California

Indoctrinating Students Isn’t Easy

UCLA has found a novel way to improve the politicization of its curriculum. UCLA Today, the faculty and staff newspaper, reports that the university’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Sustainability Committee have teamed up to help faculty members across the university figure out ways to slip sustainability messages into their classes, regardless […]

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UCLA’s Latest Display of Outrage

Cross-posted from Can These Bones Live  UCLA law professor Richard Sander has been the target of student protests at his university this week. Sander, a critic of affirmative action, published a report that argued UCLA’s supposedly “holistic” admissions process was quietly including race as a prominent factor in deciding who would be admitted to the […]

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How the Colleges Skew U.S. History

American history has been radically transformed on our campuses. Traditional topics are now not only marginalized but “re-visioned” to become more compatible with the dominant race/class/gender paradigm. In two posts last fall, I took a look at U.S. history offerings at Bowdoin College. The liberal arts college, one of the nation’s finest, long enjoyed a reputation as a training […]

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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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Politicians Push Professors Leftward

Another wacky idea from California: forcing teachers in the state university system to provide some form of social service as a condition of achieving tenure. Assembly Bill 2132, which passed in the legislature and is now awaiting  Governor Jerry Brown’s signature, “encourages” the independent University of California to include a demonstration of “service” in its […]

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The California College System under Scrutiny

A recent report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), entitled “Best Laid Plans: The Unfulfilled Promise of Public Higher Education,” explores a fair number of problems the California college system faces. However, I don’t think it covers them all. The report states openly and rightly the problems that California’s public colleges face […]

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University of California’s Politicization is Out of Control

KC Johnson drew our attention to an extraordinary development at UCLA, where the faculty senate of a major campus is now on record approving use of a class to promote an instructor’s personal political agenda. The practice itself is not new, but to date objections have been met either with obfuscation or outright denial.             The […]

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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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The Affirmative Action Zealots Have Won: Time to Surrender

For a half century I’ve vehemently opposed racial preferences in higher education. Opposition was partially ideological–I believe in merit–and partly based on sorrowful firsthand experience with affirmative action students and faculty. Though my principles remain unchanged I am now ready to concede defeat, throw in the towel and raise the white flag. Abolishing racial preferences […]

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When Sustainability Goes Too Far

(Picture: UC Chico’s 2011 Sustainability Report) California State University at Chico takes sustainability seriously. Yahoo listed it last year as one of the top five ‘green’ colleges in America. The university has made creating “environmentally literate citizens” an official strategic priority, and it has elaborated its general education program to include a “sustainability studies” track. […]

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Anger and the Banality of Academe

My editors at the Chronicle last week declined to permit me to publish my last piece on the same-sex marriage debate. They pointed out, reasonably enough, the topic is “too far afield from and tangential to academe and academic policy to run on Innovations.” That topic has, of course, had plenty of play on another Chronicle blog, Brainstorm, but I understand […]

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UCLA: Still Obsessed with Diversity

What is it with universities in California? Financially strapped, troubled by protesters making impossible demands, and worried about the declining value of their academic programs, many of the state’s great universities decide to…redouble their commitment to a fast-fading political ideology. The latest example is the impending vote by the faculty of UCLA’s College of Letters […]

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Donors Who Launch New Colleges

      By Evan Sparks, from Philanthropy magazine Scan the rankings of the world’s best universities and you may spot a few patterns. First, you will probably notice that, in every major survey, virtually all of the world’s 20 best schools are located in English-speaking countries. Next, within this elite cohort, it is hard to […]

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The “Mismatch Thesis,” Eye-Opening Research, and the Fisher Case

As the most important higher-education case in a decade makes its way to the Supreme Court–the Fisher case on racial preferences–UCLA law professor Richard Sander had an excellent series of posts at the Volokh Conspiracy summarizing one critical argument that his research has helped to highlight: that even the ostensible beneficiaries often are harmed (or […]

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The Radicalization of the University of California

Are the 234,000 students enrolled in the massive University of California system receiving an education or a re-education? It’s the latter–or something fairly close–according to “A Crisis of Competence,” a report just released by the California Association of Scholars (CAS), the Golden State affiliate of the National Association of Scholars. The devastating 87-page report addressed […]

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Perpetuity Isn’t Forever (If “Construed Liberally”)

Most people believe that “in perpetuity” means forever, or at least until hell freezes over. But not the University of California at Los Angeles, which is now proceeding to sell a Japanese garden that it had accepted as a gift after promising to keep and maintain it “in perpetuity.” How, you may well ask, can they […]

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Are Californians Turning Against Campus Race Preferences?

