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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Documentary on Yale Reveals How Scary U.S. Campuses Have Become. “These are moves of power, not of reason.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why College Graduates Still Can’t Think.

Traditionally, the “critical” part of the term “critical thinking” has referred not to the act of criticizing, or finding fault, but rather to the ability to be objective. “Critical,” in this context, means “open-minded,” seeking out, evaluating and weighing all the available evidence. It means being “analytical,” breaking an issue down into its component parts and examining each in relation to the whole.

Above all, it means “dispassionate,” recognizing when and how emotions influence judgment and having the mental discipline to distinguish between subjective feelings and objective reason—then prioritizing the latter over the former.

I wrote about all this in a recent post on The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae website, mostly as background for a larger point I was trying to make. I assumed that virtually all the readers would agree with this definition of critical thinking—the definition I was taught as a student in the 1980s and which I continue to use with my own students.

To my surprise, that turned out not to be the case. Several readers took me to task for being “cold” and “emotionless,” suggesting that my understanding of critical thinking, which I had always taken to be almost universal, was mistaken.

I found that puzzling, until one helpful reader clued me in: “I share your view of what critical thinking should mean,” he wrote. “But a quite different operative definition has a strong hold in academia. In this view, the key characteristic of critical thinking is opposition to the existing ‘system,’ encompassing political, economic, and social orders, deemed to privilege some and penalize others. In essence, critical thinking is equated with political, economic, and social critique.”

Suddenly, it occurred to me that the disconnect between the way most people (including employers) define critical thinking and the way many of today’s academics define it can be traced back to the post-structuralist critical theories that invaded our English departments about the time I was leaving grad school, in the late 1980s. I’m referring to deconstruction and its poorer cousin, reader response criticism.

Just more Gramscian Damage.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Everything You Think You Know About Campus Sexual Assault Is Wrong.

It’s a review of K.C. Johnson & Stuart Taylor, Jr.’s The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America’s Universities, which is a must-read.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Want To Buy A Law School (or Three) On The Cheap? InfiLaw May Have A Deal For You.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: In anti-intellectual email, Wellesley profs call engaging with controversial arguments an imposition on students.

While paying lip service to free speech, the email is remarkable in its contempt for free and open dialogue on campus. Asserting that controversial speakers “impose on the liberty of students, staff, and faculty at Wellesley,” the committee members lament the fact that such speakers negatively impact students by forcing them to “invest time and energy in rebutting the speakers’ arguments.”

And here we thought learning to effectively challenge views with which one disagreed was an important part of the educational process!

They don’t do education at Wellesley. They do indoctrination

Cost of being indoctrinated at Wellesley: $63,390 per year.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: In a Polarized Climate, Free-Speech Warriors Seize the Spotlight. “The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a champion of First Amendment rights, has gained new prominence as campus controversies spread. Yet FIRE has also found itself in the cross hairs of increasingly fraught debates.”

Well, people who hate free speech will naturally attack people who support free speech. And since people who hate free speech are horrible human beings, bereft of morals or standards, they will often do so unfairly.

Because they suck.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Will Dropping The LSAT Requirement Create More Miserable Lawyers?

I ran into a former student yesterday who wasn’t miserable. She likes her job, but says that most of the people she deals with aren’t happy to be seeing a lawyer. I told her that there aren’t many areas of law where clients are really glad to need your services. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TOLERATED ANTI-SEMITISM EDITION: St. Paul’s University of St. Thomas is in the news and the news is ugly. “Several days ago it came to light that Mayzer Muhammad, the head of UST’s student government, had a long record of making anti-Semitic remarks on social media, including an implicit call for the genocide of the Jewish people.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION, RISE-OF-THE-ADJUNCTS EPISODE: ABA Proposes To Eliminate Requirement That More Than 50% Of Law Teaching Be Performed By Full-Time Faculty.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Federal Government’s Student-Loan Fraud. “President Obama had a great idea back in 2010: nationalize the student loan program, and its problems would soon go away. It didn’t happen. Instead, more people are refusing to pay their student loans than ever before. . . . By taking over the student loan program, Obama in essence politicized it. Last year on the campaign hustings, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders repeatedly talked about making college ‘free.’ That is, they want to socialize the costs, but privatize the benefits, of a college education. Still surprised people aren’t paying their loans?”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UW-La Crosse backs down after firing employee for supporting Trump policy.

Higher ed has been pretty open about choosing sides. This strikes me as unwise.

Or maybe it’s just that La Crosse is a cesspit of anti-Republican hatred: La Crosse man admits throwing nails in driveways of Republican supporters.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Female Drake U. Student Initiates Sex with Incapacitated Male, Lies About Key Details. Guess Who Got Expelled? University wouldn’t let male fraternity brother file a Title IX complaint against his accuser, because of “retaliation.”

This encounter soon came to an end—John was too incapacitated to maintain an erection—and the pair ventured into the house. At this point, their accounts are hazy, confused, and contradictory. John remembered passing out in his bed and Jane telling him she was leaving. Jane remembered collapsing into a bean bag chair and waking up to discover John on top of her, wearing a condom. Her pants were pulled down. She claimed she told him to stop, he did, and she left. (Whether this actually happened is in serious dispute.)

But Jane did not go straight home. She went to another fraternity house, uninvited, and climbed into bed with an unsuspecting person. She “jumped on top of him,” and he told her to leave, according to the lawsuit.

She then headed to a different bedroom, removed her shirt, and initiated oral sex on a third person. She spent the night there, and went home in the morning.

And then decided she had been raped.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student Loan Defaults Skyrocket.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Provost Reassures Students That Rumors Of Louisville Law School’s Closing Are False.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Mind The Professors: How the lack of ideological diversity on college campuses slows progress and threatens the ideals of liberal education.

