Campus climate roundup

  • In separate incidents, public universities (Rutgers and the University of New Mexico, respectively) discipline a professor and a med student over vulgar and inflammatory political postings on their personal Facebook pages. First Amendment trouble [FIRE on Rutgers case; Eugene Volokh: Rutgers, UNM cases]
  • Defend someone who’s facing Title IX charges, and you just might yourself find yourself facing Title IX charges too along with the withholding of your degree [ABA Journal on Yogesh Patil case; Drew Musto, Cornell Sun (19 Cornell law profs write to president to criticize withholding of Ph.D.); Scott Greenfield]
  • Social justice bureaucracy within University of Texas might be bigger than some whole universities [Mark Pulliam] “Ohio State employs 88 diversity-related staffers at a cost of $7.3M annually” [Derek Draplin, The College Fix]
  • “Male, pale and stale university professors are to be given ‘reverse mentors’ to teach them about unconscious bias, under a new [U.K.] Government funded scheme” [Camilla Turner, Telegraph]
  • “Wow, this is truly astounding. A *published* paper [on gender differences in trait variability] was deleted and an imposter paper of same length and page numbers substituted to appease a mob.” [Theodore P. Hill, Quillette, as summarized by Alex Tabarrok] Reception of James Damore episode on campus: “[T]hose of us working in tech have been trying to figure out what we can and cannot say on the subject of diversity. You might imagine that a university would be more open to discussing his ideas, but my experience suggests otherwise.” [Stuart Reges, Quillette]
  • Speak not of oaths: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is latest public institution to require diversity statements of all faculty, staff applicants [Rita Loffredo, The College Fix] Harvard students “will be required to complete a Title IX training module to enroll in fall 2018 classes” [Jamie D. Halper, Harvard Crimson]


  • The UNM case is truly astonishing, and it is shocking that a federal district judge would actually believe that state actors could retaliate against a student for purely political speech.

    At some point, what needs to happen in these public college discipline for free speech cases is that the local US Attorney obtain indictments for civil rights violations.

    • Underlying the federal district judge’s ruling in the UNM case is the poisonous and misbegotten judicial doctrine of qualified immunity. Apparently no government employee can be held liable for any outrageous and illegal action if they claim to be sufficiently ignorant.

      From the Volokh article cited above:

      Hunt sued, and yesterday the federal district court rejected his First Amendment claim: University officials, the court said, were entitled to “qualified immunity” because any First Amendment protection against such restrictions on supposedly “inflammatory” speech by public university professional students wasn’t “clearly established” enough.

      Qualified immunity: it’s not just for the police who beat you up because they didn’t like what you posted on Facebook; it’s also for the state university officials who threaten to throw you out because they don’t like what you posted on Faeebook.

      Moral: don’t ever express any opinion anywhere that any state employee might not like.

      • Putting aside the genesis of QI,it is, in theory, not a bad idea. The problem is that it has metastasized into the idea that state actors get freebies even in not close cases. Under the law, it is elementary that state actors cannot take harmful action against someone because they don’t like a Facebook post calling abortion murder. Judicial decisions such as these muddy the water and give comfort for even more outrageous actions.

        This is why people who do these sorts of things should be prosecuted and sentenced to stiff prison terms. This one, I would say, merits at least a decade in prison.

  • Here’s paragraph two:
    “Under the project, white men in senior academic posts will be assigned a junior female colleague from an ethnic minority as a mentor.”
    My, my. What little Eden of romantic delights may ensue? I await the news.

  • Canvasback,
    I wonder how many real or imagined sexual harassment claims will be made against the “white men in senior academic posts” by these “mentors”?