Posts Tagged ‘Yale’

How Charles Reich helped define the 1960s

If you’re looking for the enduring legacy of famed Yale law professor Charles Reich, I argue in a new Cato piece, it’s not so much to be found in his bestselling daydream of liberation The Greening of America as in his hugely influential work on government benefits as the “new property” of the administrative state. Excerpt:

Part of its ingenuity was in couching in seemingly sober and cautious terms an idea whose implications (especially welfare rights) were otherwise controversial, so as to appeal to moderates and also to the sorts of thinkers who would soon be termed libertarian. (The New York Times, in its obituary, says that “The New Property” article “defended an individual’s right to privacy and autonomy against government prerogative,” which sounds either Cato-ish or positively anodyne.) …

Reich’s remedies did not really operate to curtail big government, while they did advance the power and role within it of lawyers and those comfortable with legal process. In that way too, Reich outran his peers at capturing the spirit of his era.

Included: a discussion of the seeming, but in the end illusory, parallels between Reich’s early-1960s writing interests and those of economist Milton Friedman. More: anecdotes of Reich at Yale from Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito, via Josh Blackman. And a personal anecdote: classmates told me about this guy who’d roam the Old Campus engaging freshmen in long conversations, who was this famous author — but when he talked with my entryway-mates I happened not to be there, so I missed him.

Higher education roundup

  • Harvard lawprof Ronald Sullivan Jr. driven from post as faculty dean of a residential house at the university after student protests of his representation of Harvey Weinstein [Jeannie Suk Gersen, New Yorker; Dianna Bell, WBUR; and for a different perspective Tyler Cowen] Stuart Taylor, Jr. has some questions about Harvard’s investigation, on charges of sexual misconduct, of noted economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. [Real Clear Investigations] 30 protesters rush the stage, ending Harvard President Lawrence Bacow’s speech: “The heckler’s veto has no place” [Robby Soave, Reason]
  • Rules mandating gender quotas in hiring committees at French universities may have backfired, as “committees affected by the quota were significantly less likely to hire women” [Chris Woolston, Nature]
  • Maryland lawmaker proposes collective bargaining for student athletes [Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters]
  • “…and suggested that Plaintiff obtain an expensive genetic test to see if she could qualify as Native American or American Indian to garner better chances of being accepted to” the professional school [John S. Rosenberg, Minding the Campus] Families of wealth and standing have special reason to dislike standardized testing. But they’re quite good at dressing up their resentments as progressive [Daniel Friedman, Quillette]
  • “Does Yale Law School’s Antidiscrimination Policy on Subsidies for Student Employment Discriminate on the Basis of Religion? [Ilya Somin, who concludes that it doesn’t]
  • This year, as every year, checking the line-up of commencement speakers provides a handy way to size up the Forces of Unanimity on the American campus [Keith Whittington]

Higher education roundup

  • 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]

Campus puritanism, cont’d

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?”)]

Also related: Keith Whittington of Princeton speaks at Cato on his new book, “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” [Ilya Somin, Jonathan Adler]

Yale admissions office responds to my WSJ piece

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.

Yale: “We expect [applicants] to be versed in issues of social justice.”

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)

Campus climate roundup

  • Pauli Murray, civil rights activist after whom Yale recently named a residential college, stood up for her worst foes’ right to speak [Peter Salovey, New York Times] Viewing everything through lens of identity and power disables the intellect [Jonathan Haidt]
  • Penn Jillette and free speech scholars ask Brandeis president to reconsider decision to ditch play about comedian Lenny Bruce [FIRE]
  • Isolated outrages, or straws in the wind? Lindsay Shepherd and Wilfred Laurier University [Tristin Hopper, National Post] Student’s remark about religion at University of Texas, San Antonio [Robby Soave, Reason] Roll your eyes at a faculty meeting and you could be in so much Title IX trouble [Nicholas Wolfinger, Quillette]
  • “Bias Response Teams Thwarted in Their Goal of a Sensitive Campus by the First Amendment” [Liz Wolfe, Reason, earlier]
  • 49% of college students say supporting someone else’s right to say racist things “as bad as holding racist views yourself” [Emily Ekins on Cato free speech survey] Related: John Samples; Eugene Volokh;
  • Testimony by Prof. Nadine Strossen at Senate hearing on free speech, hate speech, and college campuses [Collins/Concurring Opinions]