The incident at Middlebury isn’t isolated—far from it. Last year, it seemed that barely a day would go by without a progressive student protest or incident on some college or university making the news for all the wrong reasons. The aftermath of Donald Trump’s election has unleashed even more anxieties and fears on campuses, as well as ideas like the sanctuary movement. All of this is now coming on top of regular student protests and violence aimed at forcing universities to take stands on questions of social justice, microaggressions, safe spaces, Black Lives Matter, political correctness, and freedom of speech

Liberal students and ideas typically take center stage in media accounts of these episodes; faculties, aside from a few one-off cases, are an afterthought in the narrative. This is a huge mistake. College professors are tasked not only with shaping the minds of their students but also setting the tone for the intellectual climate and cultivating a fully contextualized, long-term outlook when it comes to current issues. In many cases, professors have influenced or even directed student responses to controversies like the election of Donald Trump. (All of these trends, furthermore, are even more pronounced in our nation’s liberal arts colleges.)

So why should this set off alarm bells? It should do so because our nation’s professors have moved ideologically so far to the left over the past few decades that they have fundamentally broken with the broader American polity, and even incoming freshman that they hope to guide and influence.

We need a professoriate that looks like America.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Therapeutic University: How medicalized language and the therapeutic culture came to dominate Anglo-American institutions of higher education.

That social science research now comes with a health warning is testimony to the ascendancy of therapy culture in Western institutions of higher education.

Since the 1960s, universities have been in the forefront of promoting theories and practices that encourage people to interpret their anxieties, distress, and disappointment through the language of psychological deficits. Until recently, however, how students and faculty coped with their existential problems remained a personal matter. Today, the therapeutic outlook pervades campus culture so thoroughly that it influences how courses are taught, which topics are discussed, and how verbal exchanges are regulated. Teaching, some educators believe, can be trauma inducing, and so they have adopted an explicit “trauma-informed perspective.”

Outside of hospitals, the university has arguably become the most medicalized institution in Western culture. In 21st-century Anglo-American universities, public displays of emotionalism, vulnerability, and fragility serve as cultural resources through which members of the academic community express their identity or make statements about their plight. On both sides of the Atlantic, professional counselors working in universities report a steady rise in demand for mental-health services.

Among academics there is widespread agreement, too, that today’s students are more emotionally fragile and far more likely to present mental health symptoms than in the past. There is little consensus, however, about why this is so.

You get more of what you reward.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ivy League Schools Don’t Care About You and That’s an Education Right There.

Maybe we should just abolish the Ivy League.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: U-M Refuses to Disclose Its President’s Politicking.

The University of Michigan is withholding some emails its president sent regarding President Donald Trump, claiming their content is protected under the Freedom of Information Act. The university, which took 106 days to respond to the open records request, claimed the content in those emails were “preliminary and advisory in nature.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy announced last Thursday that it is suing the university over a monthslong delay in completing its request for public information.

Though the university deposited a good-faith check from the Mackinac Center on Dec. 21, 2016, the Center didn’t receive the information until March 2. (FOIA law allows public institutions to charge fees for complying with open-records requests.)

At that time, the university released four emails from its president, Mark Schlissel, but said that other emails were exempt from the law’s requirements.

Obviously they have something to hide. Here’s some background on Michigan’s Mark Schlissel.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Scott Adams: Free College (Online). “If the country wants free college for everyone, this is the disruptive path it will probably have to take. In ten years, I can’t imagine a scenario in which physical colleges are still competitive with online options, on price or performance.”


Tension on campus spiked the Monday before the event, when Middlebury Resistance, a group that seeks to “restore our sense of hope and justice” after the election victory of Donald Trump, held “resistance meetings” with students and faculty.

Attendees were divided on how to respond to Murray’s appearance, but a chunk of students settled on a tactic known as “simultaneous dialogue,” or shouting down the speaker, multiple sources told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Some professors in attendance gave “tacit and explicit support” to the strategy, one source reported, and admitted that they had not read Murray’s work.

“When asked by students and other faculty members whether they had ever read Charles Murray’s work, the organizers bristled at the notion that they should be asked to read a work before condemning it,” a source close to the meetings told TWS. “‘You mean you want me to read The Bell Curve?‘”

Cost of attending Middlebury College: $66,332 per year.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION DIVERSITY PROBLEM EDITION: Randy Barnett: AALS Executive Committee responds to our letter concerning faculty diversity.

As we previously expressed in our letter, we are grateful to Dean Areen for her courteous reception and to the Executive Committee for meeting with us in January of 2016. We wrote our letter because we had received no formal response to our requests in over a year, and appreciate the response we have now received. But, with all due respect, this response fails to address, or even mention, the thrust of our proposals to address the current imbalance on law school faculties–proposals which we reiterated in our letter of last week.

Indeed, this letter can fairly be read as a silent rejection of these suggestions. Oddly, it discusses an idea we do not mention in the letter to which it is responding, while failing to respond to the ones we do.

I cannot speak for other members of our informal group. But I, for one, still believe that the Executive Committee should make access to FAR form data available to an outside researcher who will follow agreed-upon protocols, and should name a politically-balanced task force to investigate and make recommendations to the Committee for how the current imbalance on law school faculties might be improved.

In the end, this not about us. I, for one, am very happy with my position at Georgetown and how I am treated by my colleagues. This is about the quality of the legal education we provide our students. Imagine how political progressives would react if all, or nearly all, constitutional law courses were taught by political conservatives. Without some semblance of political balance–especially in their public law courses–students on the left, right, and center are deprived of information about the legal and constitutional positions that are now being debated in courtrooms and in Congressional committee hearing rooms–positions they may one day be asked to advance of respond to in litigation.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College Student Suspended for Criticizing ‘Oops’ and ‘Ouch’ Rules for ‘Offensive’ Speech.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, KANGAROO COURT EDITION: Judge: School’s sexual assault proceeding suggests ‘bias and inaccuracy.’

Another judge has ruled that a school’s disciplinary proceeding against a student suspended for sexual assault was unfair, and has denied the school’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the student.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer listed a litany of problems in Colorado State University-Pueblo’s proceeding against former student and football player Grant Neal, concluding the school’s Title IX officer, Roosevelt Wilson, likely erred in his investigation, which led to an erroneous finding of responsibility.

