December 11, 2013
By Cathy Young
Much has been said
about the campus "war on rape" and the way it imperils students' due process
rights, but there is another casualty as well: the free exchange of ideas on
college campuses when it comes to the subject of sexual offenses.
revealing recent example comes from the University of Wisconsin at
Madison. On November 5, Katherine
Krueger, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Badger Herald, ran a
long piece explaining why the previous day's edition had featured a letter
to the editor from a student named David Hookstead questioning the existence of
"rape culture." Krueger wrote that she had made the decision to run the letter "after careful deliberation and debate with our managing
editor and opinion editors."
The fact that Krueger felt the need to justify the letter's
publication is remarkable enough; but the reason she gave for publishing it was
even more striking. Hookstead's letter,
you see, was an object lesson in "what rape culture looks like," since it
expressed "morally repugnant, patriarchal and offensive" views that are "an
embodiment of rape culture" itself.
Continue reading "'Rape Culture' and Free Speech" »
December 8, 2013
By Peter Wood
The wolf at the door of American higher education is online
instruction. Traditional residential
colleges hear it snuffling at the threshold.
They know they are vulnerable. They cannot compete on price. Online is intrinsically cheaper. They compete awkwardly on utility. Online instruction is a more efficient way to
convey knowledge and skills in a lot of fields.
Pushing back against the wolf is, of course, not the only option. There are plenty of lycanophiles who would
like to see wolves roam freely in the groves of academe. Creative destruction is their abiding vision,
and they see our older forms of colleges and universities as a herd of
superannuated antelopes in need of a good culling.
And then there are those, like Harvard Business School professor Clayton
Christensen, who have vigorously argued that colleges should make friends
with and domesticate the wolf. They
argue the future of higher education lies in making online learning an integral
part of the traditional college curriculum.
The wolf will happily take its place on the hearth and play tenderly
with the children. Christensen's
argument gains force from the many colleges and universities that have already
created their own online programs or accepted online courses elsewhere for
Continue reading "A Wolf at the Door of Academe" »
December 5, 2013
David E. Bernstein
From the bowels of academia comes news that the National
Council of the American Studies Association has voted in favor of boycotting Israeli institutions. The boycott resolution goes to the full
membership for an up or down vote.
The National Council's vote has been hailed as a huge
victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. It's not.
As originally proposed, the boycott was to apply to individual Israeli
scholars, who, for example, wished to participate in the ASA's annual
conference, if they received Israeli government or university funding. Since few Israeli scholars would have the
means to travel to the U.S. without funding from their university, that would
have been a meaningful means of exclusion.
Instead, the final resolution is limited to a refusal to
by "the ASA in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with
Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars who are expressly serving as
representatives or ambassadors of those institutions." So there is no call for a boycott by the
membership acting as individuals, and no exclusion even by the ASA of normal
cooperation with Israeli scholars.
Continue reading "A Watered-Down Boycott Resolution on Israeli Institutions" »
December 3, 2013
By Gary Jason
in a nutshell, is the human toll of the student-loan mess: it is forcing many
recent grads to defer marriage and having children; it is hobbling many prospective
entrepreneurs that our economy badly needs and may well delay the retirement of
new grads by 11 or 12 years.
total student-loan debt hit
$1 trillion dollars two years ago, eclipsing total durable goods debt, and
credit card debt. It is now
one-fifth higher, at about $1.2 trillion. Student loan debt tripled between
2004 and 2012, with more than 40% of 25-year-olds now carrying student loan
debt, averaging $24,000 per debtor. And remember, it is nearly impossible to discharge student-loan debt in bankruptcy.
"debacle," I mean this sad process: the ramping up of federal government
guarantees for banks lending money to more and more students over the last 15
years (culminating in the complete nationalization of Sallie Mae in 2008),
which led to an explosion in college tuition and consequently an explosion in
total loan debt.
Continue reading "The Student Loan Debacle:
a Clear Moral Hazard" »
December 1, 2013
Like compulsive Las Vegas gamblers, many university
presidents like to make big bets hoping for large payoffs. And like most gamblers,
they usually lose. But they have a big advantage over those going to Vegas:
they are gambling with other people's money.
The most famous form of higher education gambling involves football and
basketball, where schools lose vast sums trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to
become national sports powerhouses. But there is another form of university gambling
that by most measures is quantitatively far more important: spending on
research. It amounts to tens of billions
annually, with much of it funded by federal, corporate or other grants. Because of generous federal overhead
provisions, many schools believe research not only advances a legitimate
scholarly purpose-- the advancement of knowledge--but also institutional
prestige, while actually improving school finances. There is some limited
justification for this.
Continue reading "Going for the Gold:
Universities Gamble Big-Time on Research" »
November 26, 2013
By Rachelle DeJong
Is a MOOC more like an ATM or an
American Express Centurian card? The former provides a service to everyone with
a bank account. The latter serves a smaller niche of the prosperous few.
Like an ATM, MOOCs are automated
dispensers providing accessible, on-demand service to thousands of users. They
faithfully output course material, input student performance, and churn out a
receipt of transaction at the end. MOOCs share another trait with ATMs: a
sluggishness to capture significant market share. Automated teller machines,
now a standard feature in drug stores and on street corners, initially faced
suspicion. Could they replicate the human teller in reliability and accuracy?
Could you be sure, after inserting your cash, that the money really wound up in your bank
account? What if your account number and identifying information got
Continue reading "Are MOOCs Only For the Rich?" »
November 24, 2013
By Peter Wood
Janet Napolitano left her post as Secretary of Homeland Security in July
to become the president of the University of California. The decision of the UC Regents to appoint her
surprised me. As I wrote at the time,
she had "no
discernible qualification" for the position--other than a politician's
ability to raise money and a nearly Clintonian immunity to the scandals that seem
to proliferate around her.
Her first steps on the job suggest she is living up to her dubious promise. Earlier this month she committed
$5 million for financial aid and special counseling for illegal aliens who
enroll in the University of California.
The official estimate is that about 900
"undocumented" students currently enjoy UC's taxpayer-funded academic
programs. In her previous job, Secretary
Napolitano was in charge of escorting the undocumented to the other side of the
border. She set a record, having
deported 779,000 people in 2009 and 2010, then topped her annual rate in 2012
by deporting more than 400,000. All
told, she ushered 1.2 million people out of the U.S.
