Posts Tagged ‘Title IX’

Schools roundup

  • Microaggression: you’re outta here. Smash vintage stained glass window on purpose: welcome back to Yale family [Inside Higher Ed, John McGinnis]
  • “Florida teenager threatens to sue after failing to make cheerleading squad” [New York Daily News]
  • “Did Chicago college fire professor because of his advanced age (illegal) or because he plagiarized 10,000 words in his textbook (legal)? Seventh Circuit: The evidence points to the latter.” [John Ross, Short Circuit]
  • Federal edicts on school discipline require educators to punish innocent, refrain from punishing guilty [Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial] Racial review of school discipline policy not working out well in St. Paul, Minn. [Katherine Kersten, The Federalist] De Blasio in NYC [Bob McManus, City Journal]
  • U.K.: head of lefty National Union of Students blames privatization of education for young people’s joining Islamic State [Nicola Woolcock, The Times]
  • “Does Title IX Prohibit Sexual Harassment in College, But Require It in Locker Rooms?” [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • FIRE backs suit over Dear Colleague letter

    With help from FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), a former University of Virginia law student has sued the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights arguing that it violated the law in its notorious 2011 Dear Colleague letter requiring many campuses to roll back the procedural rights of students accused of sexual assault. The John Doe complainant argues that the department should at a minimum have put the policy shifts proclaimed in the letter through the notice-and-comment process prescribed for rulemaking, rather than in effect proclaiming them by decree through subregulatory guidance. The letter affected the student’s own case, he argues, because of comments from the retired judge deciding the case that she viewed the evidence as falling short of a clear and convincing threshold, the standard formerly in use, and ruled against him only because the university had complied with federal guidance by dropping its standard to preponderance of the evidence. [Susan Svrluga, Washington Post; Hans Bader, CEI]

    ALI turns down proposal to redefine criminal sexual assault

    “In a rebuke to a feminist idea that has migrated from college campuses to mainstream culture, an influential legal group overwhelmingly rejected Tuesday a provision that would have endorsed an ‘affirmative consent’ standard for the purpose of defining sexual assault.” [Bradford Richardson, Washington Times] The American Law Institute proposals, which would have significantly expanded the definition of criminal sexual assault, had drawn sustained criticism from some civil libertarians [Stuart Taylor, Jr., John Fund, Ashe Schow/Washington Examiner; more, Scott Greenfield first and second posts] The ALI project in general is supposed to be aimed at restating courts’ current consensus in applying and interpreting the law, but often becomes the scene of efforts to tug the law in one direction or another. “Affirmative consent” has made inroads as a standard in the college disciplinary setting.

    Deirdre McCloskey on the bathroom battle

    I was hoping/waiting to hear what eminent economist Deirdre McCloskey, born Donald, would have to say about the transgender bathroom flap. Wish granted, thanks to Warren Coats and his blog:

    Before I “passed” (surgery, working at it) I was frightened to go into a ladies’ room, but I could hardly go into a men’s room in a dress. You can imagine how dangerous that would be! I was allowed to put Female on my driver’s license in tolerant Iowa in 1995. But you are right that it is unwise in such matters if nothing much is going wrong to stir things up. I’ll bet now that Iowa has rules from the state. Then it was left to Iowans’ ample common sense. My passport F was tougher—I wept to the woman at the New Hampshire passport office, and she relented and sent my passport the day before I was boarding a flight to go to Holland to teach for a year, in January 1996. So the State Department unofficially was cool. A year later I tried to get Harvard to change my degree from Harvard College class of ’64 to the women’s college, Radcliffe. The male dean I spoke to thought not. I whined, “But the State Department had no problem giving me an F passport.” With a smile in his voice he replies, “But Harvard is older than the State Department!”

    “There’s more on all this in my memoir of my transition, Crossing: A Memoir (1999 University of Chicago Press).

    “The bathroom “issue” is entirely phony. It has never been a problem. Anyway, if men wanted to sneak in (they don’t), they could always have done so, with or without North Carolina’s law. How is it to be enforced? DNA testing by the TSA at every bathroom door? Anyway, your house has a unisex bathroom, I presume, and in Europe they are not entirely uncommon—after all, the stalls have doors. Etc, etc. On both sides it is just a club to beat up the other side in the silly Cultural Wars, and to make people hate and disdain each other. Adam Smith would not have approved.”

    Meanwhile, Hans Bader argues that the Obama administration stands on very shaky ground both legally and prudentially in trying to impose a single nationwide set of practices by way of Title IX and funding cutoffs, aside from whether that set of practices is in fact the right one. More: Richard Epstein/Hoover, Roger Pilon/Cato, Robby Soave/Reason, Neal McCluskey (no relation)/Daily Caller, and earlier here and here on the North Carolina law.

