Articles

Tricking Voters to Accept Racial Preferences

The margin of victory for Washington state voters who opposed the return of affirmative action has been inching up. A few days ago, it was .6%, about 13,000 votes. As of Friday night, November 15, it was 1.08%, around 21,000 votes. It should continue to increase as the remaining returns come in. In my recent […]

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When 29 Courses on Black Writing Isn’t Enough at Williams

The readers, writers, and editors of Minding the Campus have it all wrong. If they were to hear the words “Williams College English Department,” a vision of politically correct, exquisitely liberal professors would instantly spring to mind. If they went to the department web site, to be sure, they could find support for their judgment, […]

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Washington State Voters Reject Affirmative Action, Again

All the votes cast on November 5 in the “duplicitous attempt” to bring affirmative action back to Washington state have not been counted, but since the counties with large numbers of uncounted ballots all voted heavily against affirmative action it is now all but certain that attempt fell short. As of Monday morning, November 11, […]

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Four Contrarian Universities

New U.S. Department of Education data show that the number of postsecondary educational institutions in the U.S. declined 15 percent (from 7,234 to 6,138) between the 2012-3 and 2018-19 academic years, with fully one-third of the decline in the last year. In the past two years, total undergraduate enrollment has fallen by 627,000, more than […]

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A Racially “Woke” Agenda Is Now Hardwired in Public Schools

Many college professors and administrators are eager to turn their students into ideological clones of themselves in hopes of ensuring that the U.S. will have the kind of governmentally controlled, collectivistic society they desire. Sometimes their “success” in that becomes spectacularly evident, such as the furious, vitriolic attack by the Oberlin College community against a […]

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How to Lower Skyrocketing College Tuition Costs

Conservatives have long worried about the Bennett Hypothesis. Named for former Education Secretary William Bennett, it argues that the availability of federal financial aid programs leads colleges to increase tuition faster than they otherwise would. Conservatives have been right to worry. But there’s a way to break that link—by changing how we determine aid eligibility. […]

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The Slow and Tortuous Death of the GRE

Science magazine recently studied eight science disciplines at 50 select universities, tabulating the ones that include Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as an application requirement. In 2018, 44 percent of molecular biology programs had stopped asking for GRE scores, and the study predicted the rate would pass 50 percent in the following year’s applications. In the fields […]

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A Duplicitous Attempt to Rescue Affirmative Action

Despite all the attention that has been devoted to Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard in which a U.S. District judge in Boston recently held that Harvard’s discrimination against Asian applicants was not illegal, the next chapter in the generations-old battle over affirmative action will not be written by the First Circuit in Boston or […]

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Where Does the Impulse to Vilify America and the West Come From?

When I first took up my teaching post in 1968, a bright undergraduate said to me, “North American culture is the most corrupt in the world.” I was rather shocked to hear this, having just returned from a year of ethnographic research in the Middle East, where arguably there are many more serious problems. The […]

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Women's March - March 22, 2018

When Feminist Ideology Trumps Science

This week Melinda Gates said that she is committing $1 billion to promote gender equality by doing things like dismantling “harmful gender norms.” To many people, this sounds like a wonderful idea, but how effective are gender equality strategies that blame inequality solely on social factors such as gender norms and stereotypes? Professor Alice Eagly, in her […]

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An Opponent of Due Process for the Supreme Court?

Amidst the increased recent attention paid to injustices in the criminal justice system, the opposition of prominent Democratic legislators—and progressive activists—to campus due process stands out more remarkably. The point was reinforced by two events, separated by a few hours, on Tuesday. To start the day, a progressive activist group called “Demand Justice” released a […]

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College Summer Reading: A Mandated Dive Into ‘Oppressed Minorities’

In 2018, Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania, asked all incoming students to read Justin LaKyle Brown’s diversity manual titled—I kid not— UGH!?! Not Another Diversity Book: When Multicultural Competence Meets a Real Reality. The title at least pays homage to the ubiquity of college diversity training. Lackawanna College already requires each student to complete a […]

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Why Harvard’s Affirmative Action Victory Should Be Overturned

The recent affirmative action opinion (discussed here) in Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University held that Harvard’s discrimination against Asians did not amount to discrimination. Despite the victory of Harvard and the entire higher education hierarchy, committed as it is to using racial preferences to promote “diversity,” there is a reason to believe this […]

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Free Speech Must Be Protected Inside and Outside the College Classroom

A 2019 report by the Knight Foundation on the state of collegiate student expression made the troubling conclusion that “students largely agree that the political and social climate on college campuses prevents some students from saying what they really believe because they’re afraid of offending their classmates.” The data revealed that 68% felt silenced because […]

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Should We Abandon the Concept of Merit?

Here we go again—yet another book denouncing merit and meritocracy. Merit is such a useful idea that it is hard to think that a society could do without it, and probably none does. That, however, hasn’t restrained a burgeoning industry of people who are fed up with the whole idea. “Abolish merit!” they thunder. “It […]

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Is Yale More Dangerous than Detroit?

