Uncategorized

Music Education in the Age of COVID-19

Quite a bit has been written about the relative merits of online education versus in-person instruction. Before this year, most online courses around the country were taken voluntarily, but when the COVID-19 shutdown occurred in mid-March, thousands of instructors found themselves forced to hurriedly convert their classes to an online format, for better or worse. […]

Read More

Teacher Unconstitutionally Fired for Facebook Post Rejecting Concept of ‘White Privilege’

An Illinois high school teacher was fired on July 16 for a Facebook post rejecting the idea of “white privilege.” That violated the First Amendment, even if some people viewed her Facebook post as racially inflammatory. Speech doesn’t become punishable just because it offends members of minority groups. For example, in Thompson v. Board of Education of Chicago (1989), […]

Read More

University Removes Director for Mild Criticism of Affirmative Action, Violating Free Speech

The University of Pittsburgh has removed a program director at its medical center because he published a scholarly, peer-reviewed white paper discussing the pitfalls of affirmative action for black and Hispanic students. This violated the First Amendment, which protects even harsh criticism of affirmative action. The white paper was gentle in its criticism of racial preferences, merely […]

Read More

The Invention of ‘Systemic Racism’

It is now the official view in government, industry, and education that African Americans and certain other “people of color” perform poorly in schools and the workforce, but nonetheless must be treated as if they perform well. The statistically weak performance of African Americans, according to the official view, is not their fault; it is […]

Read More

Dr. Welfare Queen, Ph.D.

Military disasters such as Pearl Harbor often warrant official investigations. But another one is sure to come. Decades from now, an official inquiry will look into how American universities collapsed into madness during the early twenty-first century. Unfortunately, when that day finally arrives, very few of us who survived that insanity will be around to […]

Read More

George Mason University May Discriminate Based on Race in Unconstitutional Ways

As part of a new “anti-racism” push, George Mason University plans to discriminate based on race in favor of faculty of color. On July 23, Dr. Gregory Washington, the president of GMU, announced that “We will develop specific mechanisms in the promotion and tenure process that recognize the invisible and uncredited emotional labor that people of color […]

Read More

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations at Rutgers

A stunning letter titled, “Department actions in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” written by Rebecca L. Walkowitz, chair of Rutgers’ English Department, affirms how deeply academia is now in the thrall of racism hysteria, particularly after the death of George Floyd under the knee of a brutal police officer in Minneapolis. The letter is steeped […]

Read More

Misreading Polling Data on Race

Caught up as we still are in the post-Floyd hysteria, the nation is seemingly transfixed on rooting out “systemic racism,” whatever and wherever that is. And with both the upcoming presidential election and a Black Lives Matter-like Proposition 16 to revive racial preferences on the November California ballot, accurate polling and survey data on racial […]

Read More

The Battle Over Pronouns Coming to a College Near You

Last year, Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto, made news when he refused to use the invented pronouns of the transgender movement as prescribed by Canadian law (see chart). Pronouns these days are a new battleground, as recommendations admonish us all that the standard English pronouns, which traditionally distinguish she from he, […]

Read More

China’s Propaganda Arm on U.S. Campuses

More than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have allowed Confucian Institutes on their campuses. These institutes, sponsored and paid for by the Chinese government, yield a good deal of sway to  China over the curriculum and hiring of teachers, sometimes outsourcing control. As a result, several universities, including the University of Chicago, have closed their […]

Read More

The University as Nursery

One of the implications of the shift of pressure against free speech from left-wing faculty and administrators to undergraduates is that the ideological framework of liberal bias doesn’t quite apply.  Yes, we have language of “racism” and “sexism,” along with demands that relics of US history that fail the PC test be torn down.  But […]

Read More

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Mary Spellman,  dean of students at Claremont McKenna College in California,  resigned under pressure after  sending a gracious note to a troubled minority student. A student demonstration argued that  Spellman’s comforting message was in effect a way of saying that minorities didn’t belong at the school. Charlotte Allen has the story at her blog, Stupid Girl […]

Read More

Cornell’s Not Even Hiding Its Bias Anymore

A few highlights from the online site of Cornell University’s conservative student newspaper, the Cornell Review: At her inauguration as Cornell’s new president, Elizabeth Garrett said, “We must heed the call to be radical and progressive.” Later she issued apparently contradictory statements on free speech, calling herself “an avid supporter of freedom of speech” at a […]

Read More

A One-Sided Law Meeting

In the week that a new organization, Heterodox Academy, was established to press for more ideological diversity in academic life, the learned association in my own profession showed how much it is needed. The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) sent around a notice of its prospective annual meeting, highlighting its most prominent speakers. Of the […]

Read More

Expel 10 If One or Two Are Guilty of Rape?

At a House oversight hearing last week, Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) seemed deeply troubled by two arguments raised by FIRE’s Joseph Cohn: that trained police, rather than campus bureaucrats, are better equipped to investigate felony offenses; and that the current campus tribunals deny meaningful due process for students accused of sexual assault. In response, Polis […]

Read More
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, […]

Read More

Academic Work May Not Be Worth Your Time or Effort

This is an excerpt from a September 8 article published by Vox, “I Have One of the Best Jobs in Academia. Here’s Why I’m Walking Away.” Despite all the finger-pointing directed at students (“They’re lazy! They’re oversensitive! They’re entitled!”), and the blame heaped on professors (“Out of touch and irrelevant to a man”), the real […]

Read More

Why STEM ‘Diversity’? Just Because

Most reports, studies, proposals, etc., calling for more “diversity” — whether of faculties, students, coaches, whatever — either fail to provide any justification for the discrimination necessary to increase it or fall flat, sometimes fatuously, when they do attempt to provide a justification. In reviewing a typical one, for example, MIT’s Report on The Initiative […]

Read More

ARE SCOTT WALKER’S UNIVERSITY BUDGET CUTS A WIN FOR STUDENTS?

Should college professors teach more? Specifically, should professors at public research universities devote more time to teaching undergraduates, and less to research? In two states this, um, academic question has become a political controversy, one likely to crop up elsewhere. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican presidential candidate, has proposed a tuition freeze and […]

Read More

College Students Now–the Good and the Bad

First, the good news:  My undergraduate students here at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are quite literate, contrary to all the bad press and fears. Every week I give them a 20-minute writing assignment in class, the sole preparation for which is having done the week’s homework.  Turns out they write pretty well; arguably, in […]

Read More

Princeton Takes a Stand on Free Speech

“Our university campuses are now islands of oppression in a sea of freedom.”—Abigail Thernstrom, 1990 So say many critics of our colleges, and, alas, in many cases correctly.  Here are the hallmarks of today’s college campus: The implementation of hate speech codes The stultifying strictures of political correctness The greatly expanded notions of verbal harassment […]

Read More