Higher education roundup


  • Reading what happened in the Purdue case, you have to wonder why people would be so evil. Why would administrators do such a thing? It’s not like they didn’t have the time to think about what they were doing.

    It’s up there with the incarceration of the old lady who feels bad for stray cats and feeds them.

  • Regarding “educational civil rights”–I agree that the legislation is problematic. There is a real problem that it is trying to address–namely crazy people in academia. In the CUNY system, there was a professor, Leonard Jeffries, who preached a “sun people/ice people” worldview. In any sane institution, the teaching of such clear nonsense should somehow be addressed–but, of course, it was not. What does that say of the institution? And what impact does it have generally on the “ice people” who go there?

    Once again, I think the cure is worse than the disease. But there is a lot of rotten in academia.

  • RE: the Florida legislation on Israel.

    State Representative Randy Fine is mentioned in the article as sponsoring one of the bills. The article is a little misleading as Fine’s bill does not address all religions, just the Jewish faith.

    Last year prior to a forum on the “Palestinian question,” Fine attacked the organizers as being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic even though several of the organizers were Jewish and very active in their respective synagogues.

    Fine declined the offer to participate or send a representative to the forum (which is his choice) but then labeled one of the organizers as a “juden-rat” which is a very derogatory term for Jews that cooperated with the Nazis in WWII.

    (In other words, free speech for him and not others.)

    Fine and a Florida legislative delegation seeking to bring Israeli business to Florida ran into issues where meetings in Israel where legislation was discussed between the delegation and Israel representatives was not open to the media or the public which is a violation of the Florida “Sunshine Laws” which prohibit legislators discussing legislation outside of the public view. Media outlets have sued over that.

    Finally, Fine sponsored and managed to get passed a law that forbids any government agency from contracting with a company or individual that supports the BDS movement. (For the record, I don’t support it and think it is rather despicable, but that is my opinion.) A singer who had rented a government owned arena for a concert had the concert cancelled after it came to light she supported the BDS movement. A lawsuit on that is working its way through the courts as well.

    • Regarding the singer—I agree with the idea that was unconstitutional. Of course, let’s see whether a Republican can get a City of Chicago contract . . . .

      The question becomes–when can a state entity not do business with a private company based on speech/action etc.? The Planned Parenthood stuff seems to be a close call–but the idea that government funds aren’t to be commingled with abortion expenditures seems to be winning. (I am not articulating that quite right, but the gist is right.) Would a city be forced to contract with a business whose owner espouses de jure segregation?

      Can a city assert a right not to be associated with such a contractor? What of workers and private unions then?

      A whole lot going on here .. . . .

  • The Purdue case–

    KC Johnson:
    >Purdue continues to use the same basic procedure that generated the unfair outcome in Doe’s case.

    If the case goes to trial, will that be admissible evidence to show why punitive damages are needed in addition to actual damages?

  • But do Florida sunshine laws apply when the meetings take place in a foreign country—here, Israel; and why?

    • Florida sunshine laws apply to Florida elected officials. Where the meetings happened could easily be irrelevant.