Continue reading "Napolitano's Law-breaking Scheme at UCal" »
November 21, 2013
By Russell K. Nieli
Most readers of Minding the Campus are well aware of the
phenomenon of "mismatching" in colleges first brought to national
attention in regard to African American students by Cornell economics professor
Thomas Sowell in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. Sowell
showed that many of the black students at Cornell, who often had scores on
national exams like the SAT that would have placed them in the middle of the
pack at hundreds of respectable middle-selectivity colleges and universities,
were upwardly thrust into the competitive hothouse of an Ivy League institution
like Cornell where they were simply overwhelmed by the academic demands of the
college curriculum. Many of these
mismatched blacks, Sowell found, were on academic probation; some lashed out
in frustration at the Cornell administration in the famous "guns on campus"
Continue reading "How 'Undermatching' Harms Smart Low-Income Students" »
November 19, 2013
Brandeis University gave a surprising good-bye present to
former president Jehuda Reinharz: a post-retirement compensation package of
$600,000 a year for little apparent work. Indeed, Reinharz is earning another $800,000 annually in a full-time
job for the Mandel Foundation (a Cleveland-based charity that has generously
supported Brandeis). These kinds of
deals are increasingly common in higher education. When Gordon Gee left the
Ohio State presidency this summer, he received a five-year compensation package
valued at $5.8 million, including a direct cash payment of $1.5 million,
$400,000 annual salary payments, large research grants, and even some funds for
federal tax obligations. To be sure, he is doing a lot of post-retirement work
for those funds (full disclosure: I am working with Dr. Gee on some Ohio higher
education issues), but the implicit per-hour compensation rate is extremely
high. Similarly, Lawrence Bacow of Tufts received $1.7 million "end of service
compensation" when he retired as president.
Continue reading "Why the Huge Payouts to College Ex-Presidents?" »
November 17, 2013
By Peter Wood
The heavily publicized campaign by gay activists against
University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus is back in the news, this time
with more ominous implications for peer review and academic freedom. A Florida court has ordered that records of
confidential peer reviews of scholarly articles be turned over to a self-styled
"investigative journalist." It is an
alarming decision for several reasons.
The case is John M.
Becker v. University of Central Florida, and the decision, issued November
12, came from the hand of Orange County, Florida, Circuit Judge Donald
Grincewicz. A copy of the decision is here. The technical issue is whether Becker, the
journalist, can keep records that the university inadvertently gave him on a
flash drive. The drive contained more
than 50,000 emails related to the work of a University of Central Florida
faculty member, James Wright, who is the editor-in-chief of the Social Science Research Journal (SSR).
Continue reading "A Serious Blow to Academic Freedom--No Outcry, Though" »
November 14, 2013
By Peter Wood
New York City is bracing for the arrival of its new mayor, Bill de
Blasio, whose policy preferences are rooted in the left-wing thinking prevalent
in our universities. In his successful mayoral campaign, de Blasio, who
collected 73 percent of the vote, had much to say about K-12 education and
pre-K education. De Blasio expressed sharp skepticism about charter schools,
attended by 6 percent of New York City children. He pledged to hike the marginal income-tax rate on those
earning over $500,000, from 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent, to fund "universal
pre-K education" and "after school programs for middle school kids." Chester
Finn at the Fordham Institute assessed 24 of de Blasio's school-reform
proposals. Finn praised the idea of "getting every child to read by third grade"
but dismissed the "preschool promise" as "over-the-top unaffordable." And Finn brushed
aside nine of de Blasio's proposals as "crowd-pleasing rhetoric that's
essentially impossible to turn into anything serious."
What about higher education? De Blasio called for new science and
technology programs at the City University of New York, which he sees as a
job-creation engine for graduates of these proposed programs. According to Inside
Higher Ed, de Blasio has made increased spending on CUNY "a budget
priority." He has promised to find $150 million in new funds for the university.
New York, of course, has dozens of other colleges and universities, but CUNY is
directly under the mayor's control.
Continue reading "New York's Left-most Mayor Takes Over" »
November 12, 2013
By Jackson Toby
and Asian-American students, an increasing presence in our college campuses, are
carrying a crucial message that the rest of Americans have trouble hearing: that
college costs too much time and money to be devoted predominantly to fun and
Americans generally underestimate the
salience of education in most Asian cultures. Take Korea. South Korea raises
perhaps the highest academic hurdles for high-school seniors hoping to get into
a "good" college.
On one Thursday in November 2008, 590,000 high school seniors went to
one of about a thousand exam centers throughout Korea to take a nine-hour test
consisting mainly of multiple-choice questions. Answers to these questions
would determine who got into the best colleges, and later, who would likely get
the good jobs in business and government. The questions had been constructed by
400 carefully selected professors and teachers isolated for weeks at a resort
surrounded by police. Examination day is taken very seriously in Korean
society. The stock market and many businesses open an hour late to keep the
roads clear for students traveling to the testing centers. During certain
hours, planes are forbidden to take off or land so the noise won't interfere
with the listening portion of the test. Buddhist temples and Christian churches
are filled with parents praying for their children's success on the test. The
Korea Electric Power Corporation placed about 4,000 technicians on duty to
monitor power lines feeding the test centers. At the end of the day, the
evening newspapers published the questions and the correct answers. More than
80 percent of high school graduates go on to college. Those who did poorly on
the test may have waited a year to retake it.
Continue reading "Why Asian Students Are So Important on Campus " »
November 10, 2013
By Rachelle DeJong
The perceived threat of a MOOC tsunami presumes that vast
numbers of students will opt for supersized online courses in place of smaller,
traditional classrooms. And so far, millions have already enrolled in MOOCs.
The platform is versatile and the course offerings broad. Mid-career
professional development? Check. Remedial classes at community colleges? Check.
Elite DIY-Ivies for self-motivated unschoolers? BA courses available for
transfer credit? Master's-level courses for distance learners? Check, check,
Plus, MOOCs are cheap (for credit) or even free (not for
credit)--two important qualifications in a time of ballooning student debt. What's
not to like?