    Campus climate roundup

    • Department of Justice: we’re going to use that Dear Colleague Title IX letter as a basis for prosecution, and colleges are going to need to crack down on speech if they want to stay in compliance [Eugene Volokh, Scott Greenfield, and FIRE, on University of New Mexico case] A brief history of how we got here from the Dear Colleague letter [Justin Dillon and Matt Kaiser, L.A. Times; my Commentary piece three years ago anticipating the basics] Why won’t even a single university challenge this stuff in court? [Coyote, earlier]
    • Dangers of “safe spaces”: Mike Bloomberg’s Michigan commencement address is getting noticed [Bloomberg View, Deadline Detroit, Soave] “Slogans Have Replaced Arguments” [John McWhorter]
    • Compulsory chapel will make no provision for adherents of dissenting sects: Oregon State plans training incoming freshmen in “social justice learning,” “diversity,” and “inclusivity.” [Robby Soave]
    • Running various departments at George Mason U. along lines recommended by Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”: no problem. Naming law school after Antonin Scalia: that might politicize things [Michael Greve via Bainbridge]
    • USC cancels visiting panel of gaming industry stars because it’s all-male [Heat Street]
    • Harvard aims sanctions at students who join off-campus, unofficial single-sex clubs [The Crimson, FIRE, background Althouse, Greenfield]
    • Margot Honecker, hated DDR education minister, filled schools with indoctrination, informants. Glad that era’s over [Washington Post, Telegraph, SkyNews obituaries]

    Campus climate roundup

    • New college freshmen show scant knowledge about or commitment to free speech. How’d that happen? [Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, L.A. Times via Josh Blackman] New Gallup survey of students on campus speech [Knight Foundation and report] Greg Lukianoff (FIRE) interviewed [Fault Lines]
    • Senior Ohio State administrator coolly advises protesters that not retreating from their “occupied space” will involve getting arrested and expelled [Eric Owens, Daily Caller]
    • Mizzou’s chief diversity officer asked university administration to assist protesters with logistics. And it did. [Jillian Kay Melchior, Heat Street]
    • No, the regents of a public university should not be saying that “anti-Zionism” has “no place at the University of California.” [Eugene Volokh]
    • “In Her Own Words: Laura Kipnis’ ‘Title IX Inquisition’ at Northwestern” [FIRE interview, earlier] Title IX complainant at U.Va.: that mural must go [Charlotte Allen, IWF]
    • National Coalition Against Censorship, AAUP, FIRE, and Student Press Law Center voice opposition to calls to ban anonymous speech apps such as Yik Yak on campus [NCAC, College Fix, earlier]

    Campus climate roundup

    • Madness at Harvard Law School: “This is an occupation,” so activist group Reclaim HLS gets to take down posters it disagrees with [The Crimson; Harvard Law Record (“Barlow said that one protestor told him that if he wanted to post a sign, he could attend Reclaim’s plenary meetings and vote with them about whether or not certain speech should be approved. But he could not, he was told, post a sign without prior approval from Reclaim.”); Avrahm Berkowitz/The Observer]
    • “Refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement” is part of Edinburgh University safe space policy, and now a student leader is in trouble for allegedly raising her arms to indicate disagreement as well as shaking her head in a seeming “no”; while disputing its application to her own action she continues to defend the rule itself [Huffington Post UK]
    • “Or in which candidates were dismissed because of their association with conservative or libertarian institutions.” [John Hasnas, Wall Street Journal on faculty ideological diversity] Plus: conversation between Tyler Cowen and Jonathan Haidt;
    • Which campus environment provides a fairer process for accused students: Duke in 2006, or Yale today? [KC Johnson; more, Ashe Schow/Washington Examiner (Michigan, Berkeley)] Federal judge blasts Brandeis over Title IX process in “kissing sleeping boyfriend” case [Steve Miller/Independent Gay Forum, KC Johnson/Storify]
    • Student militants storm Berkeley stage intent on silencing Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich [Robby Soave: Reason, The Daily Beast]
    • The Ford Foundation, which has done so much to transform academia, is profiled along with president Darren Walker [Larissa MacFarquhar, New Yorker; my critical view of Ford] Funding postmodern feminist glaciology: “Has it become the National Science and Other Ways of Knowing Foundation?” [Jerry Coyne]

    AAUP getting a little braver on Title IX?

