“Penn State recently decreed that three student-led outdoor adventure groups—the hiking club, the cave exploration club, and the scuba club—would have to disband due to safety liability concerns, even though none of the long-running clubs had ever reported a problem.” In the case of hiking, a “key issue for administrators was that the Outing Club frequently visit locations with poor cell phone coverage.” [Lenore Skenazy and Robby Soave, Reason]
- Applicants for faculty positions at UC San Diego must file written statement detailing “past efforts, as well as future plans to advance diversity, equity and inclusion,” and are warned that lip service isn’t enough [Stephen Bainbridge]
- CUNY law dean: disruptors shouted down Josh Blackman for only eight minutes or so, nothing contrary to university rules in that [Robby Soave, earlier] “Hecklers of Campus Speakers: Easy Answers and Hard Questions” [Erica Goldberg] “Is Free Speech Becoming the Next Scare-Quote Domain?” [Paul Horwitz]
- On a happier note, a Festschrift and tribute essay collection for the inimitable and unstoppable Richard Epstein [University of Chicago Law School]
- “Readers may find it remarkable that these students expected the other people in the room to applaud and validate them for derailing the event.” [Robby Soave on Duke protest of alumni event] How to end a building occupation: “The phone calls [from NYU] advised parents that students who interfered with campus functions could [lose] financial aid or housing.” [Kyle Smith, NRO] “Some Pundits Say There’s No Campus Free Speech ‘Crisis.’ Here’s Why They’re Wrong” [Soave]
- “The people in that room all agreed that I had committed sexual harassment by showing my class this film” [Soave; Massachusetts College of Art & Design]
- A sociologist’s view: if my field is typical, postmodernism and intersectionalism haven’t taken over the academy [Nicholas Wolfinger]
Should gatekeepers to the medical profession test prospective doctors on their adherence to tenets of social justice? [Devorah Goldman, Weekly Standard]
A mini-roundup: “How State Pension Funds — and 401k Managers — Prioritize Politics over Returns” [Ike Brannon, Cato/Forbes.com, more; related, Eric V. Schlecht, Economics 21] “The California state teacher retirement system open letter to Apple about ‘smartphone addiction’ provides another point in favor of giving these workers individual accounts with a private provider.” [Caleb Brown on Twitter] “Those shares belong to the college savers, not him”: Illinois treasurer uses 529 funds to push Facebook, other firms on political issues [Cole Lauterbach, Illinois News Network]
If the WSJ paywall kept you from reading my piece last month on Yale admissions and social justice, an unpaywalled version is now up courtesy of the Cato Institute.
Related: “Then, he asked me what my ‘exit plan’ was. He explained that there were certain safe ways to exit the building.” Later: “‘A student shouted out “F–k the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “F–k the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school.”‘” Josh Blackman speaks at CUNY Law School, the city-sponsored law school dedicated to one particular and controversial ideology, that of “public interest law.” [Blackman’s blog post; Robby Soave, Reason; William Jacobson, Legal Insurrection; Eugene Volokh (“seems like an organized attempt to keep Blackman from speaking…The protesters’ standing on the same stage as the speaker, I think, would also not be tolerated for other events”); Eric Turkewitz (“Is their training so shoddy that they don’t grasp there are differences of opinion on how a law or the constitution is read?…Why are they afraid of words?”)]
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “There’s been criticism of some college codes of conduct for not giving the accused person a fair opportunity to be heard, and that’s one of the basic tenets of our system, as you know, everyone deserves a fair hearing.” Jeffrey Rosen: “Are some of those criticisms of the college codes valid?” Ginsburg: “Do I think they are? Yes.” [Atlantic] Related: Stuart Taylor Jr. & KC Johnson, Real Clear Politics; Linda LeFauve & Stuart Taylor Jr. on the long-deflated yet still influential Lisak campus rape study;
- “Forcing Students to Apply to College Is a Bad Idea” [George Leef, Martin Center, earlier]
- “Congress Should Deregulate Private Universities, Not Regulate Them More” [John McGinnis, Liberty and Law on bill to restrain colleges from applying discipline for membership in a fraternity or sorority]
- “What’s more, any program proposed by a Maryland university must be reviewed by the monitor to ensure it will not harm the historically black schools.” [Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post]
- 88-year-old NYU psychology professor denounced to bias cops for curricular choices on gender politics, not using students’ preferred pronouns [Dean Balsamini/New York Post, Alex Domb, Washington Square News on case of Prof. Edgar Coons] Ideological state of the law schools not good [Mark Pulliam/Misrule of Law, and thanks for mention]
- “No one should be entitled, though, to a particular mix of holiday celebrations.” [Eugene Volokh on Loyola (Chicago) controversy]
Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal responding to my opinion piece last week. Countering a claim I never made, he asserts that civic activism in an applying student is not “the only attribute we look for.”
Interestingly, Quinlan does not distance his office from, seek to explain, or mention at all, the earlier Yale admissions blog post on which my piece was based, which had said of accepted students: “we expect them to be versed in issues of social justice.” Instead, he summarily dismisses my analysis as “false” and wrong.”
Meanwhile, in Quinlan’s reworking, what had been a call for applicants to be “versed in issues of social justice” has turned into a thing more anodyne: Yale will “expect its students to be engaged citizens.”
But even that fallback ought to be controversial, if intended as a requirement for applicants rather than a plus. So a high school senior has mastered a field of study or performance, shown mature character and wide-ranging mind, but never spoken out on a public issue, marched, campaigned or even perhaps taken the time to vote? That’s an automatic “no” for an admissions committee?
Of course, a large share of those who apply to Yale are not old enough to have been qualified voters during an election. That’s another reason to hesitate before rejecting those who’ve fallen short of being “engaged citizens.” Earlier post here. And Greg Piper writes up the whole controversy at The College Fix.
If you missed the December Cato event with acclaimed writer Emily Yoffe on the problems with campus sex-misconduct tribunals, you can watch here as well as checking out KC Johnson’s live-tweeted summary. Yoffe was joined by commenter Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and moderator John Samples of Cato, who kindly stepped into my place when I was unable to attend. Earlier here and here.
I’m in today’s WSJ talking about the Yale admissions official who wrote that accepted students are expected “to be versed in issues of social justice.” With bonus appearance by Friedrich Hayek and his study “The Mirage of Social Justice.” Parting shot: “Yale started out as a base for the training of Puritan clergy. One wonders whether it has really changed all that much.” (& welcome Instapundit, Scott Greenfield, Charlotte Allen readers)