Some Faculty Say Diversity Lowers Academic Quality

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

CUNY Union Calls for Faculty to Teach Controversial Anti-Trump ‘Resistance’

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’

Intimidated Faculty Find a New Way to Capitulate

Last week’s campus irritant,  a story in the Wall Street Journal, “Faculty’s New Focus: Don’t Offend,” claimed that an increasing number of professors are changing the contents of their syllabi. The story exposes the advent of bias response teams and undergraduates demanding a supportive, untroubled campus experience, along with the Obama Administration’s “Dear Colleague” letters on … Continue reading Intimidated Faculty Find a New Way to Capitulate

Faculty Unions and the Problem of Adjuncts

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

Political Tests for Faculty?

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?

Affirmative Action for Conservative 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?

CUNY’s Faculty Union and the First Amendment

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

Some Clemson Faculty Call for Censorship

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

‘SHARED GOVERNANCE’ OR FACULTY VS. ADMINISTRATORS

As a former journalist who joined academe, I was often struck by the obscurity of administration-faculty communication. Murkiness prevailed, along with the absence of clear subjects and verbs, and worse: the absence of clear meaning and intention. “Say what you mean and mean what you say” was more like “say it sort of like you … Continue reading ‘SHARED GOVERNANCE’ OR FACULTY VS. ADMINISTRATORS

Faculty Ousted at Harvard – From Power, That Is

The ills besetting higher education in recent years – ballooning tuitions, kangaroo disciplinary tribunals, speech codes and other violations of academic freedom, expanding bureaucracies, invasions of student and faculty privacy, lowered academic standards, and others – are on virtuallyeveryone’s minds. However, these problems are not mutually exclusiveand severable; rather, theyare manifestations of a larger downward … Continue reading Faculty Ousted at Harvard – From Power, That Is

Faculty Are Increasingly Skeptical about MOOCs

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

Looking at Inequality in Faculty Pay

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

Major, and Welcome, Setback for CUNY Faculty Union

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

Don’t Beat Up on the Faculty

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

Occidental Faculty Suddenly Discover Due Process

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

Wellesley Faculty Speak for Academic Freedom

More than 130 members of the Wellesley College faculty are protesting the potential dismissal of a dissident Peking University professor and threatening to challenge the formal partnership Wellesley recently signed with the Chinese institution. In an open letter, the Wellesley protesters noted that Peking University will sponsor a vote on whether to fire professor Xia … Continue reading Wellesley Faculty Speak for Academic Freedom

The Limits of “Diversity” for CUNY’s Faculty Union

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

A Faculty Union Rigs a Plebiscite

In the ideal world, academic unions stand as guardians of academic freedom. In the real world, too often they cling to the status quo, resisting needed reforms, opposing meritocracy, and working to stifle campus dissent. Then there’s the CUNY faculty union (the Professional Staff Congress), whose leading figures act as if their goal in life … Continue reading A Faculty Union Rigs a Plebiscite

Who Runs Our Colleges– Administrators or Faculty?

Easy question. Administrators do. Odd as it may sound today, faculties have long assumed the right and duty to set the campus agenda–to establish admission standards, control research and curriculum, run visiting speaker programs, and set the academic and professional criteria on which promotions, prizes and appointments are based. Historically, the faculty actually did control … Continue reading Who Runs Our Colleges– Administrators or Faculty?

NYU: $72 million in Odd Loans, No Confidence Vote from Faculty

For John Sexton, president of New York University, March came in a like a lion.  In one aggravating week Sexton found himself the subject of two biting stories in the press: a no-confidence vote from faculty and focus on $72 million in unexplained  NYU loans to Jack Lew and many others.  The first was merely … Continue reading NYU: $72 million in Odd Loans, No Confidence Vote from Faculty

Surprise! Faculty Money Goes to Dems

This week featured some interesting political news regarding campaign contributions: confirming the partisan shift on Wall Street, Business Week revealed that around 70 percent of Goldman Sachs employees who have donated to this year’s presidential campaign send funds to Mitt Romney. The contrast to 2008, when about 75 percent who made contributions had donated to … Continue reading Surprise! Faculty Money Goes to Dems

Penn Is Cutting Back on White Male Faculty

Columbia is not the only elite university promoting exclusionary hiring in a big way. The University of Pennsylvania has just announced that it will spend $100 million over the next five years “on hiring and retaining more diverse faculty members.” George Leef asks a very good question: “Why does it cost so much money to simply screen … Continue reading Penn Is Cutting Back on White Male Faculty

Out-of-Touch Faculty Act Out

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the peculiar coup attempt against University of Southern Maine president Selma Botman. As word of a no-confidence motion emerged, the plotters–most of whom were deeply-entrenched faculty–struggled to articulate a rationale for such an extreme move. They seemed displeased that a handful of administrators received raises when the plotters’ … Continue reading Out-of-Touch Faculty Act Out