Back in September the College Republicans at the University of California, Berkeley, garnered a good deal of attention (including here and here) by sponsoring an anti-affirmative action bake sale. Part of their purpose was to call attention to legislation, SB 185, then waiting for Gov. Brown’s signature, that in clear violation of the state constitution’s prohibition […]

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Jerry Brown Disappoints Backers of Preferences

Say what you will about California’s enigmatic governor, Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown, but on major issues involving votes of the people, Brown is very reluctant to go against the will of the people, no matter what his personal views happen to be. In 1978, during his first term as governor, Brown opposed the highly popular […]

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The Cupcake War as a Religious Event

By now the “Cupcake War” in which the Berkeley College Republicans sold cupcakes with different prices for various ethnic/racial/gender groups is well known. Drawing less attention is why it produced the panicky overkill reaction, including strong condemnations from some university administrators. After all, the anti-affirmative action bake sale hardly threatens the diversity infrastructure and is […]

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A Department Of Diversity at Berkeley

The following job notice was posted August 4: The University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a position as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in any of the following three areas: (1) Diversity and Identity; (2) Legal or Philosophical Frameworks for Diverse Democracies; and (3) Diversity, Civil Society and Political Action, or some combination thereof. The anticipated […]

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Less Academics, More Narcissism

Reprinted from City Journal.  California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s […]

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The Campus Left’s Nostalgia Party – RSVP

I head an organization, the National Association of Scholars (NAS), that is often accused by its critics on the academic left of nostalgia for days when higher education was an exclusive club for the privileged.  The accusation is false.  NAS focuses on the enduring principles of the university:  rational inquiry, liberal learning, and academic freedom.  […]

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Fighting Back Against Campus Anti-Semitism

One day last March Jessica Felber, then 20, a Jewish undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, was standing on her campus, holding a placard bearing the words: “Israel Wants Peace.”  At that moment, Husam Zakaria, a Berkeley student leader of Students for Justice in Palestine, reportedly rammed Felber from behind so hard with […]

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Two Campus Free-Speech Cases Aimed at the Supreme Court

If you care about free speech on college campuses, there could hardly be a more sympathetic figure than Jonathan Lopez.  A  student at Los Angeles City College (LACC) in 2008,  when California voters  rejected Proposition 8 , he was one of the first victims of the rage of gay-rights advocates and their academic allies: a […]

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Highly Stressed Students and the Aimless Curriculum

When news came out recently that this year’s college freshmen rank their emotional well-being at record-low levels, observers in the media and the ivory tower began to wring their hands. Just how depressed are young men and women on campus? According to researchers at UCLA who conduct the annual “American Freshman” survey, the percentage of […]

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California’s Most Anti-Semitic College

Anti-Semitic incidents are common at the University of California at Irvine, and the Muslim Student Union is the major perpetrator. Although not all the antisemitic events at UCI, detailed recently by Kenneth Marcus in Commentary magazine, can be traced to the MSU, those that can include physical and verbal harassment of Jewish students, posters of […]

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The Endless War Against 209

By Ward Connerly More than thirteen years ago the people of California voted to end discrimination and “preferential treatment” on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity and national origin, in the public arenas of contracting, education and employment. The margin of the vote on the ballot initiative (Proposition 209) that enshrined the principle of […]

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What Happened at Berkeley in November

We now have a long and fascinating report by the campus police review board on last fall’s disruptive protests at the University of California, Berkeley. The 128-page document, entitled “November 20, 2009: Review, Reflection, and Recommendations,” released in mid-June, is the product of months of yeoman work garnering volumes of evidence. It chronicles and evaluates […]

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Reviewing the Turbulence at Berkeley

The review board of the UC Berkeley campus police has issued a 128-page report on the violent student protests of last November, criticizing actions by campus police and the University administration. The introduction and summary are here and the full report is here. Coverage of the report by the AP and The Daily Cal are […]

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