But, as I've written previously, MOOCs are a lot more
popular with the media and with college administrations than they are with
faculty or, more surprisingly, with
credit-seeking students. Faculty opposition makes sense: MOOCs represent a
direct competitor threatening to replace them in the classroom. Student hesitancy
is less intuitive. Don't students want flexibility in their courses, autonomy
in choosing their curriculum, and cheaper options for advanced training? Yet in
most MOOCs, 90
percent of enrolled students will fail to finish the course.
Continue reading "Why Do Students Drop Out of MOOCs?" »
November 7, 2013
By Adam Kissel
Champlain College in Vermont
has been receiving national accolades
for its thoughtful curriculum. For many of those unhappy with the vagaries of
more famous colleges and universities, Champlain is starting to pop up in
parental discussions, right after the question, "Then where would you be
willing to send your son or daughter?"
The college combines a decent core curriculum with
career-oriented majors and life-skills courses, all of which constantly reminds
students that their college is, after all, part of the real world. But there is
a problem. Tensions between the school's official "sustainability" values and
its commitment to critical thinking threaten to undermine the quality of Champlain's
Continue reading "Champlain Is a Good Innovative College, But..." »
November 5, 2013
By Cathy Young
If a satirist had set out to write a
scathing parody of the campus crusade against rape, he could not have come up
with anything more bizarre, or more ridiculous, than the real-life comedy-drama
that unfolded last month at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.
The scandal started, like many
scandals do these days, in the social media. On Saturday, October 12, amidst the school's Homecoming Weekend festivities,
photos and a video of two young people engaged in a public sex act near the
campus--the man on his knees performing oral sex on the woman while she leaned
against a plate-glass window, half-sitting on its ledge--showed up online and
promptly spread on Twitter.
On Sunday night, the woman in the
photos, a 20-year-old Ohio University student, contacted Athens police to say
that she had been sexually assaulted.
The news media picked up the story; an October
16 report on the local television channel, WBNS-10TV, opened with the alarming
announcement, "An Ohio university student says she was the victim of a
rape. Making it even worse, someone
photographed the alleged assault and shared it on social media." Within the OU community, there was widespread
outrage, particularly at reports that at least a dozen people had witnessed the
act. OU senior Allie Erwin lamented to 10-TV, "Our first
instinct as a community was not to intervene and help this woman, but to post
it on social media, and make a mockery of probably the most traumatic
experience of her life."
Continue reading "The Hyped Campus Rape That Wasn't" »
November 3, 2013
speech to the 55th reunion of the Harvard Law School class of 1958,
October 26, 2013.
I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1967. Very early
in my career, I represented many students in Administrative Board cases growing
out of their protests against the Vietnam War. I represented (with Alan
Dershowitz) one group of students accused by the Administrative Board of
harassment for closely following the Harvard College Dean, Ernest May, 24 hours
a day, chanting "murderer, murderer, murderer." Wherever the dean walked in
Cambridge, he was followed. Dean May was
consulting at the time for the Department of Defense. This is why the students
followed him and chanted.
The College's Ad Board acquitted the students on
academic freedom/free speech grounds, simply advising the students to keep a
respectful distance from Dean May when they followed him. This would never
happen today. The definition of "harassment" has very much swallowed up the
concept of free speech and academic freedom.
Continue reading "The Slow Death of Free Speech at Harvard" »
October 31, 2013
By Andrew P. Kelly
In a wide-ranging policy address on Tuesday, Utah Senator Mike Lee laid out a proposal to change how the federal government regulates access to more than $150 billion in student financial aid.
Since 1965, the federal government has farmed this gate-keeping job out to third-party accreditation agencies that are closely allied with existing higher education institutions. So while what we demand of higher education has changed tremendously since that time, we've clung to a regulatory system designed for a totally different era. As I explained in National Review earlier this month:
[T]his gatekeeping power is built on a conflict of interest: Accreditors were created by existing colleges, subsist on fees from the campuses they evaluate, and use faculty from one accredited institution to assess another. Accreditation reviews enshrine the traditional college model by focusing on such things as faculty credentials, facilities, and even the number of books in the library.
Lee echoed these concerns on Tuesday, arguing that this regulatory regime "restricts access to higher education and inflates its cost, inuring unfairly to the advantage of special interests at the expense of students, teachers, and taxpayers."
Continue reading "At Last! Promising Higher-Ed Ideas
from Washington" »
October 29, 2013
By Peter Wood
Hadley Arkes is the Edward N. Ney Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst College. He is something of an institution himself. He is a brilliant scholar but perhaps known as much for his irascible temper and aggressive style of argument as he is for the substance of his positions. The combination of intellectual virtuosity and pyrotic style is not that unusual. Think of John Silber, David Horowitz, Robert Bork, and Charles Murray among the contenders for the title Most Froward Public Intellectual, conservative division. Professor Arkes is by most accounts the king of this hill.
On September 13, six Amherst alumni from the class of 1970 met with Amherst President Carolyn A. "Biddy" Martin to request that the college "dissociate itself from both the homophobic substance and the intellectual dishonesty of Professor Hadley Arkes's writings in non-academic publications, in which he regularly chooses to identify himself with the College." The quotation is from a letter sent by the six (Ronald Battocchi, Ernest "Tito" Craige, John Greenberg, Warren Mersereau, Robert Nathan, and Eric Patterson) to other Amherst alumni asking them to co-sign a letter supporting their "request."
Continue reading "College President Defends Free Speech
(It Happens)" »
October 27, 2013
By Richard Vedder
The College Board has released its annual report Trends in College Prices, and never has a seemingly boring
document full of tables and graphs revealed more about American higher
education. Five observations culled from
- The rate of increase in tuition fees moderated a good deal
this year, continuing a trend, especially at state universities, although less
so after inflation is taken into account; (p.15)
- In some regards, state universities are becoming more like
private ones; 25 years ago, four-year public universities charged less than 20
percent the tuition that their not-for-profit private counterparts did; today
they charge almost 30 percent; adjusting for inflation, fees roughly doubled at
private schools, but tripled at public ones; (p. 15)
- 10 flagship state universities--West Virginia, Mississippi,
North Dakota, Iowa, Alabama, Oregon, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New
Hampshire-- all have more students paying out-of-state tuition than in-state
fees; (p. 19)
Continue reading "New Report: Why Colleges Get
an 'F' in Cost Control " »
October 23, 2013
By Gary Jason
fascinating facet of the ongoing deflation of the higher education bubble is
the scramble by law schools to adjust to their dropping enrollments. At many
schools, this enrollment drop has been enormous. Applications to law schools
generally are down
by 18% this fall, the third year in a row of double-digit drops. Just looking
at my home state of California, over the last three years, Loyola, UC
Hastings and USC have seen enrollments drop between 10 and 20 percent; Santa
Clara, San Diego, Chapman, UC Davis, Whittier, Cal Western and Thomas Jefferson
by between 21 and 30 percent; San Francisco by between 31 and 40 percent;
McGeorge, and Golden Gate by between 50 and 60 percent; and LaVerne by upwards
by 70 percent.
