Month: August 2023

Farewell, MTC

Greetings, faithful Minding the Campus readers. If you write for MTC or read our weekly newsletter, you’ll recognize my name—otherwise, you may not. I have served as MTC’s managing editor for the last three years, and I regret to inform you all that today is my last day. (“Drat!” all the readers said.) The reason […]

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GRAF: Thucydides as Artist and Individual

(For don Pedro Schwartz, a great economist and a true gentleman) For sociological, political, and economic reasons—family breakdown, information overload, technological innovation, chemical and behavioral addiction, etc.—skills-based learning, along with instruction in practical areas like science, math, engineering, music, nutrition, finance, logic, and personal psychology, makes more sense today than cultural, gender, or literary studies. […]

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WU: The Visible Hand vs. Equal Justice

On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (CRD) jointly released guidance titled “Questions and Answers Regarding the Supreme Court’s Decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard College and University of North Carolina.” Designed to help colleges and […]

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After Years in the Wilderness, Conservative Christian Education Is Being Born Again Post-Pandemic

Conservative Christian education is being born again.   Arcadia Christian Academy, which opened in Arizona on Aug. 8, is one of dozens of Christian micro-schools popping up across the country, offering a hybrid in-class and at-home education to keep costs down and the odds of survival up in an increasingly competitive K-12 sector. What’s more, many long-established Christian […]

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Documents: Miami University’s Litmus Test

On August 8, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), which governs Arizona’s public universities, confirmed that it has ended the use of diversity statements in faculty job applications. Common but controversial, these statements require faculty applicants to explain their past and planned contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). ABOR’s decision comes after a Goldwater Institute report showed that […]

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Minding the Sciences — Spinning Out of Control

When James Taranto edited the Best of the Web Today feature on the Wall Street Journal Opinion page, there was a recurring trope: “Everything seemingly is spinning out of control.” This featured hysterical reactions to ordinary things, such as a new Heinz ketchup recipe “shaking up” fans of the condiment. It seems now that we […]

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An Offbeat Approach to Graduate Study in the Humanities

If you’re considering graduate school in the humanities, I suggest a dose of wide-open thinking. You’ll see shortly what I mean by that, but first, let’s be sure you understand the conditions that await you. I’ll assume you’ve been told about the academic job shortage. It’s severe, and it won’t be getting better. Your chance […]

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Student Affairs: The Real Threat on Campus

While college empties your wallet, it can divide your family. During a recent discussion of my book Brutal Minds, someone remarked, “It never occurred to me that deviant worldview training began at university welcoming events. I thought it emanated from professors, not office bureaucrats.” Likewise, many folks routinely pummel the faculty for “indoctrination” in colleges […]

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A Sad Reminder: Republicans Are Not Welcome at Many Schools

With first-year orientations already underway and classes starting shortly at thousands of colleges and universities, it is critical to remember that despite the ubiquitous rhetoric of “openness,” “inclusion,” and “respect for difference” in American academe, Republicans are not welcome. At first glance, statements from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) offices seem to promote viewpoint diversity. […]

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Official Antisemitism Marks the Demise of Anthropology

Betraying the premises and ethics of anthropology, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) has thrown its weight behind the anti-Israel, antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. This is the final act in transforming a field of honest academic study into a program of far-left ideology and propaganda. For most of the 20th century, anthropology defined its purpose […]

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Ten Commandments for First-Year Chemistry

You may not want to hear this, but the fall semester is fast approaching. Most of the students I teach are freshmen, and their high school chemistry class was most likely spent sitting at home in front of a computer during COVID. In other words, they have learned next to nothing about chemistry. To help […]

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GILLEN: State Disinvestment Is Still a Myth

One of the key stories in higher education finance is so-called “state disinvestment,” which alleges that states have made relentless cuts to college and university funding. But state disinvestment is a myth—states have not, in fact, disinvested in higher education. In this debate, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a figure […]

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GRAF: American Goddesses

“Stopping first at Ephesus he made sacrifice to Artemis …” —Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War (fifth century BC) “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” —Eagles, “Hotel California” (1976) America depends on and produces a large supply of freaks. This causes anxiety as well as comfort. Eric Hoffer—the “longshoreman philosopher” […]

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Minding the Sciences — Rebuilding the Public’s Trust in Science

Over the past three years, the general public has been inundated with appeals to “Trust the science.” In spite of this, many have grown increasingly distrustful of both science and scientists. It is the height of hypocrisy to expect people to put their blind faith in scientific authority—for that is what “trust the science” amounts […]

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Which College President Resigned Today?

In July, five college presidents resigned in a week—one for each workday. Some ran small to mid-sized eastern colleges and universities: Seton Hall University, Thomas Jefferson University, and the Berklee College of Music. Others led large research powerhouses: Stanford and Texas A&M universities. Only one, Marc Tessier-Lavigne of Stanford, had been in office for more […]

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The Closing of the American Law School

“All sentiment is right; because sentiment has a reference to nothing beyond itself, and is always real, wherever a man is conscious of it. But all determinations of the understanding are not right; because they have a reference to something beyond themselves, to wit, real matter of fact; and are not always conformable to that […]

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Eliminating Legacies: Let’s Make a Deal

Ignore the fancy rhetoric surrounding legacy admissions. Deep down, we all know that this newfound passion for merit is a punitive response to the Supreme Court’s recent ban on racial preferences in college admissions. It’s pure tit for tat: If whites want to keep blacks out of top schools, then racial preferences supporters will return […]

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Minding the Sciences — At DDP, Innovation Trumps Environmentalism

In July, I attended the 41st Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP) in Tucson, Arizona. The meeting opened with the national anthem played beautifully on the trumpet and the violin by the teenage sons (Benjamin and Franklin!) of Willie Soon, the first speaker. DDP was founded in the early 1980s as a “group […]

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WU: California’s “Equity Math” Showdown

On July 12, after giving the public less than ten days to submit written comments, the California State Board of Education (SBE) voted to adopt the 2023 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, which will guide math instruction in the state’s nearly 1,000 public K–12 school districts. The controversial framework has received and continues to […]

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Toward a Born-Open Bureaucracy

Bureaucrats wouldn’t have an excuse to hide documents if the documents were born-open—that is, publicly accessible electronic documents from the moment of their creation. And bureaucrats do hide documents, especially in the schools and universities. Want to know if China is donating money to your university? Secret. Want to know your child’s curriculum? Very secret. […]

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Indoctrination Is Not Education

Plato is credited with writing that we should ignore loud voices that come from the minds of the untrained. His rationale? “The untrained mind keeps up a running commentary, labelling everything, judging everything. Best to ignore that commentary. Don’t argue or resist, just ignore. Deprived of attention and interest, this voice gets quieter and quieter […]

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GRAF: Federalism—Virtue or Structure?

What is federalism? Historians and political philosophers will bicker about its origins and definitions. I like the natural-law approach—think Locke and Madison in the Anglo tradition. It’s tangible, comparable, and verifiable. Further, any policy decisions related to federalism can be kept simple. A warning, however: I come from the field of literature. I’ve read too […]

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MESA’s Anti-Semitism Got Evicted—But American Academia Has a Long Way to Go

George Washington University (GWU) will be a less anti-Semitic place after its recent decision to evict the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). In a terse note, GWU stated that the relationship between the university and MESA “had run its course” and that the two institutions were “now parting ways amicably.” Observers of Middle East studies […]

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