Higher education roundup

  • Student claims public college required him to mouth correct views regarding social justice as part of class. Not since Barnette v. West Virginia you don’t [Ilya Shapiro and Devin Watkins on Cato amicus brief in Felkner v. Rhode Island College (“The First Amendment prohibits government actors from compelling private citizens to express views with which they disagree.”)]
  • In the mail: KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s “The Campus Rape Panic: The Attack on Due Process at American Universities” [Encounter Books; review, Robert VerBruggen; plus excerpt; interview with Taylor] “The Title IX Mess: Will It Be Reformed?” [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus]
  • Departing Obama administration revises Common Rule on IRB/institutional review board human subjects protection [NEJM, Verrill Dana redline via Michelle Meyer, Zachary Schrag first, second, third posts on implications for social science research]
  • Notwithstanding early reports, PEN America report on campus expression mounts “unflinching defense of free speech” [Anthony Fisher, Vox; related, José Cabranes/Washington Post and Orin Kerr]
  • U.K.: graduate sues Oxford for negligent teaching, wants £1 million [Lowering the Bar, more links at Paul Caron/TaxProf]
  • When should you report classmates to the Syracuse University administration? Suspect behavior includes “avoiding or excluding others,” “telling jokes based on a stereotype,” “posting or commenting on social media related to someone’s identity in a bias matter,” “imitating someone’s cultural norm or practice” [guidelines (from mission statement: “never privatize any wrongful act, no matter how small”) via Robby Soave]


  • “The First Amendment prohibits government actors from compelling private citizens to express views with which they disagree.”

    But not when it comes to businesses – like cake bakers forced to write announcements celebrating gay weddings. Maybe they will hold that the same applies to students?

  • With respect to some of these egregious free-speech cases at public universities, why aren’t “color of law” prosecutions brought against these professors and administrators? Frog-marching a university president who conditions the ability to obtain a degree on college-approved lobbying efforts would do wonders in encouraging the others. Personally, if what is alleged is true in the RIC case (and it were more current, the SOL may have expired), then the people involved need to be in federal prison for civil rights violations, and that sentence ought to be quite long.

    It’s beyond disgusting that forced extractions (i.e., tax dollars) are being used to inflict this tyranny. A hypothetical sentencing should reflect this fact, and 10 years would seem to be about right.

  • I submit that if the concept of filing suit for negligent teaching ever takes hold in this country, much of the rest of this post would not be necessary.

  • […] have spent a week guestblogging at Volokh on their new book (first, second, third, fourth, fifth, earlier links; plus Christina Hoff Sommers and WSJ video interviews with Stuart Taylor, […]