Few universities have a more troubling record on Title IX matters than Yale. A few months after settling a lawsuit brought by former basketball captain Jack Montague—thereby avoiding trial on a variety of claims, including that the university manipulated its procedures to bring charges against Montague and then found him guilty despite a preponderance of […]

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Will SCOTUS Back Harvard’s Affirmative Action Win?

A few days ago, Judge Allison Burroughs, appointed by President Obama to the Federal District of Massachusetts, issued her decision in Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard College in which the plaintiffs claimed that affirmative action preferences awarded to blacks and Hispanics amounted to illegal discrimination against Asians. It’s a doozy, by which I mean […]

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What the New York Times Got Wrong About Slavery in America

The New York Times recently drew a lot of attention for its “1619 Project” initiative, which has been criticized for misrepresenting the role of the slave trade as the central core to the development of the United States. The Times “aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the […]

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When Colleges Defraud Donors

Colleges rarely sue one another, so when little Hillsdale College in Michigan sued the much larger University of Missouri a couple of years ago, it raised some eyebrows. Hillsdale alleges that Mizzou blatantly violated the terms of Wall Street financier Sherlock Hibbs’ will, who left $5 million to his alma mater upon his death to […]

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Court Allows Indirect Control of Campus Speech

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the University of Michigan could be dampening free speech on campus by allowing a group that helps students who have experienced potentially prejudicial acts to operate at the institution. Speech First, a Washington, D.C.-based civil liberties watchdog, sued Michigan last year, asking for an injunction to halt the activities of the university’s […]

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Should False Rape Reports Be Punished?

The Ninth Commandment urges us as follows: “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The principle of false witness as an offense has been incorporated in British Common Law and American law as “perjury … defined as swearing falsely, under oath, in a judicial proceeding, about a material issue.” Perjury is a felony, a serious criminal offense. […]

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Man comforting his depressed friend

Fake Claims of Rape Due to Trauma Are Under Scrutiny

The big news in campus sexual misconduct hearings is that believers in trauma-informed adjudications are on the defensive. What that verbal mouthful means is that apparent weaknesses in a complainant’s case—inarticulateness, contradictions, lying, or being too “frozen’’ or fearful of testifying—must not be automatically taken as evidence that sexual trauma has occurred. In recent years, […]

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Bloomberg Warns Colleges on Limiting Free Speech

Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made headlines by arguing in a political column that political rage and increasingly polarized discourse are endangering the nation. He said Americans are too unwilling to engage with people whose ideas are different from their own. He added that Americans used to move forward productively after elections regardless […]

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Has Harvard Lost Its Taste for Western Civilization?

The official greeting of Harvard president Larry Bacow to the members of the Harvard Community — a typical welcome to new students, faculty, and parents — has touched a political nerve. Stina Chang, writing on the Asian-American news site AsAmNews picked up Bacow’s pitch to legislators to ease restrictions on international students who want to […]

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Doing Physics While Black

If “diversity” is not only good but an essential core ingredient of a quality education, as the current academic mantra insists, then physics — the least diverse of all fields (blacks earned 2% of bachelor’s degrees in 2015) — has a big problem. Now Stanford claims to have a solution. “Physics faculty and students are […]

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The Garden of College Excellence Is Growing Weeds

Anthony Kronman, my long-time Yale Law School colleague and perhaps the most eloquent individual I know personally, has written a brave, high-minded, argumentative, and largely persuasive book about the values and choices that should animate our greatest colleges and universities but no longer do. His book, The Assault on American Excellence, is also quixotic in […]

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the poison of identity politics

Columbia Adds Multiculturalism to Core Curriculum

Columbia University has decided to add a contemporary multicultural component to its famed core curriculum, Insidehighered.com reported. You knew it was coming. The Western Civilization orientation in general education coursework has been utterly routed for a long time now. The few remaining cases, such as Columbia’s, won’t endure because the academic left won’t let them. […]

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Teaching That America Is Hopelessly Racist

Many more college students have read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ anti-white screed Between the World and Me (2015) than have read, say, works by the Nobel economist Robert Fogel, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery (1974) or Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (1989). I can say that with […]

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Are College Costs Transforming Family Life?

The New York intellectual establishment has learned via a New York Times op-ed and a New Yorker story/book review that the high cost of college has “changed” (Times) or “transformed” (New Yorker) American family life. That is nothing particularly new or revealing, at least for millions of Americans living, as I do, in that vast […]

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Harvard Law Professors Challenge Unfairness of Title IX

A lawsuit filed by an accused professor against Baylor University is the latest in a string of litigation from professors or high-level university employees adjudicated under campus Title IX tribunals. It was all but inevitable that the unfair Title IX apparatus that has ensnared thousands of accused students would target professors as well. It might […]

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