Higher Education Articles


The Way We Were

Campus unrest provoked a very different response in 1970.
Feb 15, 2016

Another college president has caved. After months of protests at Ithaca College alleging campus leaders are indifferent to racism, President Tom Rochon announced in January he would be stepping down before the end of his contract.

“I recognize that colleges evolve through eras defined by new opportunities and challenges," he said in a written statement. "I believe it is best for IC to be led in the future by a president chosen by the board specifically to make a fresh start on these challenges, including those that became so apparent to us all last semester.

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Who Gets In, Who Doesn’t?

Dec 07, 2015

Next month the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, one of the most important cases this term. In 2008 Fisher, a white high school senior in Texas, applied for admission to the university and was turned down.

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Not on My Dime

Time to phase out subsidies for higher education?
Dec 07, 2015

At the University of Missouri, feminist professor Melissa Click cried out “I need some muscle over here!” to expel a reporter from the Concerned Student 1950 protest in a public quad. A more apt encapsulation of what conservatives feel ails academia—identity obsession, rights-curbing, self-righteous bullying—can scarcely be imagined. It’s exactly the kind of thing that might make them cry out for some muscle of their own: someone to force intellectual diversity.

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It's All About 'Muscle'

Understanding the campus unrest
Dec 14, 2015

The Obama administration—easily the most ideologically progressive in modern American history—has been accompanied by both liberal triumphalism and liberal outrage.

Three major protest movements have marked the Obama era: Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and the as-yet-unnamed campus protests that began at the University of Missouri and Yale and have now spread across the country. The Occupy movement failed utterly. The Black Lives Matter movement has been on a fast track to irrelevance, its only success having been to discipline Democratic presidential candidates to deny that "all" lives matter, while insisting that "black" lives do.

The campus protests are different.

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Princeton Protestors Hand College Fundraisers a Golden Opportunity

9:16 AM, Nov 23, 2015

As you may have heard, the denizens of Princeton University are in a tizzy over the fact that the school's most famous alum, former president Woodrow Wilson, was a racist. This hasn't exactly been a secret all these years, but college students have apparently run out of more relevant things to be indignant about.

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‘I Need Some Muscle’

Nov 23, 2015

For decades, the American university system has been creeping towards both moral and intellectual bankruptcy. But the events last week at Yale and the University of Missouri suggest we are reaching a tipping point, and that campus culture is transitioning from painfully idiotic to wantonly destructive. Even at the height of the Vietnam war protests, administrators endeavored, with varying degrees of success, to keep the inmates from running the asylum.

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South Park Schools Universities, John Kerry

Elites should watch South Park.
12:49 PM, Nov 20, 2015

Over the past few weeks, students at universities across America have been throwing temper tantrums at the prospect of free speech and open dialogue. On Tuesday, John Kerry justified the Charlie Hebdo slaughter and differentiated it from the Paris attacks, by saying there was "a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that."

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This Is What Campus Hysteria Looks Like

1:45 PM, Nov 18, 2015

It was a story too good to check. The day after some 200 activist students at Vanderbilt University marched into the administration building to deliver their demands for more diversity and inclusivity to the school's chancellor, the reactionary forces on campus struck back in the most disgusting way possible.

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So You’re Getting a Ph.D.

Welcome to the worst job market in America
Nov 16, 2015

Every few years in the Northeast, biologist John Cooley gets famous—because he’s the man who discovered the mating secrets of one of the insect world’s weirdest and most-publicized species: Magicicada septendecim, the 17-year cicada. True to their name, and unlike the bottle-green “annual” cicadas that emerge in backyards every summer, the black-and-orange 17-years spend more than a decade and a half underground as larvae, and then all emerge as adults at the same time, usually in May.

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Amherst Student Protesters Want Disciplinary Action In Response To "Free Speech" Posters

4:05 PM, Nov 13, 2015

Amherst Uprising—"a collective of students on campus who came together as a result of the sit-In organized in Frost Library on 11/12/15"—has delivered demands to their university president. Number five on their list is pretty illustrative how far off the deep end these student protesters are (emphasis added):

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Skewed Scorecard

Oct 05, 2015

In his weekly address on September 12, President Obama touted the Department of Education’s new “College Scorecard,” the latest, greatest tool to help high school students and their families make informed (dare we say educated?) decisions when picking a college. The website offers students a means of comparing schools—by graduation rates, cost of attendance after financial aid, and the average salaries earned by graduates.

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How to Make a Bad Problem Worse

Hillary Clinton’s flawed plan for student debt relief.
Aug 24, 2015

Nearly everyone recognizes that student debt has risen to a level that will be difficult to sustain, given the nation’s slow-growing economy and the sagging incomes of too many college-­educated Americans. Nearly 40 million Americans carry some form of student debt; more than 7 million are in default on their loans, and many more have missed scheduled payments. The total amount of outstanding student debt is estimated to be $1.2 trillion, with about two-thirds of this sum underwritten by the federal government.

