Social Justice Art and Liberal Democracy

Michelle Kamhi is the co-editor of the online arts review Aristos, and a mild-mannered, well-spoken New Yorker with a love of art and intellectual integrity. She is also the cause of a heated controversy that has broken out in the world of art education. The source of this conflict is an op-ed Kamhi wrote in … Continue reading Social Justice Art and Liberal Democracy

NYU’s Perilous Adventure in Abu Dhabi

New York University will open its vaunted campus in Abu Dhabi this fall, and so far it does seem to be the best campus that money can buy—Gulf oil money, that is. The story of the NYU-Abu Dhabi linkup, the brainchild of John Sexton, NYU’s strategically ebullient and relentlessly donor-courting and expansion-minded president, is a … Continue reading NYU’s Perilous Adventure in Abu Dhabi

A Dose of Poetic Justice at Cornell

During a conversation at an academic conference, a professor from an Ivy League school refers to two female graduate students as “black bitches.” After the students report the incident, the professor apologizes — but it takes another two months, and vociferous protests from the campus black community, for the university officials to acknowledge the issue … Continue reading A Dose of Poetic Justice at Cornell

A Nightmare Proposal

Sunday’s Washington Post featured a lengthy op-ed by Jaclyn Friedman, a self-described “writer, performer and activist” who is “a dynamic and powerful performer who performs and agitates with Big Moves, a national size-diverse performance troupe.” The column advanced a startling thesis: that “University campuses could easily become labs that innovate effective ways to prevent and … Continue reading A Nightmare Proposal

Is the Campus 45 Times as Dangerous as Detroit?

It’s back: the “campus rape crisis.” The latest all-hands-on-deck alarm comes from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), a nonprofit foundation based in Washington and specializing in what it describes as “investigative journalism about issues of public interest,” which teamed up with the investigative unit of National Public Radio (NPR) to issue a report in … Continue reading Is the Campus 45 Times as Dangerous as Detroit?

The Minnesota Case—An Institutional Diagnosis

KC Johnson has spoken well of the Minnesota teacher education initiative, and his analysis of the op-ed by the dean of the College of Education, Jean Quam, identified the thorough disregard of claims of indoctrination made by columnist Katherine Kersten in the Star-Tribune. Quam’s defense is so feeble and misleading, in fact, that it deserves … Continue reading The Minnesota Case—An Institutional Diagnosis

Opening Old Wounds

An unusually bitter academic argument of 2000 came up again at the American Anthropological Association annual convention in Philadelphia. At issue was the long and famous (critics would say, notorious) work of Napoleon Chagnon among the Yanomamo Indians of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil and Venezuela. The Yanomomi are not among the most endearing … Continue reading Opening Old Wounds

More Minnesota Madness

My article yesterday on this site, “Decoding Teacher Training,” discussed the efforts of the University of Minnesota’s Education Department to purge prospective public school teachers deemed politically incorrect on “diversity” matters. A report stresses the seemingly banal concept of “cultural competence,” which people from outside the Ivory Tower might suspect is simply making students and … Continue reading More Minnesota Madness

A Success Story: Immigrant Blacks In Colleges

Yet another statistical study reveals that the high school-age offspring of black immigrant families enroll in America’s elite colleges at a vastly higher rate proportionate to their numbers than the offspring of U.S.-born blacks, and even at a slightly higher rate than whites. This latest study, published in the journal Sociology of Education (abstract here), … Continue reading A Success Story: Immigrant Blacks In Colleges

Here Comes “Cultural Competence”

John Rosenberg (Discriminations) and Mickey Kaus (Kausfiles) note that the slippery term “cultural competence” pops up often in the health care bill passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Once a harmless term in medical literature referring to the need to understand and communicate with patients of different races and ethnicities, “cultural competence” mutated … Continue reading Here Comes “Cultural Competence”

Teaching Twittering?

Whenever you read the words “for the 21st century” in connection with some educational topic, you know it’s time to run for cover. That’s because “21st century” is edu-speak for “letting your students mess around on computers instead of teaching them something substantive.” The latest manifestation of this seems to be a report released at … Continue reading Teaching Twittering?

Antioch – Will It Flatline Once Again?

When Antioch College, the venerable liberal arts institution in Yellow Springs, Ohio, shut its doors in June 2008, its professors laid off and most of its students transferring elsewhere, it had become the shipwreck of a perfect storm of political correctness run amok. Now, more than six months later, Antioch’s alumni have launched a plan … Continue reading Antioch – Will It Flatline Once Again?

Obama And The Campus Left

Apart from Barack Obama’s call for students who perform national service to receive a college tuition credit, issues related to higher education received scant attention in the 2008 campaign. Yet for those interested in meaningful reform on the nation’s college campuses, the election provides some intriguing possibilities—provided that Republicans move beyond the perspectives offered in … Continue reading Obama And The Campus Left

University Of The Absurd

Recently I sat down with a young woman who shared with me the experience of her first year at Thurgood Marshall College, one of the six colleges of the University of California at San Diego. She explained to me that regardless of her major field of study and in order to graduate she was required … Continue reading University Of The Absurd

A “Wildly Misleading” Self-Defense

Selena Roberts, a former New York Times sports columnist, now with Sports Illustrated , is still trying to justify her garbled coverage of the Duke lacrosse case. A Roberts column of March 31, 2006, devoted to pre-judging the lacrosse players, said they had been forced to provide DNA (untrue, they provided DNA and hair samples … Continue reading A “Wildly Misleading” Self-Defense

Another Activist Major At UCLA

UCLA has just approved an addition to the majors offered by their Spanish and Portuguese departments: Spanish and Community and Culture, reports the Daily Bruin. What makes this different? Well, the Bruin has an answer: “what makes this major different from the other Spanish majors are two community service-based courses that place students in quarter-long … Continue reading Another Activist Major At UCLA

Dark Night At The Museum

Edward Rothstein’s remarkable article today in the Arts section of the New York Times carries the obligatory bland headline: “Two New Shows Cast Light and Darkness on Early Cultures in America.” The reference is to “Exploring the Early Americas” at the Library of Congress, and more egregiously, an embarrassing drowned-in-cultural-relativism show at Chicago’s Field Museum, … Continue reading Dark Night At The Museum

Antioch: Still Radical, Still Closing

Antioch College, the famously progressive institution in Yellow Springs, Ohio, is again slated for shutdown at the end of this academic year, despite months of negotiations and frantic fundraising by its alumni in a last-ditch effort to keep its doors open after an earlier announcement that it would close. It’s sad, because Antioch, founded in … Continue reading Antioch: Still Radical, Still Closing

College Sports – A Very Useful Fetish

Is it just me, or have others noted that “Big-Time College Sports” (basketball and football, primarily) have recently taken yet another leap into a qualitatively different zone? In my neck of the woods, we have the very controversial new Big Ten Network, which hopes to make gobs of money from advertisers if cable companies ever … Continue reading College Sports – A Very Useful Fetish

Duke Lacrosse And The Professions of Diversity

[Robert “K.C.” Johnson is the indefatigable chronicler of the Duke non-rape case, turning out a thousand words of brilliant reportage and analysis a day for more than a year on his Durham-in-Wonderland site. On the Volokh Conspiracy, Jim Lindgren writes” “If bloggers were eligible for Pulitizer Prize… I would nominate Brooklyn Professor K.C. Johnson… No … Continue reading Duke Lacrosse And The Professions of Diversity