this has been the increased publicity about the number of law school grads who
cannot find appropriate work, as well as the confiscatory tuition rates
charged, ranging from $10,000 a year at a few public universities (where the taxpayers
pony up the rest) to $55,000 a year at private and upper-tier public law
Continue reading "The ABA Feels the Heat" »
October 20, 2013
The two most potent and ingenious threats to liberal
education in our country today are political correctness and techno-libertarian
"disruption." Political correctness has
corrupted the humanities and social sciences and politicized higher education
by asserting that all inquiry is to be driven by correct opinions about
justice. The great books of the past are authoritatively discredited by outing
their racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and theocracy. The humanities so
understood are characterized by "relativism," which turns out mainly to be a
rhetorical tool to discredit various forms of authority. The idea that truth is
relative prevents students from being dissatisfied with today's fashionable
opinions in search of the truth about who they are and what they're supposed to
do. Relativism is used to convinced
students that behind every claim for the truth there's a hidden agenda of
oppression. Even science, it turns out, is driven by premises that privilege
some forms of knowing over other equally valid--because equally relative--ones. So
relativism justifies obsession with identity politics and empowerment; it
substitutes "engagement" as self-righteous anger for open-minded wonder.
Continue reading "The Downside of MOOCified Disruption" »
October 16, 2013
By Richard D.
In attending yesterday's oral argument in a case contesting Michigan's affirmative action ban, I was struck by the enormous evolution of the civil rights movement away from some of its original principles.
At issue in Schuette
v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action was the legality of a state constitutional
amendment, adopted by Michigan voters in 2006, by a 58-42% margin, which
states, in part, that public colleges and universities "shall not discriminate
against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the
basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."
Arguing that a referendum that bans racial discrimination and preferences is itself a violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause was always a stretch. Neal Katyal, a former solicitor general in the Clinton administration told USA Today that the lower court ruling striking down the referendum was "an indefensible decision." The liberal Slate writer Emily Bazelon called Schuette "the affirmative action case liberals deserve to lose." And the Obama administration, which intervened in last term's affirmative action case of Fisher v. University of Texas, did not participate in the Schuette case.
Continue reading "The Terrible Fall of the Civil Rights Movement" »
October 14, 2013
By Duke Cheston
Libertarianism is spreading on our college campuses. An
unusually large number of politically-minded, frustrated students, who refer to
themselves as the "liberty movement," believe themselves to be part of a rising
tide that will restore the country to greatness.
Much of the recent growth in libertarian activism emerged
after Ron Paul's 2008 failed presidential bid, when Jeff Frazee, Paul's
national youth coordinator, founded Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Aided in
part by the right-of-center activist training group the Leadership Institute
and its team of field representatives, YAL now boasts chapters on over 380
campuses and a membership of some 125,000 students. Another libertarian group,
Students for Liberty, has since seen exponential growth since its founding in
2008. At the end of 2008, there were 42 campus groups in the SFL network. By 2013,
SFL claimed an affiliation with 930 groups worldwide: 767 in the U.S., over 100
in Europe, and a few dozen in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Continue reading "The Rise of the Libertarians" »
October 10, 2013
By Robert Weissberg
possible to stop the relentless promoting of anti-Americanism on campus? Let's forget about donating millions for a
patriotic "American Studies" program. Recall the Bass
family's sad experience at Yale--the $20 million donation for this purpose
was eventually returned. Similarly forget about a governor (e.g., Mitch
Daniels) or trustees trying to meddle in classroom instruction. "Academic
freedom" will end that. The obdurate reality is that today's faculty and their
mendacious leftish pontifications are beyond reach. Better to target students
and bypass the faculty.
with a familiar reality--few appreciate the U.S. until traveling overseas,
especially if returning from a squalid Third World country. Better yet, ask
Russian or Cuban escapees about what it means to be an American.
Continue reading "A Sure-Fire Cure for Anti-Americanism " »
October 8, 2013
Mark Lilla, an essayist, historian of ideas and professor of the humanities at Columbia
University, is best known for his books The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in
Politics and The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West. He is
interviewed here by Dean Ball, a student at Hamilton College and former intern
at Manhattan Institute.
Q: You wrote an article several years ago in the Chronicle
of Higher Education about the treatment of conservatism as a pathology on
college campuses. As a historian, particularly an intellectual historian, what
intellectual currents do you think have contributed and are contributing to
Continue reading "Mark Lilla: 'The Trouble with Conservatives'" »
October 6, 2013
By John S. Rosenberg
law professor Randall Kennedy probably deserves his own chapter
in the history of black intellectuals and black legal scholars. Over the years
he has told us a great deal -- some of it intentionally, with scholarship and
skill; some inadvertently or unwittingly --about how race is regarded and
debated in the academy, especially the legal academy.
early writings, delivered with force and skill, he often surprised readers by
departing from the analysis of his peers. For this he came under heavy fire,
particularly from Derrick
Bell, the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School and
one of the founders of critical race theory.
Bell, a former mentor to Kennedy, wrote a bitterly critical renunciation of his
former protege, "The Strange Career of Randall Kennedy," in effect
calling Kennedy an Uncle Tom for assuming the role of an "impartial black
intellectual, ... [a] self-appointed monitor of civil rights positions ... ever
ready to balance even the most heinous racial abuse with criticism of blacks
when, in his view, our accusations condemning racism ... go too far." Kennedy, in
Bell's view, by then himself a law professor at Harvard, "forgot whose side he
was on," demonstrated by his willingness to take public positions that "serve
to comfort many whites and distress blacks."
Continue reading "The Odd Career of Randall Kennedy" »
October 4, 2013
Academic politics can be vicious and hence an
often entertaining spectator sport. Still, it is not altogether clear why
Howard University president Sidney Ribeau's recent announcement
that he will resign the end of this year -- unexpected and even shocking though
it was -- has attracted
press attention, and not just in the usual
higher education sources.
