Author: Charlotte Allen

Charlotte Allen blogs for the Los Angeles Times and writes frequently about cultural trends for the Weekly Standard.

Shock Treatment

Reforming ‘Toxic Masculinity’ at University of Texas

In May, the University of Texas-Austin hastily pulled back a program on “healthy masculinity” that its counseling staff had devised–amid a flood of ridicule over such aspects of the program as posters depicting young men wearing penciled-in dresses (complete with bustlines) and encouraging UT’s male students to try nail polish and makeup. The program, titled […]

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Why ‘White People’ Are Toxic on America’s Elite Campuses

If you’re white, you’re a blight. This past winter Yale University became the latest of dozens of colleges across the country to roll out a course aiming to teach undergraduates how to understand and counteract “whiteness”—a sinister force that, according to its official description, is “a culturally constructed and economically incorporated entity, which touches upon […]

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Insisting That Whites Should ‘Step Back’

In November 2017, a Yale sophomore, Sohum Pal, wrote an op-ed for the student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, titled “White Students, Step Back.” It criticized Yale’s much-promoted “diversity” policies as “focused on a brand of assimilationist politics — the deeply misguided notion that students of color want to be wealthy, that we want to […]

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Stanford’s Wildly Popular ‘Self-Help’ Course

Mechanical Engineering 104B!  The most popular course offered at Stanford University, Silicon Valley incubator and home of one of the top engineering schools in America, ranked #2 in the country by U.S. News, just under M.I.T. And you, lucky Stanford student, can take Mechanical Engineering 104B just because you got into Stanford and made it […]

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Wesleyan: Total PC All the Time

It’s now a trifecta of political correctness at the expense of sanity—and also justice—at Wesleyan University. The very latest was the “Halloween Checklist,” a poster that invited students at the elite liberal-arts college in Middletown, Conn., to ask themselves: “Is your costume offensive?” The answer was “yes” if the costume tended to “mock religious or […]

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Animal House

Wesleyan Finishes off Its Frats

And then there were none. In early August Psi Upsilon, the sole remaining residential fraternity house at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, was suspended for the 2015-2016 academic year over an investigation by law enforcement over alleged illegal drug activity inside its house. Until the fall of 2014, there were three fraternity houses at Wesleyan, […]

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Ladies Who Let the Gentleman Pay

The average student-loan debt is approaching $30,000. That is to say, of the 70 percent of college students who borrow to pay all or some of their college expenses, the average student left college about $28,400 in the hole in 2013, according to USNews. This alarming number has triggered a spate of news stories about […]

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The “Truthy” Project Will Monitor Your Tweets

The“Truthy” project at Indiana University should have set off alarm bells right at the start. Described as a research project to study how memes spread on social media, it was created in 2010 by university computer science professor Filippo Menczer, and began tracking “suspicious memes,” and “false or misleading ideas” on Twitter. So far it […]

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‘Date-Rape Nail Polish’—Mocked But Not So Foolish

Four undergraduates at North Carolina State University announced in August that they had developed a “date-rape nail polish” that would change color when its wearer dipped her finger into a drink doctored with “roofies” (Rohypnol) and other sedatives that can cause people to black out or otherwise be unable to defend themselves against unwanted sexual […]

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Why Is Wesleyan Targeting Its Frats?

“Will Wesleyan Be the Next School to Do Away With Frats?” That was the headline that ran on a Newsweek story in March. And the most likely answer to that question is “Yes.” As Newsweek staff writer Zach Schonfeld, himself an alumnus of the elite 183-year-old liberal-arts college in Middletown, Connecticut, wrote, there’s now “a […]

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In Defense of Fraternities

Mr. Cheston, I disagree entirely. Let’s start with freedom of association. No, Trinity College is not a public university, so the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply (although some universities, such as Yale, have issued guarantees of free speech and association to their students that may have some legal weight). It may well be that in terms of legality, Trinity […]

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The War on Fraternities, Part 232

James Jones, president of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., has announced his decision to step down from his post as of June 2014, a year before his contract ends. Jones’s surprise decision, announced by an e-mail from Jones on May 7, included the equally surprising announcement that decision by the chairman of Trinity’s board of […]

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Is the MOOCs Panic Under Way?

San Jose State University in California is teaming up with Udacity, the for-profit pioneer of massive open online courses (MOOCs), to start a pilot program that will create three introductory mathematics courses online that can be taken for credit from San Jose State if the enrollee chooses. The courses sound like a godsend to high-school […]

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Coping with ‘Professional Students’ in Community Colleges

The party’s over for community college students in California, notorious for large numbers of young and not-so-young people using the low-cost system to drift in and out of classes, fill up their time while looking for something better, or simply find themselves. The Board of Governors of the state’s cash-strapped two-year system has decided to get […]

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National Dream University—a Scam that Fell Through

The University of California (UC) has put the kibosh on plans to set up National Dream University, a low-cost, low-admissions-standards college where illegal immigrants were to be trained in activism on behalf of…illegal immigrants. National Dream U. was supposed to be a collaboration between UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the union-subsidized National […]

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Are Credit Hours Necessary?

