Posts Tagged ‘Yale’

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]
  • Higher education roundup

    • Universities across the country steer mandatory student fee proceeds and other privileges to intensely ideological Public Interest Research Groups [David Seidemann, City Journal; PIRG’s crucial role in backing the truly ghastly CPSIA law on children’s products] When a university shuts off this money spigot, does the First Amendment cut more in favor of the group’s right to go on collecting money, or the rights of “students compelled to fund advocacy with which they may not agree”? [Short Circuit, scroll to 14th item on Ninth Circuit decision in Arizona Students’ Association v. Arizona Board of Regents]
    • Appeal to “personal experience, performance, and radical politics” changing college debate for the worse [John Hinderaker, PowerLine, 2014 (thanks commenter for spotting date)]
    • “The Perils of Writing a Provocative Email at Yale” [Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, on Nicholas and Erika Christakis case at Yale; Paul Caron/TaxProf with more links] More: Identity, activism. and sensitivity on campus: Nathan Heller report from Oberlin [New Yorker]
    • Government is our provider: new push to extend school feeding program into community colleges [George Leef, Pope Center]
    • University of Northern Colorado: “‘Bias Response Team’ Threatened Prof To Change His Lessons” [Jillian Kay Melchior, Heat Street] Candidates for tenure at Pomona College will need to explain what they are doing to promote diversity in classroom [Inside Higher Ed]
    • “When Social Justice Education Is Mandatory, But Math Is Not” [Robby Soave; University of Massachusetts, Amherst]

    Connecticut governor: let’s not tax Yale’s endowment, actually

    “A tax proposed by top legislators on the earnings of Yale’s sizable endowment was shot down Tuesday by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. …The proposal – backed by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Appropriations Committee Co-chair Toni Walker, both Democrats from New Haven – [had] generated national attention.” [Connecticut Mirror] I modestly proposed that Yale consider moving in part or full to some jurisdiction that would leave its endowment alone, much as General Electric, which had been the largest corporation headquartered in Connecticut, chose recently to toddle off to Boston in search of a better climate. Ira Stoll picked up and expanded on my idea in a column reprinted in the Hartford Courant, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott promptly got into the act by inviting Yale to relocate to the Sunshine State. More: Courant editorial (“Idea Of Yale Fleeing Taxes Makes Connecticut Look Bad”) And I’m interviewed in this WTNH story.