It is true, as the Chronicle of Higher
that "Mr. Ribeau's retirement comes on the heels of a troubled year for Howard,
in which deans
publicly blasted leaders of the historically black university for
mismanagement, falling enrollment, and a hospital in financial straits," and
earlier this year Renee Higginbotham-Brooks, vice chair of Howard's Board of
for a vote of no confidence against Ribeau. Last year, according to an article in Diverse
Issues In Higher Education, Ribeau "faced widespread criticism when the
Faculty Senate protested more than $1.1 million in bonuses that were paid to
senior-level officials at the university at the same time that Ribeau had
endorsed a tuition hike." Ribeau himself earned $759,340 in total
compensation, according to a report
in the Washington Post.
Continue reading "What's The Fuss At Howard University?" »
October 1, 2013
The downfall of Hugo Schwyzer, gender studies
professor and onetime darling of the feminist blogosphere--now revealed as a
self-confessed "monstrous hypocrite" and intellectual fraud--has been one of the
more bizarre spectacles to unfold recently on the Internet. His strange case offers depressing insights
into the sexual politics of the modern academy and the cultural left, and also says something about the brand of feminist-dominated
"men's studies" that currently enjoy academic acceptance.
Schwyzer--strictly speaking, not a professor
but a soon-to-be-former tenured instructor at Pasadena Community College--has a
formal background in medieval Scottish history. Much of his 20-year career,
however, has been spent teaching sexier subjects such as gender studies, body
image, and pornography. In the last few
years, the 46-year-old academic, with his engaging manner and boyish good
looks, also emerged as something of a male feminist pop star. He helped organize "SlutWalks," protest
marches to convey the message that a woman's revealing dress is not an
invitation to sexual assault. He wrote
for "cool" feminist websites such as Jezebel.com and for The Atlantic's
gender-issues web section. He was a
frequent guest on radio and TV and gave workshops (according to his website) "at institutions as diverse as Fuller Theological Seminary
and Brown University."
Continue reading "The Porn Professor Had a Meltdown" »
September 29, 2013
Many recent articles say the humanities are
in deep trouble on our campuses. Minding
the Campus asked seven prominent scholars to respond briefly to this
question: "If you could change one thing about
the humanities, what would that change be?" Here are the answers from Stephen
F. Hayward, Samuel Goldman, James Piereson, Daphne Patai, Patrick Deneen, Peter
Wood, and Peter Augustine Lawler.
Steven F. Hayward, University
of Colorado, Boulder:
Rescuing the humanities from the slough of
postmodernism and its other debilitating afflictions would require replacing
many of the current faculty in our universities with new faculty that is not
hostile to our civilization and its principles. This is not going to
happen any time soon.
But here's an alternative that might be
practicable to try out: since most of the humanities do not require the close
classroom instruction in technical skill like organic chemistry, how about
having students in English, history, philosophy, and other humanities courses
meet for the first month of classes by themselves--no professors, no
teaching assistants. Just appoint a discussion leader from the class and
then read and discuss the texts (original texts only--no textbooks) amongst
themselves. If students feel they need some adult supervision or
instruction to keep on track, they could be encouraged to survey the best of
the MOOCs on the subject together in class.
Continue reading "How To Fix the Humanities" »
September 27, 2013
By William McGurn
(A speech delivered September 19 at a symposium on “Religious Freedom Under Obamacare,” the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.)
* * *
The official title of this talk, “New Gods on the Public Square,” is a cleaned-up version of what it would be at the New York Post, where I now work as editorial page editor: “Tolerance, Health and Sex: How America’s New Holy Trinity is Murdering Religious Liberty.”
The great challenge of the contraceptive mandate is not legal, political, or even
constitutional. The primary challenge is an evolving orthodoxy that no longer assumes religion in American public life is a good thing, much less that it ought to be constitutionally privileged. The contraceptive mandate is more the logical extension of this new orthodoxy than its instigation.
My proposition has three parts. First, the distinctive freedoms our constitution offered – I am thinking mostly of speech and assembly – translated in practice to a public square that has been crowded with institutions, including wide varieties of churches and related religious institutions. These defined American civic society in a way that Tocqueville rightly found unique.
Continue reading "The Killing of Religious Liberty" »
September 24, 2013
By Warren Farrell
Canadian and American men's activists will gather this Friday at the University
of Toronto, where they will be met by angry feminists dedicated to tearing down
their posters, heaping abuse on speakers, blockading events and denouncing
police as "f---ing scum" if they try to restore order. At least that's what
happened last November when I spoke before the same group--the Canadian Association
for Equality (CAFE)--on the same campus. A documentary caught the
spirit of the protest:
Angry feminism is still in vogue at the U of T, where the student union regards men's rights organizations as hate groups that shouldn't be heard. They are charging CAFE $964 for security Friday, thus predicting feminist violence and requiring the men to pay for it.
Continue reading "Rigid Campus Feminism: Is It Forever?" »
September 22, 2013
Russell K. Nieli
Children of alumni have long enjoyed advantages in gaining admission
to the most selective private colleges and universities in the United States--a
practice rare in other nations and puzzling and unsavory to foreigners. If not
as puzzling, legacy admissions are equally unsavory to many Americans, especially
those who consider themselves "meritocrats" and those on the
political left concerned with what they see as the undeserved privileges of
The latest entry into the anti-legacy literature is a
Salon.com article by journalists Elizabeth Stoker and Matthew Bruenig
("The 1 Percent Ivy League Loophole," September 9, 2013). Stoker and Bruenig seem to be committed less to
meritocracy than to leftism. They object
to the practice of giving preferences to legacies mainly because of the
contribution it makes to intergenerational inequality and the passing on of economic
privilege from the very rich to their offspring. "For those looking to pass power and
wealth down," they complain, "legacy admission practices are a handy
tool. ... Legacy ...is a sort of affirmative action for the wealthy."
Continue reading "Legacy Preferences Under Fire Again" »
September 20, 2013
"Disrupting" may have had its day
as a pervasive buzzword, claims Judith Shulevitz in The New Republic. It is or is soon to be toast as "jargon
cluttering the pages of Forbes and Harvard Business Review" and as part of
the title of many a TED talk.