“Wilson’s alleged failures to (among other things) consider that Jane Doe told Wilson the sexual encounter was consensual, the physical or documentary evidence in which she consistently said the same thing, her motivation to not be disciplined by her department for her prohibited relationship with a football player … Wilson’s failure to question any witnesses favorable to Plaintiff (e.g., Coach Wristen), and Wilson’s failure to identify to Plaintiff the witnesses against him before completing the investigation all suggest bias and inaccuracy in the outcome,” Shaffer wrote in his 58-page decision.

The decision came in a lawsuit brought by Neal and stemmed from an October 2015 sexual encounter with a fellow student, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe. Neal was a football player, while Doe was in the school’s athletic training program. As an athletic trainer, Doe was prohibited from entering into a relationship with Neal. The two did so anyway.

The difference between Neal’s case and dozens of other sexual assault accusations is that both Neal and Doe maintained the sex was consensual. It wasn’t Doe who made the accusation against Neal, but one of her peers, who noticed a hickey on her neck and asked Doe about it. Doe acknowledged she had sex with Neal, but gave no indication that it was not consensual. The peer reported the incident as rape to CSU-Pueblo’s director of athletic training anyway. . . . From this third-party accusation, however, an investigation ensued that would lead to Neal’s suspension that would last until Doe graduated.

The “peer” should face consequences for this officious intermeddling.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION DIVERSITY EDITION: Jonathan Adler: What Is The Association of American Law Schools Afraid Of?

Most law school faculties lack meaningful viewpoint diversity, and this has consequences for legal education. Training lawyers requires teaching students how to understand and get inside the arguments of those with differing interests, outlooks and orientations. It requires developing the ability to understand and articulate points of view that one does not believe. Doing this effectively requires exposure to differing points of view, and this is more difficult to achieve when faculties are ideological monocultures and echo chambers. At many law schools, students rarely encounter the forceful articulation right-of-center views. Indeed, most major law schools have fewer conservatives or libertarians on their faculty than can be found on the U.S. Supreme Court.

While right-of-center views may be hard to find in much of legal academia, they are commonplace in the legal profession, in particular on the federal bench. The lack of meaningful exposure to alternative views leaves law students less well prepared to advocate for their clients. This is why some of us have urged the Association of American Law Schools to pay more attention to the causes and consequences of the lack of viewpoint diversity — a lack which is also evident in much of the AALS’s own programming.

The existence of ideological imbalance has been documented in numerous studies, including this analysis by Northwestern’s James Lindgren, in addition to studies of law school hiring, political contributions and legal scholarship that also find left-right disparities. While most law schools have a few token right-leaning professors, these scholars are often relegated to “private law” subjects (e.g., business, contracts, IP), and are less prevalent in “public law” subjects (e.g., constitutional law). . . .

One way to help resolve the dispute over whether there are meaningful ideological or partisan disparities in law school hiring would be to study the question, such as by analyzing data from the AALS Faculty Appointments Register (FAR). Analysis of such data in the past has produced interesting findings on racial disparities in law school hiring. An analysis of ideological factors in hiring might likewise be illuminating — whether or not it confirms the hypothesis that ideological hiring bias exits. Unfortunately, the AALS has denied researchers access to the FAR data for this purpose. While the AALS allowed other researchers to look at racial and other factors in hiring, for some reason it refuses to allow a similar inquiry into the role of ideology.

The AALS styles itself as a learned society. It’s stated mission is “to uphold and advance excellence in legal education.” Further, the AALS proclaims that “In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve our many communities–local, national, and international” (emphasis added). On what basis, then, does the AALS refuse to allow researchers access to FAR data to conduct legitimate academic research? The AALS cannot claim this data is inviolate for, as already noted, it has allowed researchers access to this data before. It is almost as if the AALS is afraid of what such research might find.

Ya think?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Harvard administrators are accused of embezzling $110,000 meant for disabled students and spending it on luxuries including sex toys. “DeMarco, 33, who worked at Harvard Law School as Director of Student Affairs from August 2008 until November 2013, was confronted at a her current workplace, Babson College.”

At Babson, she’s the Associate Director of Programs for the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Babson, you may recall, is the place that persecuted two male students for cheering Donald Trump’s victory. Maybe Babson President Kerry Healey should pay more attention to hiring decisions, and less to political witch-hunts.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: The BigLaw Massacre Approaches. “Bad news for the tens of thousands of newly minted lawyers who pass the bar every year and hope to get associate positions at big law firms sorting through documents for corporate clients: Robots are taking your jobs.” I was writing about this years ago in Small Is The New BigLaw.

Meanwhile, it’s not just lawyers: “For the past few years, most of the commentary about technological innovation has focused on the way it has eliminated working and middle-class jobs like manufacturing. But the next round of the information revolution may put pressure on ‘symbolic analyst’ jobs that are mostly coded as upper-middle or professional class.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law School Applicants From Top Colleges Increased 1% In 2016 (But Down 48% Since 2010).

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A Campus Free Speech Case Study Emerges In Vermont.

Vermont’s elite Middlebury College is gearing up for a test of its commitment to open discourse and free speech this week, when political scientist Charles Murray visits the school on Thursday. . . .

As must be expected every time a speaker to the right of Noam Chomsky visits campuses these days, protests are being planned for the day of Murray’s visit and dozens of recent alumni have signed a petition condemning him. Fliers have been circulating on campus accusing Murray of denying the “humanity” of persons of color in a book he coauthored called “The Bell Curve”, which analyzed sophisticated but controversial data sets which purported to show that black Americans and poor Americans have lower average IQs than wealthier and whiter Americans.

Middlebury College will not be paying Murray to speak; a student chapter of the American Enterprise Institute is using its own funds to bring him to Vermont. Middlebury’s Political Science department, however, has agreed to promote and co-sponsor the event. Department chair Bertram Johnson says he asks two basic questions when considering whether to sponsor a lecture: “Is it related to political science and is there sufficient interest that it would generate student interest and attendance?” Meanwhile, Middlebury College President Laurie Patton plans to attend the lecture because, as her spokesman put it, “Our view is that if we stand for anything, it’s the free exchange of ideas.”