    The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which has a record of sadly weak defenses of faculty rights in response to the feds’ efforts under Title IX to restrict due process accorded to persons accused of misconduct at universities (see last paragraph of my piece from 2013), might possibly show a little more spine in a pending report now in draft form. Citing a string of episodes, including what happened to Prof. Laura Kipnis at Northwestern as well as many that are less well known, the report acknowledges that the current Washington interpretation of Title IX “has had a chilling effect on academic freedom and speech” and “that the emphasis on complying with federal law has led to some professors being investigated by universities for making statements that some students find offensive but that the report says should be protected.” [Anemona Hartocollis/New York Times, Lizzie Crocker/Daily Beast, Scott Greenfield, Peter Wood/Minding the Campus] More from the NYT:

    The association says the government should allow universities to use a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence in their internal reviews of sexual harassment complaints rather than the less strict “preponderance of evidence” standard now required. …The report says that the federal crackdown has poisoned the traditional relationship between faculty and students by turning professors from informal confidants into official enforcers.

    Plus, new paper being widely talked about, “The Sex Bureaucracy,” by Jacob Gersen of Harvard and Jeannie Suk of Harvard Law, forthcoming in the California Law Review, abstract:

    We are living in a new sex bureaucracy. Saliently decriminalized in the past decades, sex has at the same time become accountable to bureaucracy. In this Article, we focus on higher education to tell the story of the sex bureaucracy. The story is about the steady expansion of regulatory concepts of sex discrimination and sexual violence to the point that the regulated area comes to encompass ordinary sex. The mark of bureaucracy is procedure and organizational form. Over time, federal prohibitions against sex discrimination and sexual violence have been interpreted to require educational institutions to adopt particular procedures to respond, prevent, research, survey, inform, investigate, adjudicate, and train. The federal bureaucracy essentially required nongovernmental institutions to create mini-bureaucracies, and to develop policies and procedures that are subject to federal oversight. That oversight is not merely, as currently assumed, of sexual harassment and sexual violence, but also of sex itself. We call this “bureaucratic sex creep” — the enlargement of bureaucratic regulation of sexual conduct that is voluntary, non-harassing, nonviolent, and does not harm others. At a moment when it is politically difficult to criticize any undertaking against sexual assault, we are writing about the bureaucratic leveraging of sexual violence and harassment policy to regulate ordinary sex. …

    Schools roundup

    • Fear of regulators drives many campuses to restrict speech [Greg Lukianoff of FIRE interviewed by Caleb Brown, Cato podcast] New UCLA Title IX policy requires faculty to inform on “possible” sex harassment, and Prof. Bainbridge objects;
    • Tributes to my much admired colleague, the late Cato Institute education scholar Andrew Coulson [Neal McCluskey and Jason Bedrick, Adam Schaeffer, Nick Gillespie/Reason]
    • “Total Law School Enrollment at Lowest Point Since 1977; 1L Class Size Lowest Since 1973” [Derek Muller]
    • New Jersey: “Elizabeth Public Schools Spend More on Attorneys than Textbooks, Heat or Electricity” [WPIX (autoplays)]
    • “I began to see the social sciences as tribal moral communities, becoming ever more committed to social justice, and ever less hospitable to dissenting views.” Jonathan Haidt interviewed by John Leo [Minding the Campus]
    • Furor continues over U.S. Department of Education funding of “facilitated communication” with profoundly disabled persons [David Auerbach, Slate]
    • “Rhode Island: Children Under 10 Shall Not Be Left Home Alone, Even Briefly” [Lenore Skenazy]

    Campus climate roundup

    • New Oxford vice chancellor speaks out against threats to free inquiry as well as overregulation of universities [Iain Martin, CapX]
    • Feds: get in line on Title IX or we’ll yank your institutional science funding [Inside Higher Ed, background on Title IX]
    • More on scheme proposing mandatory oppression studies for first-year students at American University [Robby Soave/The Daily Beast (and thanks for mention), earlier]
    • Back to the days of Plessy v. Ferguson? Oregon State University holds racially segregated retreats [Peter Hasson, Daily Caller] More: University of Connecticut building segregated housing for (some) black male students [Campus Reform]
    • Sometimes there really is a good case for taking the names of evil long-dead men off public university buildings, especially if the alternative is to throw a $700,000 subsidy at a murderer-themed café that can’t make it on food sale revenues [The College Fix; UCSD’s Che Guevara cafe]
    • “Out in the real world, we have master electricians and mechanics, chess masters, masters of the universe, taskmasters of all kinds, and other such varieties of positions and titles connoting particular skill, knowledge or authority” [Harvey Silverglate, Minding the Campus, on Harvard College “masters” flap (citing “extraordinary recent expansion of the cadre of student life administrators … on virtually every campus throughout the nation”)]
    • “Post-Protest Mizzou: Adverse Consequences of the Capitulation” [Thomas Lambert, Pope Center, earlier Lambert on Missouri]