Disruptive used to refer to students and
others who had impulse-control "issues" in class. It now is virtually a synonym for
"innovative" and "transformational."
Well, not quite a synonym, because it's easy to find phrases like
"disruptively transformational" Or "disruptively innovative." The unironic user of buzzwords doesn't fear redundancy. And the
ironic user--who knows what to say to win friends and influence people--knows
how to move his audience.
In this case (but not in most cases),
Shulevitz reminds us we can actually "name the person who released a cliche into
the linguistic ecosystem": Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business school
Continue reading "The End of "Disrupting" in Higher Education?" »
September 17, 2013
The "Massive" in MOOC refers to class size, but one might
think it stands for cost savings as well. MOOCs are free for students who
register and cheap for those who seek credit. Few colleges and universities plan
to grant credit for MOOCs, but of
those who do, the cost to the student is typically a few hundred dollars
per course; sometimes, it's only the price of paying for a proctored exam.
But MOOCs are not terribly cheap for the colleges and
partner platforms producing them. Building a MOOC is tricky work. It involves writing
lecture scripts, rethinking course structure, creating a slew of multiple
choice quizzes, adapting grading software, filming lectures and (sometimes)
discussion groups, editing footage, and building a course page. Once the course
goes live online, someone has to pay for chat feed monitors, glitch repair, and
a squad of tutors and administrators. All this for a product that's supposed
to resemble a frozen dinner: pre-packaged, simple to prepare, and consumed in front of a screen.
Continue reading "What Do MOOCs Cost?" »
September 16, 2013
Surveys suggest, unsurprisingly, that most students go to
college to acquire job credentials, not to pursue deep learning or ponder eternal truths. The
biggest problem: that credentialing is extremely expensive--usually between
$100,000 and $200,000--and doesn't indicate much. Given today's non-selective
admissions policies, grade inflation and lax college academic standards, a
college diploma doesn't tell us what it once did.
Enter the Council for Aid to Education and their new
Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA +). For a modest fee, students can
take this 90-minute test designed to reveal their ability to critically analyze
and evaluate solutions to problems. I have personally examined a sample test
question and on that limited exposure think the CLA is probably a pretty good
instrument. Holding a college degree is
a little bit like being pregnant: you either are, or are not. The CLA gives the test-takers, colleges, and,
most importantly, future employers, more precise information on performance,
since the test is graded like the SAT, on a scale with many possible scores.
Continue reading "The Collegiate Learning Assessment--Let's Support It" »
September 12, 2013
By Richard Vedder
It was bound to happen sooner or later: an important
committee at the University of Virginia (UVA) has recommended the de facto
privatization of the institution. Specifically, "The University of Virginia and
its supporters should initiate a process designed to change the status of the
University from a state controlled...and supported entity to a state affiliated
or state associated institution." This
is what the "Public University Working Group" is proposing as part of a
strategic planning initiative.
In 2005, Virginia began a modest but real partial
privatization, and the law school and Darden School of Business consider
themselves essentially independent of state control now. And the University's
demographics more resemble those of an elite private school than a typical
state university. The percent of students receiving Pell Grants is the same as
at Yale and Dartmouth -UVA is, to a considerable extent, already a school for
relatively affluent kids. The four-year graduation rate at UVA is 87 percent,
identical to the Ivy League average, compared with, say, 26 percent rate at Virginia
Commonwealth University. The school gets
roughly a tenth of its income from the state now, so the financial consequences
of a gradual privatization need not be dire. And, as the report clearly hints,
the school hopes and expects more private control will enhance philanthropic
Continue reading "Is the University of Virginia Going Private?" »
September 10, 2013
By Cathy Young
This semester, Harvard Business
School marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of its first female
students. Just in time for the occasion,
the New York Times ran a lengthy front-page
feature on a new experiment at HBS intended to boost the performance of
female students, which has tended to lag behind that of the men. The article, by Jodi Kantor, is a confusing
mix of lifestyle journalism and academic reportage based on extremely thin
data; the program it chronicles seems to be an equally confusing melange of sensible
measures and gender policing run amok.
In recent years, women have made up
more than a third of students at Harvard Business School, coming in with test
scores and grades similar to those of their male peers; but they were
among recipients of academic honors.
Thus, the class of 2009 was 36 percent female--but only 11 percent of the
Baker Scholarships, awarded to the top 5 percent of the graduating class, went
to women. In 2010, women accounted for 38 percent of the students but 20
percent of the Baker Scholars. This
performance gap is the issue that the business school's administration decided
to tackle under the leadership of Dean Nitin Nohria--who, according to the Times, pledged to pursue a feminist
makeover at the school when he was appointed in 2010 by Drew Gilpin Faust,
Harvard's first woman president.
Continue reading "Gender Engineering at Harvard Business School" »
September 8, 2013
In a recent
op-ed for the Wall Street Journal,
James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley argued that we should "treat universities
like for-profit enterprises" and remove
their tax-exempt status. Richard
Vedder, Ronald Ehrenberg, Roger Kimball, and Daniel Bennett respond below.
In an email to me shortly before he died,
Milton Friedman said "a full analysis...might lead you to conclude that
higher education should be taxed to offset its negative externalities."
He's right. Elite so-called "private" colleges like Princeton
actually receive far more financial benefits from governments per student than
so-called "state" universities (special tax treatment of private
donations, favorable tax treatment of endowment capital gains, federal research
grants, etc.) And for what purpose?
We are over-invested, not under-invested, in higher education. Many college
graduates are taking low- skilled and low-paying jobs. The relationship between
state government spending on higher education and economic growth is negative,
not positive. Students are studying and learning little. Schools,
including Princeton, are spending vast amounts becoming mini-luxury resorts,
with fancy housing, spectacular recreational facilities and the like. At the
minimum, these commercial activities should be taxed.
One of the basic principles of taxation is that taxes should promote
neutrality --treating everyone the same. Used car dealers provide useful
services and are taxed; universities provide useful services as well --and also
should be taxed. A school with two million dollars a student in endowment like
Princeton can well afford a measly few million dollars annually in taxes
--relieving the burden on the mostly less affluent citizenry.
directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, teaches
economics at Ohio University, and is an Adjunct Scholar at the American
Ronald G. Ehrenberg:
In recognition of their social obligation to act in the public interest,
many private not for-profit academic institutions have informally, or
increasingly through formally negotiated agreements, made payments in lieu of
taxes (PILOTs). Typically these payments are much lower than the tax payments
that the institutions would have made if their properties had been taxed at the
going area tax rate. As financial conditions of local governments worsen,
increasing pressure comes to bear on the institutions to pay their fair share
of the burdens they place on the localities for various public services.
