New York

Politics and the Race/Class/Gender Trinity

My City University of New York colleague David Gordon has penned a convincing analysis about the current state of history in higher education. I share, and fully endorse, his critique about the direction of the field, with the vise-grip of the race/class/gender trinity “distort[ing] historical enquiry.” Stressing above all else victimization and oppression poorly serves […]

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Vague-Talking and the Loss of English

In the mid-1980s, American English was overwhelmed by a linguistic mutation that transferred the burden of verbal communication fraom speaker to listener.  Because it sidestepped the need for vocabulary and clarity, and because its shapeless syntax shielded speakers from the risk of saying something insensitive or incorrect, this new mode of expression won rapid acceptance, jumping […]

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More Rumblings at CUNY

I’ve written before about the Pathways plan, a sensible proposal  to create  a common core curriculum at the City University of New York (CUNY). It has been sponsored by the administration of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees. The extraordinary–and student-unfriendly–process that currently exists at CUNY contradicts the vision of […]

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Why Are There Still Preferences for Women?

Using federal statistics, Laura Norén has prepared a series of graphics showing gender distribution among recent recipients of undergraduate, M.A., and Ph.D./professional degrees. The charts are visually striking, especially since all three sets of charts show movement in an identical direction. According to Norén, by 2020, women are projected to earn 61 percent of all […]

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The Beast That Ate The Village

As the 2012-13 academic year gets under way, more than 40,000 students from all 50 states and 130 foreign countries are attending the graduate and undergraduate schools of New York University.  Some of these young scholars will undoubtedly ride to school in upscale cars or limos: a year at NYU with room and board costs […]

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NYU Targeted over Gay Marriage

Cross-Posted from Open Market New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants to kick Chick-fil-A out of New York because its CEO, Dan Cathy, opposes gay marriage. Accordingly, she informed the head of New York University (which leases space to the one Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York City) that “Chick-fil-A is not welcome in New York […]

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A Modest Proposal to Promote Intellectual Diversity

As one who has spent nearly four decades in the academy, let me confirm what outsiders often suspect: the left has almost a complete headlock on the publication of serious (peer reviewed) research in journals and scholarly books. It is not that heretical ideas are forever buried. They can be expressed in popular magazines, op-eds […]

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Affirmative Action Starts to Unravel

Listen closely and you can hear the sound of “diversity” crumbling, this week mixed with laughter over the news that the City University of New York has created two more official diversity groups–“white/Jewish” and “Italian-Americans.” Critics of the new Jewish category claim that “the creation of a label for Jewish professors could be used to […]

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Should Police Monitor Muslim Student Groups?

Universities have been expressing concern and even outrage over Associated Press reports that the New York Police Department spent six months in 2006-2007 keeping tabs on Muslim Student Associations at 16 colleges in the northeast, including Columbia, Yale, Rutgers and NYU. Some university presidents and spokesmen complained that the NYPD’s surveillance activities, conducted without clear […]

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More Campus Claptrap about 9/11

Our own Charlotte Allen has a wonderful piece in the Weekly Standard on campus events marking the anniversary of 9/11. While some of the events are rational enough and a few seem moving, the general tone reflects the fact that after a decade, our campuses are still as out of sync with the rest of […]

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Three Strong Views of the Kushner Affair

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) displayed a fascinating range of opinion over the recent City University of New York decision to award Tony Kushner an honorary degree. First the Board of the group issued a statement deploring the award as “politicization of the university.” This drew a vehement letter denouncing the SPME […]

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The Usual Suspects Attack a Reformer

Today’s New York Post features a strong editorial praising the work of CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein, whose record of improving quality over the past decade is virtually unparalleled among university heads nationally. The Chancellor’s proposal, called Pathways, seeks to establish common general-education requirements at CUNY’s senior and community colleges, largely to smooth the transfer process […]

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Kushner and His Defenders–the Empire Strikes Back

The New York Times reports that on Monday, the executive committee of the City University of New York Board of Trustees will likely approve Tony Kushner for an honorary degree. If I were on the board, I’d endorse the position articulated by Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld and oppose the motion. It seems to me hypocritical, as […]

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CUNY Trustees Stand Up Against Faculty’s Anti-Israel Sentiments

Over the past year, it seems as if faculty at the City University of New York have done everything they can to make it seem as if hostility to Israel is the institution‘s official policy. First came Brooklyn College‘s decision to assign as the one and only required book for all incoming students a book […]

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Helping SUNY’s Flagships

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes giving the four SUNY research universities (Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook) $140 million in economic development funds and – perhaps, if the legislature agrees – permission to levy higher tuition.  The governor is right in viewing SUNY campuses, and especially its most senior ones, as economic engines; indeed, outside of […]

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Should University Flagships Go It Alone?