Good for Johnson and Patton. This is precisely the kind of statement that administrators should be making in favor of open political discourse. Others, meanwhile, can protest if they would like to, but we hope they will give Murray a chance to speak. As the prominent liberal commentator Van Jones eloquently put it earlier this week, administrators and faculty who restrict speech on campus and the students who demand such restrictions “are creating a kind of liberalism that the minute it crosses the street into the real world, that is not just useless, but obnoxious and dangerous.”

It also encourages ignorance, which is fitting given that the subject of Murray’s lecture is his 2012 book “Coming Apart”. In the book, Murray argues that upper middle class whites have no awareness of how most of the country lives, what it believes, or the challenges their fellow citizens face with drugs, family breakdown, economic headwinds, and declining social trust.

Students at elite institutions are demanding to remain ignorant. But why should anyone care what they think? They don’t know anything.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION DIVERSITY EDITION: Law Profs Debate Prevalence Of Ideological Discrimination In Faculty Hiring At Chicago-Kent, Other Law Schools.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Interview: This Male Student Was Expelled for Raping His Girlfriend Even Though She Said He Did Nothing Wrong.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Judge rules San Diego State railroaded accused student by denying him adequate defense.

San Diego State University violated “procedural fairness” by refusing to let a student accused of rape have an advocate “with the same or substantially similar skills, training and experience” as his accuser’s advocate, a California court ruled.

Judge Joel Wohlfeil ordered the university to “dissolve the finding” by Dr. Lee Mintz, who also served as the school’s investigator, that “John Doe” did not stop having sex with “Jane Roe” when she asked.

It also must take back its finding that Roe “became incapacitated” and Doe “continued to have sex with her.” Mintz characterized those findings as “sexual assault” and “rape.” . . .

Doe’s lawyer had presented text messages and phone records from Roe that undermined her claims about the duration of sex and her alleged incapacitation, noting she was able to walk “normally” out of Doe’s apartment and down to her friend on the street. A polygraph examination also supported Doe’s version of events, his lawyer said.

Wohlfeil’s Feb. 1 “minute order” denounces the university’s “well-intentioned, but deeply flawed, administrative system to investigate and review complaints of student misconduct,” which stacks the deck against accused students.

I don’t actually think that it’s well-intentioned.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A California State University, Fullerton lecturer who was recently filmed while physically accosting a conservative student has been suspended, and may face misdemeanor charges.

California State University-Fullerton lecturer Eric Canin has been suspended by the school for his actions against the campus College Republicans at a February 8 protest: He struck one of them.

As reported by the Daily Titan, on that date the CRs were engaged in a “nonviolent counter protest” against a march objecting to President Trump’s immigration measures.

CR member Jared Lopez said “(Canin) came up, tried to grab (my) sign and pushed our way … Then he went after [CR member Bryce] (Ingalls) and started swinging at him.”

Canin contended he didn’t actually make contact with anyone, however, and that the catalyst for the incident was the CRs “making fun of him.”

But a campus internal investigation determined differently, noting that “a campus employee struck a student and that as a consequence, the speech of the student group was stopped.”

See, this is because college faculties have a diversity problem.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Suspension to be lifted for OCC student who recorded professor’s anti-Trump comments.

O’Neil’s Nov. 15 recording of Cox was prohibited by the district’s Student Code of Conduct and the California Education Code because he didn’t have Cox’s permission.

But, the OCC statement said, “without condoning the unlawful recording of a lecture, the student’s desire to voice his displeasure is understandable.”

“The student in this case felt he could not freely share his political views in a classroom, which is why he felt his only recourse was to record a lecture he felt was unfair,” according to the statement.

See, this is the kind of thing Betsy DeVos was talking about.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: How Much Should the Government Subsidize Harvard?

Donald Trump made headlines a few weeks ago by suggesting on Twitter that the federal government should cut off funding to UC Berkeley as a result of the Milo incident. While this provocation was characteristically hyperbolic (probably intentionally so) a growing number of serious thinkers really are considering ways that the government might substantially restrict the flow of subsidies to selective American universities whose priorities aren’t necessarily in line with the public’s. . . .

There are indications that policymakers and voters might be drawn to some of these ideas. Connecticut’s Democratic legislature recently mulled the tax-exempt status of Yale’s $23 billion dollar endowment. Residents of Princeton, New Jersey filed a lawsuit (settled in the fall) to force their local university to pay property taxes. And Congressional Republicans have been scrutinizing the way well-endowed colleges spend their tax-subsidized war chests.

Academia likes to think of itself as an independent enclave and that any government pressure to change its ways (unless it is in service of leftwing ideological goals in areas like Title IX or affirmative action) amounts to an attack on the integrity of higher education. And while universities should be afforded broad latitude to govern themselves, it’s important for academic leaders to remember the extent to which they are reliant on a massive network of government subsidies—both in the form of explicit grants and carveouts woven into the tax code—and that the political basis for their privileged position is looking more tenuous by the day.

They seem clueless about this.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why should elite universities get more taxpayer support than regional public colleges?

Public institutions frequently go begging because they are supported by a combination of steadily rising tuition and declining tax revenue. And state legislatures must publicly balance the share of tax revenue allocated to these colleges against competing budget demands, such as highways, health care and public K-12 education.

In contrast, taxpayers, for the most part, unknowingly support private institutions primarily through tax deductions and exemptions. For example, gifts to university endowments are tax deductible and the earnings on these endowments are exempt from taxation, as are the endowments themselves. For elite private institutions, those with endowments in the billions of dollars, the size of these tax breaks can dwarf the direct subsidies that taxpayers send to public institutions.

These tax breaks are rarely debated because they are hidden in the tax code. Meanwhile affluent private universities, claiming their importance to the realization of the American dream, do everything in their power to silence any questioning of their right to enrich themselves through favorable tax treatment. However, it is important to remember that these tax breaks are not divinely ordained.