Continue reading "Should Colleges and Universities Be Taxed?" »
September 5, 2013
By Richard Vedder
The great transformation of higher education may be under way. Two indicators: First, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that enrollments at America's universities in 2012 fell for the first time in years. What the Census did not stress was that the decline was fairly substantial, about 500,000 students, or roughly three percent. Rather the Census, obsessed with personal attributes such as skin color and ethnicity, emphasized how enrollments held up among Hispanics. Second, a survey of more than a hundred higher-education administrators drew a fairly startling result. Asked by the well-known accounting and consulting firm KPMG if they had concerns about maintaining current enrollment levels, 37 percent said yes. This was up from 23 percent last year, itself a rise from the conventional response of just a relative few administrators saying yes.
Continue reading "The Tsunami of ChangeHas It Begun?" »
August 29, 2013
By J.M. Anderson
College is becoming the new high school--and in many respects,
already is. Colleges and universities are remediating more and more students in
basic skills, and increasingly teaching them content material that they should
have learned in high school. The proliferation of dual-credit/dual-enrollment courses
has helped to accelerate this trend while further blurring the distinction
between what high school is and what college should be.
The program, now in all 50
states, lets students take college-level courses at their schools during their
junior and senior years for both high school and college credit. According to a
recent NCES study, nearly
15,000 public high schools (82%) offered more than 2 million college courses
during the 2010-11 school year, up 71% from the last NCES study in 2002-2003.
The study also showed that 77% of dual-credit/dual-enrollment
students took these classes at their high schools, and most were taught solely
by high school instructors. In other words, they were getting college credit
without setting foot on a college campus or being taught by a college
Continue reading "The Problem with Dual-Credit Programs" »
By Stephen H. Balch
There's nothing as western as West Texas, its sky a vast
inverted bowl, its land austere and boundless, its people tough, terse, and
hard working. These aren't images that readily bring to mind the Parthenon or
Temple Mount, but they do suggest what makes West Texas' landscape a signifier for
the achievement of Western civilization as a whole. Only a civilization immensely
fecund, bursting with energy, imagination, and confidence, could have brought
forth the abundance of productive activity needed to make these daunting plains
a livable space. Oil derricks, wind farms, cotton fields, ranches, even
wineries, flourish amidst the dusty expanse, as does a notable university,
Texas Tech. Last fall, the enterprise and courage of this institution (and
especially its chancellor Kent Hance), so emblematic of the region and people
that its serves, tempted me from my eastern haunts to what many elsewhere in
academe might have thought a mission impossible, the creation of a program
aiming to do intellectual justice to the Western miracle and the transformation
of the human condition it has wrought.
During its first ten months Texas Tech's Institute for
the Study of Western Civilization has launched a lecture and debate series devoted
to exploring "big picture" questions about the West's nature, origins, and
future. Its 2012-2013 schedule included a brilliant exposition by Alan Charles
Kors on the emergence of religious tolerance in the West, an illuminating
debate on the future of the Western welfare state between the Cato Institute's
Michael Tanner and former president of the American Economic History Association
Peter Lindhert, and a penetrating talk on the character of scientific inquiry
and its threatened corruption by philosopher Susan Haack. (These and others
events can each be viewed online on the Institute's website.)
Continue reading "In Texas, Celebrating the Gifts of Western Civ" »
August 27, 2013
By Hans Bader
Recently, two male students sued colleges that expelled or suspended
them over allegedly false claims of sexual misconduct. Citing school
officials' repeated violation of rules contained in student handbooks
and college regulations, they argue that Vassar College
and Saint Joseph's University
violated their contractual rights, Title IX (which bans sex discrimination), and anti-fraud laws.
Their legal claims seem plausible to me, as a lawyer who once handled
discrimination claims for a living, including a stint at the Education
Department's Office for Civil Rights. But because they are male, their
Title IX claims have been labeled as peculiar by feminist commentators.
Continue reading "Suing over Star Chamber Hearings" »
August 25, 2013
By David Wilezol
I wrote last week on National Review
Online, President Obama's higher education reform agenda acknowledges that decades of increasing
government subsidies aren't lowering the price of college. In fact, they have
pushed prices to astronomical levels. This theory is known as the Bennett
Hypothesis, after former Secretary of Education (and my boss) Bill Bennett, who
first noticed the link in the 1980s. For 30 years, Bennett and others have been
criticized by many liberals for noticing what President Obama explicitly stated
yesterday: "It is time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good
results, and reward schools that deliver for American students and our future."
tacit acknowledgment of the failures of federal money in higher education is
quietly a watershed moment for higher ed reform: the Bennett Hypothesis has
become a mainstream policy idea. Left of center writers like Slate's Matt Yglesias,
at the Atlantic, and Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi
have all recently written pieces acknowledging that the federal government has
been mightily complicit in the rising costs of college.
Continue reading "A Closer Look at President Obama's Higher-Ed Plan" »
August 18, 2013
Americans expect the impossible of
their higher education system. We demand that it serve dozens of different
constituencies; the political and public agendas of left and right; national
economic imperatives; and contribute to the world's scientific progress.
Moreover, we require that the system perform these tasks equitably, maximizing
the welfare of well-off and poor alike.
It's no wonder, then, that
criticisms of higher education have mounted in recent years. From the right,
critics have charged that American higher education, fueled by excessive
government subsidies, is bloated by wasteful overspending and overreaching.
Critics on the left allege that higher education has lost sight of the American
ideal of equal educational opportunity, promoting agendas that systematically
enrich the wealthy and punish the disadvantaged.
Continue reading "Derek Bok's Magnum Opus" »
August 15, 2013
By David Wilezol
After weeks of squabbling on whether rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans would be tied to market-based interest rates or not, President Obama signed the long-awaited student loan interest rate bill on August 9th, 39 days after the old student loan rate expired. For students preparing to go back to school in August, many of which were probably making hard decisions about how to pay for it, those were 39 precious days of indecision. Thankfully, the bill's provisions apply retroactively, making those weeks of concern irrelevant.