Overshadowed by the big political confrontation in Wisconsin is a higher-education story of note: The highly regarded “flagship” Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin seeks permission to secede from the rest of the state public higher education system (yet remain under the state’s oversight and subsidization).  While this is being justified now by the […]

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The Odd Cold-War Center at NYU

Many universities have set up centers to examine the history of the Cold War. The Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington D. C., for example, created an offshoot called The Cold War International History Project. That institute has over the years hosted many conferences, with panels of scholars representing all points of view. Two years […]

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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 […]

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Ahmadinejad’s Beachhead at Yale

On Sept. 23 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a visit to U.N. headquarters in New York, told the U.N.’s General Assembly that “some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack” that killed 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. Within hours of Ahmadinejad’s speech, which prompted walkouts by U.N diplomats from the United States, Britain, […]

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Toward Curricular Change in the Academy

This paper was prepared for yesterday’s conference on “Capitalism on Campus: What Are Students Learning? What Should They Know?” The one-day event in New York City was sponsored by the Manhattan Institute’s Center for the American University. Charlotte Allen, who writes frequently (and exceptionally well) for Minding the Campus, is preparing a report for us […]

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The Sad Transformation of the American University

This is the slightly edited introduction to the author’s new collection of essays, Decline and Revival in Higher Education ( Transaction Publishers ). Dr. London is president of the Hudson Institute, one of the founders of the National Association of Scholars, and the former John M. Olin Professor of the Humanities at New York University. […]

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Unfettering New York’s Public Universities

Fiscally beleaguered presidents of public universities around the country like to wisecrack: “public universities used to be publicly funded, then they were publicly assisted, now they are publicly named.” While easy to dismiss as a self-serving whine, there is something to their complaint, at least as it applies to the two public university systems in […]

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The Curious Case of Dr. Howell

By KC Johnson As part of its more general—and oft-expressed—commitment to academic freedom, CUNY’s Board of Trustees has a student complaint policy that appropriately balances the faculty’s academic freedom with a recognition that students, too, have the right not to be punished for disagreeing with their professor’s political or ideological agenda. To ensure that student […]

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The Times Misleads Its Readers about CUNY

On Friday, New York Times education reporter Lisa Foderaro penned a curious article about City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. The substance was clear: to quote Terry Hartle of the American Council of Education, Goldstein’s “compensation, while a significant amount of money, is relatively modest for the best public university presidents in the […]

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NYU’s ”Union” Activism Re-Emerges

The New York Times recently brought news that that the union and faculty activists determined to establish a graduate student union at NYU have renewed their crusade. I use the phrase “union and faculty activists” deliberately, since it’s hard to imagine that any of the graduate students actually involved in the original controversy remain at […]

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Challenging the Education Monopoly

Kudos to the New York Board of Regents, for a plan to break the monopoly held in the state by education schools in the licensing of public school teachers. Under current law, all New York schoolteachers have to obtain a masters’ degree (or the equivalent in undergraduate education classes) from a state-certified Education program. The […]

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Binghamton’s Diversity “Experiment”

Anyone who follows college sports knows the basic outlines of the fiasco that befell Binghamton University’s men’s basketball team. A few years after making the transition to Division I and building a new arena, Binghamton hired a new coach, Kevin Broadus, who recruited low-character, academically challenged “students” who happened to be talented basketball players. The […]

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The Embarrassing Barron of New York

By and large, Christine Quinn has done a commendable job as New York City Council speaker, working cooperatively with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and constraining the more extreme members of her caucus, which is no easy task in a city like New York. Yet she now has a decision that will help define her legacy—whether to […]

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College Students Who Can’t Do Math Or Read Well

By Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman Every year seems to produce a burst of attention to a particular crisis in education. In 2009, the most publicized crisis is likely the staggering number of post-secondary students with severe debilities in reading and math. Estimates of those needing remedial classes before taking credit courses range from 30% […]

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CUNY Union: Challenge Gratz?

I have written elsewhere on how academic unions tend to attract the most extremist voices even in an academy that overwhelmingly tilts to one side ideologically. Within the category of extremist academic unions, however, the CUNY union, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), stands out. Since 2000 headed by a faction called the New Caucus, the […]

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