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GOP Floating New Solutions To Make Colleges Work For Students

Unlike Hillary.
2:18 PM, Aug 18, 2015

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the topic of higher education at a Shelby County Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon.

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Jeb Signed Law Providing Low-Income College Scholarships

7:01 AM, Apr 08, 2015

A front-page story in Tuesday’s Washington Post examines former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s record on ending affirmative action for college admissions. Through a 2000 executive order, Bush banned racial preferences in Florida’s public universities and colleges. The move was controversial at the time and prompted massive protests in Tallahassee. 

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The Lowdown on Higher Education

A crisis in search of better answers.
Mar 09, 2015

Scott Walker was never going to win fans among the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Four years ago, Wisconsin professors were in the state capitol protesting the governor’s plans to limit public employee collective bargaining powers. But, boy, did he make enemies this month when he proposed $300 million more in budget cuts to the state’s university and altering the words of the school’s mission. Walker has clearly made some tactical missteps in recent weeks—and the fact that he himself doesn’t have a college degree doesn’t add to his credibility.

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Boehner Uses Taylor Swift GIFs to Argue Against Obama

11:44 AM, Jan 16, 2015

The office of House speaker John Boehner has a Buzzfeed-style blog post featuring pop superstar Taylor Swift that attempts to respond to President Obama's proposal to offer Americans two years of free community college. Titled "12 Taylor Swift GIFs for you," the post employs the popular animated image format to supplement its point. Here's one example:

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Mob on the Quad, cont.

12:03 PM, May 09, 2012

Since I wrote about Naomi Schaefer Riley being fired by the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday, the story has moved along somewhat.

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Mob on the Quad

1:22 PM, May 08, 2012

Late last night, in a shameful example of editorial cowardice, the Chronicle of Higher Education fired Naomi Schaefer Riley. Naomi is a good friend of mine, a sometimes contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, and a fine writer. And the story of what happened to her is highly instructive.

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Vanderbilt’s Religious and Political Student Organizations Under Attack

4:30 PM, Feb 07, 2012

Students are riled up at Vanderbilt University, but not in anticipation of a basketball game. 
 

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Believing Is Seeing

History unfolds beneath the Ivory Tower.
Dec 19, 2011

Mary Ann Glendon begins her chapter on Rousseau by recounting the story of Napoleon’s visit to the grave of that worthy on the estate of the Marquis René Louis de Girardin at Ermenonville and saying, “It would have been better for the peace of France if this man had never lived.” When the marquis sensibly pointed out that, without the impetus given by Rousseau’s writings to the French Revolution, Napoleon himself would not have existed, at least not as Napoleon, the first consul replied that only the future

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Law Professor’s Criticism of Military Care Package Drive has Unintended Effects

10:09 AM, Nov 29, 2011

A care package drive for deployed U.S. troops is receiving national notice after a professor at Suffolk University Law School criticized the operation. 

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What's Wrong with Obama's Student Loan Policy in a Single Chart

10:45 AM, Nov 03, 2011

Via the Twitter feed of Fareed Zakaria, a brief snapshot into the terrifying future of higher education. Currently, more American students are majoring in visual and performing arts than engineering:

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Perry and the Profs

He picked the right fight.
Sep 19, 2011

If you want a glimpse of the way Rick Perry operates as an executive and a politician, consider the issue of higher education reform in Texas, which no one in Texas knew was an issue until Perry decided to make it one.

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Happy Hour: Unemployment is a Joke

6:00 PM, Jun 13, 2011

Of course he does: "Obama Seeks to Win Back Wall St. Cash"

$800 billion in taxpayer cash didn't create any jobs? That's HILARIOUS: "Obama jokes about 'shovel-ready projects'"

Anthony Weiner: Car registration and fees are for the little people

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Crossfire in Fat City

An exchange.
2:45 PM, Jun 03, 2011

University of Illinois at Chicago professors Barbara Risman, William Bridges, and Anthony M. Orum write this letter to the editor in response to “Fat City: Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life,” which appeared in a recent issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD:

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Fat City

Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.
May 30, 2011

After 34 years of teaching sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I recently retired at age 64 at 80 percent of my pay for life. This calculation was based on a salary spiked by summer teaching, and since I no longer pay into the retirement fund, I now receive significantly more than when I “worked.” But that’s not all: There’s a generous health insurance plan, a guaranteed 3 percent annual cost of living increase, and a few other perquisites. Having overinvested in my retirement annuity, I received a fat refund and—when it rains, it pours—another for unused sick leave.

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Lower Education

Sex toys and academic freedom at Northwestern.
Mar 21, 2011

Washington Post on Ferguson's 'Crazy U': 'Hilarious' and 'Incisive'

4:00 PM, Feb 25, 2011

The Washington Post  has a review up of the new book by Andrew Ferguson, Senior Editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The new book, Crazy U, tells the story of Ferguson's struggles getting his son through the college admissions process.

Ferguson's regular readers are unlikely to be surprised by this, but the Post's nonfiction editor gave Crazy U a rave review:

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