But this should have been a much easier process. Aside from on whether interest rates would be capped or not, the House GOP's starting point on solving the issue was essentially identical to President Obama's. Both from the outset, favored the solution that was ultimately signed into law – market-based rates. So why did it take so long to hammer out an agreement?
The answer lies in the misguided approach of progressive Democrats on the Senate Education Committee. And by most accounts, nobody was throwing more sand in the gears of the process than Iowa Democratic Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
First, there is this Roll Call story from July 17th, which essentially blames Harkin for the holdup:
Continue reading "Harkin Hamstrings Higher-Ed Reform" »
August 11, 2013
That conclusion should be obvious. Roughly 48 percent of our college graduates
are in jobs that the require less than a four-year degree, according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the future looks worse: growth in the number of
graduates in this decade is likely to be nearly three times as great as the
projected number of jobs requiring such degrees. Despite incredibly lax standards (the typical
full-time student spends about 30 hours a week on academic matters) and rampant
grade inflation, well over 40 percent of entering students fail to graduate
within six years.
In a market environment with little governmental
involvement, problems like this take care of themselves. With growing "underemployment" of recent
college graduates, demand for degrees would fall abruptly, and with that
enrollments and fees would decline, and the less strong colleges would close,
demonstrating what Joseph Schumpeter aptly called "creative destruction." Massive
government subsidization of students and schools, however, largely prevents
that from happening (although there is some evidence, such as falling
enrollments, suggesting the disinvesting process is beginning even with the
Continue reading "Too Many People Are Going to College" »
August 7, 2013
By Rachelle DeJong
president John Hennessey told the New Yorker
in April 2012, "There's a tsunami coming," he wasn't forecasting the next
undersea earthquake. Rather, he
predicted a seismic collision between academia's cost and availability. After
David Brooks borrowed the metaphor for a New
York Times op-ed, "tsunami" became synonymous with the
rise of the MOOC (massive open online courses). These massive open online
courses gained celebrity as hundreds of thousands of students joined and
credibility as dozens of big name schools agreed to offer online adaptations of
their classes free, though without credit.
So last fall,
when Colorado State University--Global Campus became the first American
university to announce plans to grant credit for MOOCs, the earthquake
threatened to rumble and the tsunami looked set to roll. Students could take an
introductory computer programming course hosted by the MOOC platform Udacity
and pay for a proctored exam at one of Pearson VUE's testing centers. In
exchange, students would receive three college credits from Colorado State
University--Global Campus, an independent, online
school within the Colorado
State system that caters
to working professionals. (The course itself would remain free on Udacity's
website and available to those uninterested in pursuing credit.)The
price of the proctored test, $89, rang up as less than one-tenth of a regular
CSU--Global Campus course. But almost a year after CSU--Global's announcement, and with
200,000 students enrolled in Udacity's programming course, not a single student has claimed the college credit.
Continue reading "The Unexpected Resistance to MOOCs" »
August 4, 2013
The "hookup culture" on college campuses has
been a subject of much concern (and, one suspects, prurient interest) in recent
years. The first dispatches from this
new sexual battlefield, starting with reporter Laura Sessions Stepp's 2003 article in The Washington Post and her 2007 book Unhooked:
How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at
it as one in which women were clearly the losers, seduced by false promises of
liberation and left vulnerable to exploitative casual sex, regret and
heartache. Then came the feminist counter-narrative expounded in Hanna Rosin's
2012 article in The Atlantic, "Boys on the Side" (and later in her book, The
End of Men): brief no-strings liaisons, Rosin argued, are a savvy female
strategy to avoid investing too much time or energy in college romance,
prioritize career development, and still enjoy sex.
Last month, the New York Times ran a long
feature in its Sunday Style section, "Sex on Campus: She Can Play That Game Too," which, despite some caveats,
was largely a brief for the feminist side. Based on interviews with female
students at the University of Pennsylvania, the story by Kate Taylor
acknowledged the hookup culture's negative aspects and profiled a couple of
women who reject it. But its unquestioned star was "A.," a driven, ambitious
pragmatist whose sex life consists of regular encounters with a "hookup buddy"
she doesn't even like as a person ("we
literally can't sit down and have coffee") and who would rather not make time for a real relationship.
Continue reading "Hookup Culture--Great Publicity, but Not That Popular" »
August 1, 2013
By KC Johnson
Here's a probable growth area for litigation: suits
against colleges for rigging sexual misconduct hearings against males, some of
whom are being convicted of rape and other sexual offenses without any
semblance of due process. The federal government is implicated here: the Education
Department's Office of Civil Rights has mandated a lower threshold of certainty
in sexual harassment and assault cases, from the clear-and-convincing
standard (around 75 percent certainty) to the preponderance of evidence standard
(50.01 percent). So
males can be branded as rapists for life if campus judges consider the accuser's
version of events just slightly more likely than that of the accused.
I noted previously, the Brian Harris case at St. Joseph's College
represents an almost textbook example of how the forced adoption of a
"preponderance of evidence" threshold makes factually dubious convictions more
likely. A second case, filed by former Vassar student Peter Yu, raises some
more complicated questions and is likely to get more attention. (You can read the complaint here.)
Continue reading "The Dubious Rape Trial at Vassar " »
July 31, 2013
By Jackson Toby
The Boston Globe reports that at least one college, Dartmouth, is making real
progress against binge-drinking on campus. Freshmen are banned from
fraternity parties for their first six weeks at school. Student-led "Green
Teams" circulate at campus parties in groups of four, sober, to watch out for
and steady partygoers who may be on the brink of getting drunk. Dartmouth has
moved to greater enforcement of rules against drinking and students with
alcohol infractions get a confidential chat about heavy drinking. The result of
the new emphasis: the number of Dartmouth students hospitalized with
blood-level alcohol levels of more than 0.25 percent fell to 31 this past
academic year from 80 two years earlier.
One problem in imposing reforms is a simple
one--a great many students do not tend to consider alcohol a danger. It is just harmless
fun--the worst that can happen is getting arrested for drunken driving or
underage alcohol consumption. But that is not really the worst. The worst is
losing self-control and behaving in ways that jeopardize your future, your life
or the lives of others.
Continue reading "Confronting the Binge-Drinking Campus Culture" »