Author Archive: Robert Shibley

BRYAN CAPLAN ON GEORGE MASON’S ORWELLIAN ‘JUST SOCIETIES’ COURSE REQUIREMENT. “This is quixotic, I know, but let me try to break through the woke academic echo chamber with some harsh truths. If you promote DEI for a living, the reality is that normal, apolitical people see you as a racist, sexist, censorious fanatic. They don’t say so publicly … because they are afraid of you. They don’t tell you privately … because they are afraid of you. But when they’re speaking to people they trust, they vehemently disagree with you—and yearn to see you all fired.”

TWO MORE IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS DROP THE DEAN’S LIST. I suppose it makes sense from an economic perspective–if going to a fancy school is simply a status signifier, why should paying full freight get you less than full benefit?

WHAT’S UNC (AND PROBABLY EVERY OTHER SCHOOL) TEACHING THESE DAYS? “For example, when I enrolled in an introductory philosophy course at UNC, I was surprised to find, on the front page of the syllabus, a series of photos of notable philosophers, from the Greeks to the present day, in which each of the “dead white men” (a popular condemnation on campus) had an “X” through his face. The photos of the modern, “diverse” philosophers were unadulterated.” Sounds like someone let Google Gemini generate their syllabus

FLORIDA LEGISLATURE PASSES ‘BAN’ ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR UNDER-16 KIDS. This seems obviously unconstitutional, and DeSantis may not sign it. But man, as a parent of teens, I can tell you that the peer pressure on your kids to get on these platforms (and expose themselves to the destructive behavior of other kids) is intense. It would be wise for the big platforms to make it much easier for parents to regulate this stuff, because that’s far preferable to the law stepping in.

DUKE SETTLES MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR PRICE-FIXING LAWSUIT. Along with Brown, Columbia, Emory, and Yale. Will it occur to anyone in academia that they are vulnerable to such settlements precisely because nobody would put it past them?

AGAINST “SCHOLAR-ACTIVISM.” Not everything has to be about “advancing democracy” all the time, nor should doing so be an excuse for not rigorously pursuing the truth.

BAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AT THE MILITARY ACADEMIES TOO. “SFFA argues that West Point and Annapolis focus inappropriately on race during the admissions process and that West Point’s ‘director of admissions brags that race is wholly determinative for hundreds if not thousands of applicants.'” Yeah, there’s no way that could go horribly wrong.

I long for the good old days when America’s military “leaders” were just talking about how they would warn the Chinese in advance if we decided to attack them.

DO CAMPUS SPORTS DO MORE GOOD THAN HARM? I suspect they do at the small colleges the author discusses, but turning large college athletics into a minor league for pro teams has been a big mistake.

COURTESY OF ELON MUSK, DISNEY’S ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT ‘INCLUSION STANDARDS.’ Assuming these are real, of course.

Whatever moral justification there might be for quotas for “underrepresented” groups cannot possibly stretch to using those quotas to create a new underrepresented group composed of the people you like less. If accusations of racism are starting to lose their sting, this kind of thing is why it’s happening.

“LET FLORIDA TRY” ITS HIGHER ED REFORM EFFORTS: An FSU prof does what the media will not, giving a rundown of the changes in Florida higher ed and the potential benefits and drawbacks of things like anti-DEI efforts and post-tenure review. Seriously, it was so refreshing to read an article about this subject that’s not just straight propaganda.

NEW BOOK BY BLACK PROFESSOR: MINORITY STUDENTS NOT HARMED BY TEACHING THEM STANDARD ENGLISH. That things have reached the point where such a book is required is a severe indictment of “academia.” Think I am exaggerating? Think again:

What are “anti-racist” courses like? One academic who has written about his approach is Professor Asao Inoue, who claims that individualism is an undesirable aspect of “whiteness.” In his courses, students are not graded down for failing to write in standard English. Instead, he has implemented a “labor based” grading system in which students are graded on the basis of the amount of effort they claim to have put in on an assignment.

I have no words…

SHOULD COLLEGES PAY PROPERTY TAXES? You hate to wish taxes on anyone. But the more that a college gets into activities that compete with traditionally taxpaying entities (like running hotels or other businesses) the more likely it is that legislatures will decide the answer is “yes.”

COURT SAYS LAWSUIT ALLEGING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN PENN STATE’S DEI APPROACH CAN GO TO TRIAL. The Atlantic: “The ruling noted De Piero’s claim that he was subject to ‘race-based theories condemning white people for no other reason than they spoke or were simply present while being ‘white,’ and that his supervisor ‘spoke of race conscious grading’… Once, faculty members even had to watch a training video titled ‘White Teachers Are a Problem.'”

Disclosure: Allen Harris, the firm where I work, represents the plaintiff, Zack De Piero.

AGAINST VOTER-FRIENDLY CAMPUSES.” The reason you know college registration schemes aren’t actually nonpartisan is that there is probably no population in this country less in need of help registering to vote than college students.

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS AS COMMODUS. “It is as if the university has become a strange and alien place, home to the sinister and brutish and driven by paranoia, hate, and conspiracy.” Probably could have left off the first 4 words of that…

We really, really deserve a better class of “elites.”

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, ONLY CANDIDATES OF COLOR NEED APPLY. 

A member of the Faculty of Color group complained about having white faculty present for the job interviews:

[W]hen the candidate is White, it is just awkward. The last meeting was uncomfortable, and I would go as far as burdensome for me. Can we change the policy to not do these going forward with White faculty?

Imagine a culture so perverse that people with doctorates are just throwing this stuff out there like it’s not full Jim Crow.

CUNY FACULTY TAKE ON THEIR UNION. Debates about unionization aside, it’s malpractice for union leaders in NYC to be taking aggressive positions about the Israel-Hamas conflict. It has no effect on the war and no benefit for the workers it represents. Yet unions keep doing this stuff, and then wondering why they keep losing members and influence. I’ve talked to enough faculty members to know that they would really appreciate it if their unions laser-focused on getting them good pay and protecting their academic freedom rights.