Untraditional students seek higher education because they hit a wall. Once they’ve committed themselves to obtaining a degree, however, they often hit another wall: the archaic “credit hour” rules enforced by the U.S. Education Department that demand extended time in classrooms and discourage self-study and flexible online offerings. Amy Laitinen of the New America Foundation […]

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The Problem with Bonuses for Masters Degrees

Carol Howley, a nursing instructor at Chicago’s Richard J. Daley College, pocketed $307,000 in extra salary over the years by enrolling in doctoral classes at Chicago’s Rush University and receiving her doctorate. There’s only one problem, though: Rush has no record of Howley’s attendence. Cook County prosecutors recently indicted her for theft of government property. […]

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Harvard’s Cheating Scandal

Yesterday Harvard University announced its investigation of about 125 undergraduates who are believed to have improperly collaborated on a take-home final examination last spring. It is tempting to use this case to generalize about an Ivy League sense of entitlement, declining student morals in general, or perhaps the failure of Harvard and other universities to […]

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When Universities Raid Their Law Schools

Earlier this month Annette Clark, dean of Saint Louis University’s law school, abruptly resigned from her job via e-mail after only a year. She left after accusing the Jesuit university and its president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, of looting the law school in order to fund other, non-law-related programs on the Saint Louis campus.  This was […]

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Can We or Can’t We ‘Target’ Women and Minorities?

Why is it admirable to “target” women and minorities for some educational programs but a violation of federal civil right laws to “target” them in others?           That’s the question that must be asked about a federal lawsuit filed by seven Mississippi women, five of them African-American, against for-profit Virginia College, […]

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UCLA Offers Low-Cost College for Leftist Illegals

How to attend UCLA on the cheap? Be an illegal immigrant. Actually, be a leftist illegal immigrant.  UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the union-subsidized National Labor College in Maryland have teamed up to establish “National Dream University” for the undocumented. The tuition is low: just $65 per credit hour, in contrast to […]

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That Response to My Article Was Strange

Scott Rose’s 1,085-word letter to the editors of Minding the Campus does not contest–or find any factual error in–my Aug. 1 article titled “Regnerus and the ‘Liberal War on Science.‘” My subject was the academic hysteria over University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus’s article in the journal Social Science Research concluding that the adult children of […]

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Regnerus and the ‘Liberal War on Science’

The ongoing controversy over University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus is a textbook example of how a legitimate scholarly dispute can turn into a political witch-hunt. Regnerus, an associate professor of sociology at Texas’s flagship campus in Austin, published a peer-reviewed paper in June in the journal Social Science Research concluding that the adult children […]

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Gender Quotas on Philosophy Panels?

First it was gender quotas for the sciences–and now it’s gender quotas for philosophy. Two philosophy professors are calling on their colleagues to boycott academic conferences that don’t feature at least one woman as a keynote speaker.

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Should We Pay Students to Graduate?

College is supposed to last four years, right? However, only 31 percent of entering freshmen at U.S. colleges and universities manage to graduate in four years, and only 53 percent obtain their bachelor’s degrees within six years. Indeed, the six-year figure–which typically entails a 50 percent increase in overall tuition–has become so common that it’s […]

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Online Education–Almost as Good as Face-to-Face?

Writing in the New York Times, University of Virginia English professor Mark Edmundson argues that online education is never going to be as good as live education with a real professor in a real classroom. In a sense, he’s right. There’s nothing like a top teacher: someone who can not only present complex material lucidly and […]

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The Meaningful March of the MOOCS

On July 16 Coursera–one of the new ventures by prestigious universities or their professors that offer free-of charge MOOCs (massive open online courses) to the general public–announced that twelve more institutions have joined the Coursera consortium that initially consisted of Stanford, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. One of the new […]

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What’s Yale Doing in Singapore?

Yale’s brand-new college in Singapore, a joint venture with the National University of Singapore (NUS), is “the first new college to bear Yale’s name in 300 years–and the first attempt to start a liberal-arts school in one of Asia’s leading financial centers,” the Wall Street Journal reports. But here’s one key way in which Yale […]

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A College with 90,000 Students May Go Under

The City College of San Francisco, the largest college in California with 90,000 students, appears to be on the brink of closing. California’s Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges put it on probation and gave it just eight months to demonstrate why it should stay in business. Without accreditation, City College will be ineligible […]

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Dissenting Scholarship Draws ‘Misconduct’ Inquiry

Mark Regnerus is a tenured associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. He published a paper in the peer-reviewed sociological journal Social Science Research. The paper, detailing the results of a study of children growing up in households headed by same-sex couples, concluded that those children may be at disadvantage “when it comes […]

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