Yes, feds need to rethink campus sexual misconduct policies

A series of tweets I did about Thursday’s major announcement on Title IX policy from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:

I went on to explain that it all starts with the Department of Education’s OCR (Office for Civil Rights) 2011 Dear Colleague letter, and the further guidance that followed, which I wrote up here.

That’s a quote by Yoffe from a California Law Review article by Jacob Gersen and Jeannie Suk Gersen previously noted in this space here and here.

The courageous Harvard Law professors who called for a rethink of the Obama-era policy — Janet Halley, Elizabeth Bartholet, Jeannie Suk Gersen and Nancy Gertner — were profiled in a recent issue of The Crimson and in earlier coverage in this space here and here.

More coverage of DeVos’s speech and initiative, in which she pledged to use appropriate notice-and-comment methods rather than Dear Colleague guidance to introduce changes (“The era of ‘rule by letter’ is over”): Christina Hoff Sommers/Chronicle of Higher Education, Benjamin Wermund/Politico, Jeannie Suk Gersen/New Yorker, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr./WSJ and cases going against universities, Johnson/City Journal, Bret Stephens/NYT (“no campus administrator was going to risk his federal funds for the sake of holding dear the innocence of students accused of rape”), Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Hans Bader/CEI, Scott Greenfield and more (no basis in law to begin with), Robby Soave/Reason and more.

Campus climate roundup

  • Will the University of Chicago’s new policy on free expression chill professors’ freedom to run their classes in their own way, as some claim? [Alex Morey/FIRE, Howard Wasserman/Prawfs] Jonathan Chait on how the safe spaces debate really isn’t about things like church groups or gay bars; and a judicious Ken White at Popehat on how safe space idea can make sense in private/chosen settings, but not as academic mandate.
  • As federal Title IX enforcement percolates downward: e-mail from administrator at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, discusses expelling “perp” before investigation has begun [K.C. Johnson on Twitter] USC administrator: do they know who I am? [same] Wasn’t Columbia U. just serving up what its customers want? [Scott Greenfield] “OCR to Frostburg State University: Common Sense, ‘Reasonable Person’ Standard Violate Title IX” [Robby Soave]
  • UW-Milwaukee poster campaign warns students against using terms like “lame,” “crazy,” and — inevitably? — “politically correct” [Jillian Kay Melchior/Heat Street, Robby Soave/Reason]
  • The future of American higher education: fewer historians, more chief diversity officers [David Frum]
  • “More on the sex panic at Yale” [KC Johnson, Minding the Campus]
  • Capitol Hill Republicans keep shoveling cash at power-mad campus regulators, while tying hands of dissenters at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights [John Fund, NR]

Schools roundup

  • Microaggression: you’re outta here. Smash vintage stained glass window on purpose: welcome back to Yale family [Inside Higher Ed, John McGinnis]
  • “Florida teenager threatens to sue after failing to make cheerleading squad” [New York Daily News]
  • “Did Chicago college fire professor because of his advanced age (illegal) or because he plagiarized 10,000 words in his textbook (legal)? Seventh Circuit: The evidence points to the latter.” [John Ross, Short Circuit]
  • Federal edicts on school discipline require educators to punish innocent, refrain from punishing guilty [Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial] Racial review of school discipline policy not working out well in St. Paul, Minn. [Katherine Kersten, The Federalist] De Blasio in NYC [Bob McManus, City Journal]
  • U.K.: head of lefty National Union of Students blames privatization of education for young people’s joining Islamic State [Nicola Woolcock, The Times]
  • “Does Title IX Prohibit Sexual Harassment in College, But Require It in Locker Rooms?” [Robby Soave, Reason]