No, they’re not. Plus: “Few students attend these elite private schools. In contrast, the vast majority of American students enrolled in four year schools attend regional state universities. These unassuming institutions are the workhorses of American higher education. Yet compared to the level of taxpayer subsidies received by their rich private brethren, these regional campuses are grossly disadvantaged.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pew: How Governments Support Higher Education Through The Tax Code. “The federal government and the states each invested more than $70 billion in higher education-related spending programs, excluding loans, in academic year 2014, the latest year for which data are available. But that figure, as substantial as it is, does not paint a full picture of federal and state investments in higher education. It excludes the billions of dollars that the federal government and the 41 states plus the District of Columbia that levy personal income taxes provide to students and their families through tax expenditures—such as credits for tuition and college savings incentives—to help offset postsecondary costs.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Skills and bills: What state governors have to say about vocational education.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Is Delinquent On Its $148k Property Tax Bill, Says Check Is In The Mail.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Campus Leftists at UChicago say Free Speech Shouldn’t Apply Equally to Everyone.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UC San Diego Students Protest Visit by ‘Oppressive and Offensive’ Dalai Lama. They’re Chinese students spouting the Chinese government’s line, wrapped in college diversity-speak. To be fair, college diversity-speak lends itself to communist propaganda. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: State Legislators Go After Tenure:

The anti-tenure crusaders have some of the right impulses, but they seem to be approaching the problem with a meat ax rather than a scalpel. Here are some thoughts on a more productive way to proceed.

First, the best place to trim higher education budgets is administration. Administrative bloat, much of it driven by federal regulations, represents a loss to both taxpayers and students; this is an area where savings could be procured with less political backlash. For example, the average state university today is an unwieldy mix of institutions and activities that maybe don’t all need to be under one roof. Legislators should think about ways to disaggregate them and promote competition. Do colleges need to run dormitory systems? Health clinics? Dining halls?

Second, policymakers should develop a comprehensive vision for higher education reform, rather than conducting piecemeal attacks on this or that activity. While there is a lot wrong with the modern American state university, they are complicated systems, and strong ones are an important economic asset for states and cities. The goal of reform shouldn’t be to punish professors perceived as radical or lazy. The goal of reform should be to build a stronger, smarter, more productive higher education system that does a better job for kids at a sustainable cost both to students and taxpayers.

Third, policymakers could draw sharper distinctions between disciplines and between teaching and research. Not all disciplines are equal, though many would like to pretend that they are. ‘Research’ is a much more important component of the natural sciences than in the humanities. It is not clear that the best teachers of the humanities are engaged in cutting edge research, nor is it clear that taxpayers are well served by funding ‘research’ into various postmodern critical theories (if you doubt this, see the Twitter account New Real Peer Review for real-life examples of the type of humanities work that is supported by public funds).

In the social sciences and the humanities, there may need to be a change in the expectation (which already in reality is being left behind) that every professor ultimately achieves tenure and that research plays a major role in getting there. Universities should improve the status of career teaching professors so that the current class of hyper-exploited adjuncts becomes a thing of the past.

If it weren’t for tenure, I probably wouldn’t have a job, and the same goes for pretty much any other non-leftist professor. And administration is, in fact, both the biggest source of expense bloat and the biggest source of lefty activism on campuses.

Related: Universities, Facing Budget Cuts, Target Tenure. If tenure were important to the apparatchiks who run the higher education complex, they wouldn’t be targeting it. It was useful when it provided an excuse for not firing communists, but now it’s a barrier to complete control. Plus: “In 1975, 45% of faculty at public and private schools was tenured or tenure-track; the 2014 figure is 29%. The balance of the jobs are now filled by part-time adjunct professors who make, on average, less than half the salary of tenured professors, enjoying few of their benefits, and are excused from much of the administrative work. While the average salary of a full professor is $142,141, according to the American Association of University Professors, adjuncts are typically paid between $1,500 and $5,000 a course.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Proposed ABA Accreditation Rule Sets Process To Determine Validity Of GRE, Other LSAT Alternatives In Law School Admissions.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: California Law Deans Take Bar Exam Complaints To Lawmakers; State Bar Director Admits There Is ‘No Good Answer’ For High MBE Pass Score.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Haunted By Student Debt Past Age 50.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A Profession Built On Exploitation:

Yet to talk about adjuncts is to talk about the centerpiece of higher education. Tenured faculty represent only 17 percent of college instructors. Part-time adjuncts are now the majority of the professoriate and its fastest-growing segment. From 1975 to 2011, the number of part-time adjuncts quadrupled. And the so-called part-time designation is misleading because most of them are piecing together teaching jobs at multiple institutions simultaneously. A 2014 congressional report suggests that 89 percent of adjuncts work at more than one institution; 13 percent work at four or more. The need for several appointments becomes obvious when we realize how little any one of them pays. In 2013, The Chronicle began collecting data on salary and benefits from adjuncts across the country. An English-department adjunct at Berkeley, for example, received $6,500 to teach a full-semester course. It’s easy to lose sight of all the people struggling beneath the data points. $7,000 at Duke. $6,000 at Columbia. $5,950 at the University of Iowa.

These are the high numbers. According to the 2014 congressional report, adjuncts’ median pay per course is $2,700. An annual report by the American Association of University Professors indicated that last year “the average part-time faculty member earned $16,718” from a single employer. Other studies have similar findings. Thirty-one percent of part-time faculty members live near or below the poverty line. Twenty-five percent receive public assistance, like Medicaid or food stamps. One English-department adjunct who responded to the survey said that she sold her plasma on Tuesdays and Thursdays to pay for her daughter’s day care. Another woman stated that she taught four classes a year for less than $10,000. She wrote, “I am currently pregnant with my first child. … I will receive NO time off for the birth or recovery. It is necessary I continue until the end of the semester in May in order to get paid, something I drastically need. The only recourse I have is to revert to an online classroom […] and do work while in the hospital and upon my return home.” Sixty-one percent of adjunct faculty are women.

