real reasons why most college graduates are woefully undereducated when they leave college after four or more years. Below is an eye-opening excerpt from The Breakdown of Higher Education: How it Happened, The Damage It Does, and What Can be Done. Everyone knows that complaints about […]

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Campus Sex Cases, Cross-Examination, and the University of Michigan

For years, under Title IX, a student charged with sexual assault was not permitted to face their accusers and cross-examine them. The rationale by feminists was that confronting the accuser was equivalent to another sexual assault. This policy violated due process, even though some innocent students’ reputations and careers have been ruined. The Chronicle of […]

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Court Rules Free Speech Must Yield to ‘Woke’ Speech

Shawnee State University in southern Ohio (cross the bridge and you’re in Kentucky) is an open-admissions school that opened in 1986. It’s very little known, but the school’s administrators are as politically attuned to progressive sensibilities as any across the nation. A case that has arisen at Shawnee threatens to set a terrible precedent for […]

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The 85 Universities that Discriminate on the Basis of Sex

The Title IX Equity Project today is releasing a list of 85 colleges and universities in the nation with severe violations of the federal Title IX law that bars sex discrimination in schools. These 85 institutions offer at least ten more scholarships for female students, compared to the number of scholarships for male students. The […]

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The University of Texas Succumbs to the ‘Social Justice’ Pandemic

The latest racket in higher education, evident at my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, is the disturbing proliferation of “social justice” as a degree program, a course topic, an academic emphasis, and even as a prerequisite in campus job descriptions. “Social justice” is a seemingly innocuous term with no established definition. Many […]

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The Power of Liberal Peer Condemnation on Conservatives

Now we know that the conquest of academia by political correctness is complete. A repressive system succeeds when the overlords of it no longer must exert any pressure. Instead, the group that is the target of the repression censors and harasses itself. This is the finding of a study by two professors at UNC-Chapel Hill. […]

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The Real Reason for Racial Achievement Gaps

Progressive policies cause the racial achievement gaps that progressives spend so much time lamenting. That’s the conclusion of Minnesota lawyer and think-tank president John Hinderaker, based on recent educational research. He cites a report from Brightbeam, “The Secret Shame: How America’s Most Progressive Cities Betray Their Commitment to Educational Opportunity For All.” The report is authored by Chris […]

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Colleges Give Up on Western Civilization

The humanities have become such a minor activity on college campuses that it is almost unimaginable that 30 years ago a change in a humanities course was a national controversy. That’s what happened, though, when an article appeared in The New York Times on Jan. 19, 1988 with the headline “In Dispute on Bias, Stanford Is Likely to Alter Western Culture Program.” […]

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Another Attempt to Undermine Religious Freedom

Less than a decade after the Supreme Court issued its 2012 ruling in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, giving religious organizations wide latitude in selecting their employees, the Court has agreed to review yet again whether two Catholic K-12 schools should be able to hire and fire their own […]

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Jordan Peterson: Torture by Bad Journalism

The news that Jordan Peterson has entered an addiction facility in Russia is no surprise to those of us who have watched the interviews, discussions, and debates for the last four years. The immediate cause is his dependence on an anti-anxiety medication, but it is certainly the case that since 2016 an army of students, […]

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Are Elite Universities Getting Too Chummy With China and Russia?

Two American elite universities, Yale and Harvard, are now in the crosshairs of the Education Department. Why? They accepted money from foreign countries like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran and not reporting the gifts or contracts, which federal investigators estimate to be at least $6.5 billion. The story, which appears in The Wall Street […]

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‘Woke’ Journalists Undermine America’s Newsrooms

Suppose you’re the editorial-page editor of a college newspaper, contemplating the big news on campus: protesters have silenced an invited speaker and gone on a violent rampage. Should you, as a journalist whose profession depends on the First Amendment, write an editorial reaffirming the right to free speech? If that seems like a no-brainer, you’re […]

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When Meeting Racial Quotas Is Impossible

Several years ago, I was a visiting professor at a large public university beyond the Mississippi. Early on, I introduced myself to a few of the colleagues in the department, some of whom proved to be vigorous liberals unhappy with the social state of things on campus. One of them said to me as I […]

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Survey Confirms Unfairness of Campus Title IX on Due Process

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently indicated that the process for creating fairer Title IX regulations has reached its final stages. As the new rules loom, the higher-ed establishment has demonstrated an almost uniform opposition to creating fairer Title IX procedures. The most recent example came from NASPA, the organization of student affairs officials. Few organizations […]

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Playing Politics With History

At the American Historical Association’s recent annual meeting, the program’s abundance of panels were devoted to issues of social justice. Perhaps its name should be changed to the Activists Historical Association. Here are a few examples: Historically Informed Present-Day Activism in the City Activism, Academics, and the Academy African Americans and Chinese Activists in World […]

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Will Leonardo, Van Gogh or Warhol Survive the Art History Purge at Yale?

Yale is ending the teaching of one of its most storied courses—a survey of Western Art history from the Renaissance to the present. The Yale Daily News called the action a result of the latest student uneasiness over an idealized Western “canon” a product of an overwhelmingly white, straight, European and male cadre of artists.” […]

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Victoria’s Secret Sex Changes

In the fall of 2019, Victoria’s Secret, the iconic purveyor of scanty, lacy women’s underthings, announced that it was canceling its annual December fashion show, a staple of network television since 1995. The show, airing first on CBS and later on ABC, was famous for its bevy of top-earning supermodels—such famous names over the years […]

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The Humanities Throw in the Towel

The humanities are troubled – and that means the way of looking at the world is also distressed. Broadly conceived, the humanities are a filter to one’s view of the world, a way that emphasizes and celebrates what it means to be human. As a collection of academic departments that cover history, English, foreign languages, […]

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The Trans Agenda Could Make You Choose Your Pronouns

In early December, Merriam-Webster named “they” the 2019 Word of the Year. Anyone who spends time on a university campus was not surprised by their choice: personal pronouns are having a moment. At my own university, one can choose to have their personal pronouns displayed in the public directory: choices include “they/them” and “ze/hir.” For […]

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State-Funded Colleges Are Still Well Funded

I have a confession to make. My recent study on state funding of higher education was about the simplest piece of research I’ve done in a dozen years. So was the finding; there’s been no trend of state disinvestment in higher education. But what a ruckus it caused. The key finding entailed simply downloading and […]

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Why the NY Times’ 1619 Project Fails the Truth Test

Earlier this year, the New York Times published the ambitious “1619 Project,” an effort to reinterpret U.S. history as one dominated by the legacies of slavery and racism—thereby, according to the Times, “tell[ing] our story truthfully.” The Project’s lead essay, from Nikole Hannah-Jones, set the agenda: “Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the […]

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