12:53 PM, May 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Harvey Mansfield, writing for the Claremont Review of Books:
Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, is an institution of good reputation and high quality, where I have some friends. It offers a liberal arts education typical of the best available in America today. It troubles me that Bowdoin, rather than, say, Harvard—a bigger and richer place where I work—should be made an example of. Nonetheless, Peter Wood and Michael Toscano have done just that in a comprehensive new study, “What Does Bowdoin Teach?” the first of its kind and probably destined to be the best, which shows in the practices and principles of one college what political correctness in our time has done to higher education in our country.
The authors are conservatives and their study was sponsored by the National Association of Scholars, a conservative organization. (It is available as a free download at www.nas.org.) It seems that liberals, even those critical of American education, are not inclined to investigate what their liberalism has done to it. Once upon a time, earlier in my life, liberals took pride in the high standards they set for the colleges that they had recently come to dominate and had made the headquarters of their liberalism. Now, they have made an unholy sacrifice of the devotion to excellence they once prized as a mark of distinction over fuddy-duddy, tradition-bound conservatism, and it is conservatives who stand for high standards in education.
Today’s liberals do not use liberalism to achieve excellence, but abandon excellence to achieve liberalism. They have effectually eliminated conservatism from higher education and intimidated—“marginalized”—the few conservatives remaining. These few are the only ones in academia who think something is missing when conservatives are gone. There was a liberal president of Harvard for a brief time recently who thought something was missing when conservatives are gone, and then, courtesy of the liberals, he was gone.
The Bowdoin study was done without the cooperation of Bowdoin, relying on the public statements of its president and faculty, its official documents, and its student newspaper to show what the college is about. Perhaps too much is made of the statements of its president, Barry Mills, a good man as I happen to know. It pains me to see him criticized for affirming things he would have been ousted for denying, as the example of Harvard’s Larry Summers suggests would happen. Bowdoin, like other such colleges, is ruled by a certain principle today, the principle of openness. It claims to be “inclusive,” open to all claims, yet it does not include conservatives. The study counts perhaps a half dozen conservatives among the 182 faculty members. But according to Bowdoin, this absence doesn’t matter. One can be open-minded about conservatism without being conservative, the college believes, perhaps by being objective like a scientist, perhaps simply by doing one’s best to understand it. Of course, it’s true that the best understanding of conservatism doesn’t necessarily come from conservatives, nor from having conservatives present on campus. You need Hindus on campus in order to understand Hinduism? Actually, that is a multicultural imperative that liberals might well apply to Hindus, but will never use to bring in conservatives. Conservatives as opposed to Hindus are the main rivals of—opponents to—liberals in America today, yet somehow it is considered openness not to include those with whom you mainly disagree. This study uses strong words at the end, but only after supplying evidence and argument on the way to its conclusions. It begins with a question: is Bowdoin as open as it claims to be?
Whole thing here.
7:04 AM, May 20, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Student loan debt runs to about $30,000 per graduate of the class of 2013, as Phil Izzo writes in the Wall Street Journal. And the total amount of student loans outstanding runs to almost a trillion dollars: more than either credit card balances or automobile loans. More than any form of consumer debt other than home mortgages.
2:10 PM, Apr 30, 2013 • By OTTO J. REICH
The reaction of most Americans to the tragedy in Boston was typical: We came together as a nation, mourned our fallen, and applauded our newest heroes. The sight of first-responders running to the sound of danger within mere seconds of the explosions, not away from disaster as human instinct might dictate, was nothing short of exceptional—but also characteristically American. Indeed, for 237 years, Americans have risked all to help their fellow citizens, strangers, and foreigners equally.
10:19 AM, Apr 4, 2013 • By JOE LUPPINO-ESPOSITO
The Johns Hopkins University office of institutional equity has determined that pro-life students who want to conduct sidewalk counseling outside of a Baltimore abortion clinic are not engaging in harassment under university policies.
The students in Voices for Life have requested recognition from the student government association (SGA) but were turned down because the student government believed that the group would be harassing members of the public, in violation of school policies.
4:07 PM, Mar 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A year at Columbia University's journalism school will set you back nearly $84,000.
4:28 PM, Feb 26, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
David Plouffe, a former advisor to President Barack Obama, tells a student newspaper at the University of Chicago that one need not be college educated to do politics. Plouffe states, though, that he thinks "everybody should have a college degree."
The students ask, "Do you think it’s necessary to have a college degree to get into politics?"
Only Chuck Hagel can grant access.6:40 AM, Feb 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The largest known Chuck Hagel archive is located here, at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. But good luck accessing it: Despite intense national focus on the defense secretary nominee’s record, this reporter was shunned from taking a look inside the trove of Hagel’s videos, audio recordings, documents, pictures, and artifacts.
12:31 PM, Oct 22, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts has banned a Christian group from campus because the group requires student leaders to adhere to "basic biblical truths of Christianity." The decision to ban the group, called the Tufts Christian Fellowship, was made by officials from the university's student government, specifically the Tufts Community Union Judiciary.
12:28 PM, Oct 4, 2012 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
The president’s sycophants have seized on an excuse for why their candidate was stammering and incoherent last night: Barack Obama is just too darn “professorial.”
4:06 PM, May 3, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Members of Tufts University's men's crew team have been suspended for wearing what some are calling an inappropriate T-shirts to an annual school function, Spring Fling, an end of year school wide concert.
3:20 PM, Mar 9, 2012 • By EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI
Every time trouble has erupted in Iran against the regime—1999, 2003, and, most recently, 2009—university students have been at the forefront of protests. This is partly why Iran’s current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been battling over control of Iran’s biggest institution of higher learning for the last three years.