If Trump wants to troll academia hard, he should speak out and demand a “living wage” for adjunct instructors. For the sake of economic justice!

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Here are 250 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: After Declines Of 40% In Enrollment And 10 Points In 25th LSAT Percentile, Does Hofstra’s 100% Application Surge Signal Better Times Ahead For Law Schools? One swallow does not make a summer.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: College Endowment Returns Sink To Their Lowest Level Since The Financial Crisis.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UMass-Amherst’s Mandatory Social Justice Classes Denounce ‘White Privilege’, ‘Cultural Imperialism.’ “Students were further instructed to create a mock campaign to make the university more inviting to a hypothetical low-income black lesbian majoring in engineering. Meanwhile, a ‘Man Box’ assignment taught students the dangers of asserting masculine values. The student told The College Fix that the professor, Benita Barnes, taught students that the United States was a nation overrun by sexism and racism, and that she believed the university was an extension of the country’s problems.” Well, she’s right about that, though maybe not in the way she thinks.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Syracuse Law Dean, Raised By Adoptive White Parents, Had To Learn To Be Black; He Foresaw Legal Ed Crisis ‘Long Before Other Deans Knew What Hit Them.’

The fact that Boise actually was black didn’t help. Up till then, he didn’t know it. At birth, he was adopted by white parents who thought he was Native American. …

Boise, Syracuse University’s new law school dean, grew up in a white family, in an all-white farming community, unaware he was black. His unique experience of having lived in two worlds makes him a better dean, he said.

Boise jokes that his upbringing was akin to that of Steve Martin’s character in the movie “The Jerk.” “I was the opposite,” he said. “I grew up a poor white boy.”

He’s also ‘The Only Harley-Riding, Piano-Playing, Calf-Roping Law Dean In The Country.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: North Dakota Law School Eliminates Its Only Clinic In Face Of Possible 15% Budget Cut; Faculty, Staff Offer Voluntary Pay Cuts To Stem 11% Tuition Increase.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LOYALTY-OATH EDITION: Residential Advisor Loses Job Because She Didn’t ‘Demonstrate a Commitment to Social Justice.’

Justine Schwarz, a residential advisor at the University of Minnesota, lost her job because program administrators thought she was insufficiently committed to promoting social justice.

“[She] has not demonstrated a commitment to social justice growth and promotion to residents,” a director wrote in his review of Schwarz.

Furthermore, Schwarz liked to “play devil’s advocate” when talking with other people about “diversity and social justice.” Schwarz’s zeal for wide-ranging debate on these subjects called into question whether she could be trusted to behave like a good social justice advocate, according to the review.

In other respects, Schwarz was a model residential advisor.

“Justine’s residents love her,” her review noted. “She has been able to connect with many of her residents on a personal level.”

Over at Campus Reform, David Blondin and Maddison Dibble of The Minnesota Republic­—Minnesota’s conservative student newspaper—gathered impressive evidence that the training program for residential advisors leans heavily to the left: RAs must learn about oppression, power, and privilege. They even have to watch a Buzzfeed video about the reinforcement of traditional gender roles.

It’s one thing to teach RAs—the students who handle dorm disputes between other residents—something about privilege. It’s quite another to require them to preach these views to incoming students.

This kind of thing is why we need federal legislation protecting faculty and students against political viewpoint discrimination.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: The Crisis At Charlotte Law School. Takeaway quote: “It would require an income of over $122,000 to be able to afford just the interest on a student loan of that size. Most North Carolina lawyers don’t earn that much.”

Plus: “A recent review of the 205 accredited law schools, by the nonprofit Law School Transparency, found that 51, including Charlotte Law, were in the ‘extreme risk’ or ‘very high risk’ category for graduate success. Still, the A.B.A. has been reluctant to clamp down on schools. On Monday, its delegates defeated a measure that would have required law schools to shorten the period that graduates have to pass the bar.”

If only someone had issued a warning, years ago.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why Your Next Job-Training Course May Be A MOOC.


I’m wondering if there’s a special reason why “now is a good time to start law school.” Something Trump-related? I’m thinking:

1. During the Obama administration, people were lulled into feeling that law was a bunch of boring, phony blabber trumped up to obstruct the flow of governmental goodness. Now that Trump’s in power, the law suddenly feels like a repository of timeless truths, a glorious bulwark against governmental abuse. It’s not only worth studying, you can feel good about being one of the lawyer-warriors who fight off hell.

2. Government employees are looking for a career change.

Well, and also law schools are desperate for warm, tuition-paying bodies.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: ABA House rejects proposal to tighten bar pass standards for law schools.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law Students Skewer Administration; Terminated Faculty Lawyer Up.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: ABA House rejects proposal to tighten bar pass standards for law schools.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Starving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow.

Starving the Beast is a dark and brooding documentary that paints public higher education as being in a death struggle with diabolical, shadowy right-wing figures who want to slash funding.

In North Carolina, however, more than $3.8 billion was allocated to the UNC system and community colleges combined in 2016—a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year, and a 1.6 percent increase over a five-year period, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Higher education appropriations for the UNC system alone total roughly $2.8 billion and account for 13 percent of the overall state budget. Also, a tuition freeze was recently put in place, and student fee increases were capped at 3 percent.

North Carolina is ranked fourth in the nation in various studies in terms of state higher education funding, and fifth in the lowest share of total costs for individuals or families.

And despite Nichol’s claim that there is a conscious effort to financially disenfranchise minority students, the state, among other things, has passed the “N.C. Promise” tuition plan to cut tuition costs by $500 per semester beginning in fall 2018 for in-state, undergraduate students at UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University—two historically minority institutions—as well as Western Carolina University.

Across the country, higher education is accessible to more students than ever, regardless of their socioeconomic status or race. Over the years, as access has expanded, so has higher education funding. Writing for the Atlantic, Paul Campos found that overall state spending increased by an inflation-adjusted 48 percent over the past 35 years, and overall government spending per student is “greater than ever before.”

Nevertheless, Starving the Beast plays off the contention that there is a battle to disrupt and reform America’s public universities through budget cuts and a “very toxic ideology” of consumerism and the use of cost-cutting technology.

