I came across this website today and thought I would give it a shout out. For our female readers, give it a read.
In our book, we note how Title IX has evolved in ways that betray due process protections. I thought I would post an article by a feminist victim of Title IX--Laura Kipnis. It’s worth the read and should scare the hell out of you regardless of your political persuasion.
Here is the link: http://laurakipnis.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/My-Title-IX-Inquisition-The-Chronicle-Review-.pdf
Here is another story about how Title IX is now being tested as a way to shut off dissent. The website is partisan, so keep that in mind.
Here is the link: http://dailycaller.com/2015/12/14/professors-threatened-with-investigation-for-questioning-rape-documentary/
And just for fun, here is an editorial written by a professor of social work. It has nothing to due with Title IX but it should give you an idea of the depths of theorizing now witnessed in social work programs.
Here is the link: http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2015/12/13/racism-white-supremacy-and-white-privilege/
Another Exchange at a University Thanks to Young Americans for Liberty. This is What a University Looks Like.
Both sides of this debate make intelligent points and the young man involved is clearly very bright. Engagement and debate is what a university should be about.
As most readers of this blog know, the Supreme Court is now contemplating the thorny issues of affirmative action in university admissions.
I say it’s a thorny issue for a couple of reasons:
First, affirmative action means different things to different people. Many on the left, for example, see it as a mechanism to ensure fairness and as a mechanism to increase diversity. Both of these are admirable goals. Those on the right, however, typically view affirmative action policies as violating principles of fairness and they strongly suspect that they erode merit to the degree that they create and institutionalize discrimination. Both sides can be correct, of course.
Second, affirmative action can be done in a way that helps to ensure fairness and that broadcasts opportunities to minorities. Few, I think, are opposed to affirmative action done in this matter. However, affirmative action can also create substantive distortions in the admissions and hiring process. These distortions work to disrupt reasoned assessment of a candidate’s merit and potential or, worse, they can easily slide into quotas or mandates to hire.
Third, efforts to create diversity through affirmative action often result in supporters over-emphasizing the benefits of affirmative action and downplaying the costs. Perhaps this is to be expected. However, supporters often have to justify engaging in behaviors that would, under any other scenario, be classified as discriminatory. Now, I understand that discrimination comes in different flavors and that we can legally discriminate under certain conditions. Even so, there has to be a compelling state interest that justifies the discrimination. What happens, however, is that supporters of affirmative action often wish to deny that discrimination is sometimes part of the process. Instead, they engage in a remarkable level of deliberate intellectual obfuscation.
Finally, I’m reminded of a comment by Jonathan Haidt who said diversity can often be divisive. I’ve been thinking seriously about this for some time and will post something later. His point, however, highlights a fact that often goes unrecognized. Affirmative action sometimes generates a strong sense of injustice and unfairness amongst those who do not benefit from these policies. Perhaps the phrase “who do not benefit” is too shallow. Maybe I should be more accurate and say “who are excluded” by these policies. The point is, when universities practice exclusion in hiring or in student admissions they generate suspicion and animosity.
So, what about the data?
There are now a couple of studies that show that women applying to STEM positions in academia are preferred to male applicants by about 2:1. That is, hiring committees are predisposed to hire women STEM faculty over men.
There are also several studies on the effects of affirmative action on law school admissions, university admissions, and student performance. These studies are rather remarkable in both detail and finding.
Conservatives in academia want a diverse environment--indeed, we are an important and undervalued part of having a diverse university. When I think about it, we are likely one of the smallest minorities on campus. Yet how we arrive at a diverse environment is important.
I do not favor discrimination so I do not favor affirmative action for conservatives, even though there is compelling evidence that conservatives are discriminated against in many fields. At the same time, I do not favor discrimination for any other group or against any other group.
My advice to conservatives and to other minorities is always the same: Work hard. Study. Address your intellectual shortcomings. If you suck at math, take more math courses. If you need help with writing, take a course in writing. If you cannot get into Harvard, go someplace else. If your LSAT, GRE, SAT, ACT scores aren’t so good, study more and retake the test. Don’t expect to be admitted or hired because of your race, ideology, gender, hair color, sexual proclivities, background, or simply because your awesome.
Here is a post by Robert Cherry on the subject:
Yes, I know the title is provocative. However, I didn’t come up with it. The title originates from a post found on the NY Post. I don’t normally read the Post but this caught my attention.
If you analyze the post, you will see that it is filled with examples of intellectual suppression, student protests, and the conservative/liberal divide in academia. As a piece of rhetoric, it is pretty well done and it contains information some may not know.
For what it is worth, here is the link:
Readers of this blog know that I’ve focused a lot of attention on matters of speech--free speech that is. Yes, I’ll cover other academic issues but speech is at the core of what we do. It is at the core of free enquiry. It is at the core of teaching. It is at the core......well, you get the point.
I’m happy to say that people in positions of power are taking notice. The Wisconsin system just adopted a statement on free speech modeled after the University of Chicago’s statement.
However, what struck me were comments made by trustees about the necessity of listening. Speech, of course, is only 1/2 the issue. The other half is that people--including professors, students, activists, ect....--should listen to the other side. And not just listen, but THINK.
I like to tell people that just because an idea or a criticism came from the right doesn’t automatically make it wrong. As scholars and students, we should try to understand what motivates individual cognition and not simply dismiss contrary viewpoints.
Listening, of course, takes effort. Thinking objectively takes even more effort. However, it is only by listening to contrarian views, dispassionately weighing evidence, and realizing the limitations of our own views that we learn and, eventually, change our minds.
You can read about the free speech statement here:
I want to throw two big thumbs up to Saint Louis University for sponsoring a talk by Charles Murray. Given the social context, Murray is an unlikely candidate to give talks on campus--much less talks about sex and race differences. And yet that is what SLU allowed and what Charles Murray did. Whether you agree with Charles Murray or not this is what the free and civilized exchange of ideas looks like.
Thanks professor Boutwell for providing me this link.
The link to Murray’s talk is here:
I’ve long thought that it is time for university trustees and maybe even legislative bodies to get involved in some of these matters. Of course my hesitation is that they can always make matters worse. In general, I think institutions should be politically neutral and should spend their time maintaining an environment where free enquiry and free expression collaborate. Maybe the plan below is a good starting point?
John Paul Wright and Matt DeLisi
Professors of Crime and Criminology