- Administrators at University of Southern Maine, a public institution, hastily yank course that offered credit for harassing Sen. Susan Collins on Kavanaugh nomination [Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald, USM press release] Some colleges would rally around an alumnus nominated to the high court, while others would maintain institutional neutrality. At Yale a large faction demanded a commitment to opposition [Peter Schuck, Minding the Campus; related Twitter thread (“2018: the year of weaponizing college friendships”)]
- Canadian university suspends economics professor without pay for publishing journal article documenting colleagues’ publication in questionable scholarly journals [Douglas Todd/Vancouver Sun, paper]
- Q. How many lampooned academics does it take to appreciate the Helen Pluckrose / James Lindsay / Peter Boghossian grievance studies hoax? A. That is *not* funny [Alexander C. Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education rounding up reactions]
- Notwithstanding “enforcement will be consistent with the First Amendment” disclaimer, language in U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights ruling could pressure universities to restrict some criticism of Israel [Eugene Volokh]
- “As many as one in three students at some elite colleges have been officially designated ‘disabled.'” [Garland Tucker, Martin Center] “ADA in the Classroom: Suitable Accommodation or Legalized Cheating?” [Ari Trachtenberg, 2016]
- “Taking the Bar Exam as a 46-Year-Old Law Professor” [Orin Kerr]
- 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]
- Even as Washington, D.C. saddles child-care providers with new degree requirement, it leaves unenforced some of its certification rules for public school teachers [David Boaz, earlier here, etc.]
- Mayor de Blasio plans to overhaul admission to NYC’s elite high schools. Watch out [Lisa Schiffren, New York Post]
- On the Banks of Plumb Crazy: American Library Association removes Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from children’s-book award [AP/The Guardian]
- Max Eden investigation of death at a NYC school [The 74 Million] Eden and Seth Barron podcast on school shootings and discipline policy [City Journal]
- “The Transgender Bathroom Wars Continue in State Court” [Gail Heriot]
- Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona and on: are teacher uprisings justified? [Neal McCluskey and Caleb Brown]
Recycling a joke that was already old when I was a teenager, academic conference-goer on elevator calls out “Ladies’ lingerie” in reference to a floor stop. Then begins the acrimonious process in which he must defend his career against the complaint filed by a women’s and gender studies professor who was present and took offense. [Ruth Marcus, syndicated/Houston Chronicle] More: Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education.
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.
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)
I’m a bit late getting to this major survey from my colleague Emily Ekins and associates. Some highlights good and bad:
* By 71% to 28%, Americans lean toward the view that political correctness silences discussions society ought to have, rather than the view that it is a constructive way to reduce the giving of offense;
* Liberals are much more likely than conservatives to say that they feel comfortable saying things they believe without fear that others will take offense.
* By a 4-to-1 margin Americans consider hate speech morally unacceptable, while by (only) a 3-to-2 margin they do not want the government to ban it.
* “47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques,” notwithstanding the First Amendment’s protection of free exercise of religion.
* “51% of Democrats support a law that requires Americans use transgender people’s preferred gender pronouns,” also notwithstanding the First Amendment.
* Upwards of 80% of liberals deem it “hateful or offensive” to state that illegal immigrants should be deported or that women should not serve in military combat, with 36% and 47% of conservatives agreeing respectively. “39% of conservatives believe it’s hate speech to say the police are racist, only 17% of liberals agree.”
And much more: on college speaker invitations, microaggressions, whether executives should be fired over controversial views, media bias, forced cake-baking, and the ease of being friends across partisan lines, among many other topics.
- Prof. Laura Kipnis, previously investigated by Northwestern over an essay she wrote saying there are too many Title IX investigations, wrote a book about the experience and that touched off yet another Title IX investigation of her [Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker]
- Groups demand that outspoken social conservative Prof. Amy Wax not be allowed to teach first-year civil procedure at University of Pennsylvania Law School [Caron/TaxProf] How to evaluate claims that professors who say controversial things must step away from the classroom because they can’t be trusted to treat/grade students fairly? [Eugene Volokh]
- Meanwhile, co-author of “bourgeois culture” op-ed, Larry Alexander of the University of San Diego, finds his dean distinctly unsupportive [Tom Smith, Caron/TaxProf roundup and more]
- “Stay Woke” and allyship: insider view of American University’s new required first-year diversity courses [Minding the Campus] So revealing that an AAUW chapter would celebrate cancellation of this American U event [Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
- Anonymous denunciation makes things better: president of Wright State University in Ohio “is encouraging students to anonymously report any violence and hate speech that might occur on campus.” [AP/WOUB] Student protesters called on Evergreen State “to target STEM faculty in particular for ‘antibias’ training” [Heather Heying, WSJ]
- From this excerpt, upcoming Shep Melnick book on Title IX, OCR and federal control of colleges sounds top-notch [Law and Liberty] What to expect as Education Department reconsiders its former Dear Colleague policies [KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr., Weekly Standard]
Google Echo Chamber, or Google Hush? Cathy Young interviews now-ex Google programmer James Damore (earlier here, here, and here). Heather Mac Donald writes on how some workplaces are being remade in the image of college speech codes [WSJ] And my appearance last week on Guy Gordon’s WJR Detroit talk show is now online:
- Eugene Volokh June testimony “about the Anti-Free-Speech Movement on college campuses…a serious threat to American liberty and democracy, as well as to excellence in education and research.”
- Outsider art expert Michael Bonesteel quits faculty post, blasts “toxic” Title IX climate [Deanna Isaacs/Chicago Reader, Edward M. Gomèz, Raw Vision] “Law prof’s exam question on Brazilian wax is deemed harassment” [ABA Journal]
- “Will Betsy DeVos fix Obama’s toxic campus sexual assault policy?” [Dante Ramos, Boston Globe] “Betsy DeVos Is Right: Sexual Assault Policy Is Broken” [Cathy Young, New York Times]
- “Claremont McKenna College disciplines seven students for blockade that shut down Heather Mac Donald speech” [Volokh]
- Carve-outs from free speech norms get used disproportionately by more powerful/popular against less powerful/popular? Who knew that might happen? [Popehat]
- Yes, it’s reached engineering schools [Indrek Wichman, James G. Martin Center]