Well, no, but that would be nice. Higher education is ripe for reform.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Enrollment Shrinks 62% Since Fall Semester; 2L Hit With Honor Code Violation For Criticizing Administration.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Could Trump Cut Off Funding from UC Berkeley?

The violent protests at UC Berkeley that ran Milo Yiannopoulos off campus were probably the best public relations gift the young administration has received to date. They also gave the President an opportunity to do what he does best: Exploit a political disconnect between elites and the median voter (i.e., on special snowflake ideology on college campuses) and then make an outrageous suggestion via a spontaneous tweet designed to send his opponents into fits of hysteria that would discredit them further. In this case, Trump raised hackles by suggesting that the federal government might cut off funding to California’s flagship public university.

Trump’s tweets rarely reflect well-considered policy proposals, but they often provide clues as to his underlying impulses—which, as we have seen in the past few days, he is often quite serious about carrying out. So while it’s obviously not the case that Trump can unilaterally revoke hundreds of millions of dollars of research grants and financial aid from one institution because of a single violent protest, there are ways that he could follow up on his proposal to sanction public colleges that do “not allow free speech.”

In fact, during the last wave of debates over free expression on college campuses in the early 1990s, some legislators tried to do just that. In 1991, Representative Henry Hyde introduced the Collegiate Speech Protection Act, which would have barred federally subsidized colleges from punishing students for First Amendment protected speech (the bill initially won bipartisan support, including from the ACLU, but later floundered after colleges argued it would infringe on their autonomy).

To be clear, the events that took place at UC Berkeley yesterday would not have qualified the university for de-funding under the 1991 bill. However, it’s possible to imagine different statutory language that would require colleges receiving federal funding to make a good-faith effort to protect student speech rights, so that patterns of violence shutting down speakers would raise eyebrows at the Department of Education.

And even without any new legislation, enterprising bureaucrats at the Department of Education have various tools at their disposal to put pressure on universities for political reasons. As Walter Olson points out: “The power that the Department of Education and allied agencies have gathered to themselves over university life has steadily mounted, often against feeble resistance from the universities themselves, as in the Title IX instance.” If a feminist speaker had encountered violent protests that forced her to leave campus, it’s possible to imagine a Title IX “hostile environment” investigation. What if right-wing Department of Education lawyers argued that the resistance to Yiannopoulos was due to his sexual orientation (he is openly gay) or even his gender?

Well, that would be easy, since it was. But I think we need new legislation to defend students, faculty, and speakers from political discrimination on campuses. And many of the efforts to silence people via threats and violence are already prosecutable under the existing federal crime of conspiracy to deprive individuals of constituational rights.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Protesters storm NYU over conservative speaker’s seminar. “Anti-fascists.” You’re doing it wrong. More here.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Americans Should Not Have To Subsidize Campus Lawlessness. “UC Berkeley is a public institution that receives federal dollars, yet it appears to allow violence, censorship, and holds contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Related: In Photos, the Latest Example of Liberal ‘Tolerance.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Berkeley Students Unhappy With Protest Violence.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Title IX coordinators offered good, bad and ugly outlook for due process. I sense a diversity problem in the photo of Title IX coordinators. Can you spot it?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: After 58% Enrollment Decline And 46% Faculty Reduction Through Voluntary Buyouts, Seton Hall Adjusts To ‘New Normal.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: ABA President-Elect Seeks To Strip All Non-Accreditation Activities From Section Of Legal Education.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION, ANYTHING-TO-STOP-THE-BLEEDING ISSUE: California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession. Alternative headline: Law Schools Face Accountability, Women And Minorities Hardest Hit.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Bigger’s Better? In Higher Ed’s Amenities Arms Race, Bigger’s Just Bigger!

Testifying before the U.S. Senate in 2013, University of Wisconsin professor Sara Goldrick-Rab described college campuses as “glorified summer camps.” She said administrators were “engaging in an arms race to have the most impressive bells and whistles.”

That depiction may at first seem hyperbolic, but even a cursory glance at many of today’s college campuses reveals that the “arms race” described by Goldrick-Rab is real. Lush new dormitories, recreation facilities, student activity centers, libraries, and lecture halls now dot the collegiate landscape, embodying the idea that students must be appeased with upper-middle class comforts if universities are to vie for their tuition dollars.

In this competition, however, there are no real “winners,” except perhaps for construction companies and architects being paid to make every amenity bigger, better, and more impressive than the next. Recruiters can use stylish buildings and new playspaces to lure prospective students, but unwary taxpayers, parents, and student borrowers pay the price.

And we all know where this ends.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: British Prime Minister Seeks ‘Credible Alternative’ to Universities.

Hmm. I wonder where she got that idea?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Launches Food Drive For Students. “Cut off from millions of dollars in federal loans because of their school’s chronic failings, students at Charlotte School of Law still don’t know how they’ll pay tuition, rent and utilities. Now they are apparently running out of food. In response, one of their professors announced Friday that some faculty and other law school employees have started a food drive to make sure students of the reeling school have enough to eat.”

The education apocalypse has struck, and struck hard. If only someone had offered a warning.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Reopens: 33% Of Students Have Transferred, Prof Says 42% Bar Pass Rate Would Have Been In 20s But For Payments To Students Not To Take Bar.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, KAFKA-WOULD-CRY EDITION: An unwanted touch. Two lives in free fall. A dispatch from the drive to stop sexual assault on campus.

The facts are largely undisputed: Two college students on summer break – he’s a sophomore; she, a freshman – make a date. It’s Memorial Day weekend, 2014, and their intentions are explicit. They meet and have sex – consensual, enthusiastic – when a passerby interrupts them.

A few hours later, still together, the male student attempts to resume the sexual encounter. He reaches under her shirt to touch her breast. He stops immediately when she asks him to. They agree about these facts.

Yet this “one-time, non-consensual touching,” as university documents summarize it, is the crux of a startling Michigan State University sexual misconduct case. It has generated a thick stack of legal documents, months of MSU administrator time, and tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills since the female student, known here as Melanie, formally complained on Sept. 25, 2015 – almost 16 months after the incident.

More importantly, though, the case – which has traveled through an internal appeals process, exhausting the now-22-year-old man’s hope for reversal of sanctions at the university level – challenges what some might see as common-sense assumptions about sex and dating behavior. MSU’s findings draw sharply etched lines into the blurry world of dating intimacy and reveal the power of university administrators to mark a student as a sexual offender – for touching a lover’s breast after sex, miles from campus, without any accusations of violence, intimidation or stalking behavior.

Well, when you start with the presumption — and they most certainly do — that all men are basically rapists who exist on sufferance, it all makes sense. I expect that the Trump Administration will bring some common sense to this kind of thing, although if they really want to hurt higher education they should probably just double down.

Oh well, maybe it’ll at least do K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor some good.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Obama’s Student-Loan Fiasco: A ‘coding error’ helped justify a punitive new education regulation.

President Trump has promised to restore trust and accountability in government. How about auditing the Education Department? During its final days the Obama Administration slipped the news that its College Scorecard repayment rates were inflated, and on closer inspection the mistake doesn’t look innocent or innocuous.

In early January the department disclosed that it had discovered a “coding error” that incorrectly computed College Scorecard repayment rates—that is, the percentage of borrowers who haven’t defaulted and have repaid at least one dollar of their loan principal. The department says the error “led to the undercounting of some borrowers who had not reduced their loan balances by at least one dollar.”

The department played down the mistake, but the new average three-year repayment rate has declined by 20 percentage points to 46%. This is huge. It means that fewer than half of undergraduate borrowers at the average college are paying down their debt.

The rest have either defaulted, sought forbearance or enrolled in income-based repayment plans, which are causing many borrowers who are only making minimum payments to owe more debt due to accrued interest. These income-based repayment plans allow borrowers to reduce their loan payments to 10% of their discretionary income and discharge their remaining debt after 20 years (10 if they work for government or a nonprofit). . . .

The other scandal is that the Obama Administration used the inflated Scorecard repayment data as a pretext to single out for-profit colleges for punitive regulation. The punishment was tucked into a rule finalized in October allowing borrowers who claim their college defrauded them to discharge their debt. It requires for-profits in which 50% or fewer borrowers are paying down their principal to post the equivalent of a surgeon general’s warning in all promotional materials.

When proposing the regulation, the department claimed that its analysis of Scorecard data showed that a large number of for-profits have repayment rates below 50% while very few public or nonprofit schools do. The department said it would not be fair to “burden” public and nonprofit colleges with a regulation that would apply to so few. Yet based on the updated data, 60% of two-year public colleges and nearly all historically black institutions have repayment rates below 50%.

Traditional higher-ed is a major source — perhaps the single biggest source — of donations and footsoldiers for the Democrats. Hence, special treatment.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Deans Boise & Morriss: Why We Still Support The ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: How American Colleges Became Bastions of Sex, Booze and Entitlement.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Fires Two-Thirds Of Faculty And Staff, Abandons Teach-Out Plan As Negotiations With Department Of Education Collapse; Classes Begin Jan. 23.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: 94 Law School Deans Ask ABA To Postpone Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, GENETIC DECLINE EDITION: Natural selection is causing a decline in human ‘education genes’, say scientists.

A study involving more than 100,000 people in Iceland found that those who carry the genes for longer education time were less likely to have a big family, which means the smartest people in the room were actually contributing less to the Icelandic gene pool. . . .

Once that polygenetic score was correlated with factors like educational attainment, fertility, and birth years, the researchers found that those with a higher genetic propensity towards more education tended to have fewer children.

They also found that the average polygenetic score has been declining at a small, but significant rate on an evolutionary timescale.

As Ian Sample reports for The Guardian, the team found a drop in IQ of about 0.04 points per decade, but if all the genetic factors that could be linked to education were taken into account, that figure would increase to 0.3 points per decade.

Interestingly, the link between a higher propensity towards more education and having fewer children wasn’t because going to university is hard, and eats into your family-raising time – the team suggests that the genes involved in education can also affect human fertility on a biological level.

Because even those who carried the genes for longer education time, but who did not actually get more education, still had fewer offspring on average than those without the genetic factor.

This may explain why humanity hasn’t gotten steadily smarter.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student debt now affects a staggering number of elderly Americans.

If only there had been some kind of warning.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Student group sues after members arrested for handing out copies of Constitution.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School To File Teach-Out Plan With ABA To Protect Students As School Shuts Down.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law Schools Have Shed 1,460 Full-Time Faculty (16.1%) Since 2010.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Former UC-Hastings Dean: Legal Education Is ‘Delusional About Our Prospects’—With Plummeting Return On Investment, Is Law School A ‘Long Con’?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TAKING-SIDES EDITION: So I’m pretty sure that this UCLALawWATCH thing is official. It’s “a project to track incidents of harassment or violence following the election of Donald Trump.” I feel certain that it’s not about protecting abused Trump supporters on campus. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Is a college degree the new high school diploma? “Patterns indicate that the factors propelling earlier increases in the returns to higher education have dissipated.”

If only there had been some sort of warning.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: In North Carolina, Community College Controversies Open Pandora’s Box.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Old white dons ‘unable to teach black students.’

Black students’ progress is being stalled by university tutors who are “60-year-old white men” and “potentially racist”, according to students at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas) in London.

In a report called Degrees of Racism, the student union demands that “all academics must be prepared to acknowledge that they are capable of racism”. . . .

It quotes black undergraduates who say their academic progress is being hampered by older white professors who cannot relate to them. “Both of my tutors are white men. How can I have a rapport and feel comfortable talking to a 60-year-old white man?” asks one.

Worried about racism? Try looking in the mirror, kids.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: University Of Washington Delays Launch Of New Law School In Tacoma. Not enough people want to be lawyers.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TAKING-SIDES EDITION: Profs pledge to ‘use regular class time’ to protest Trump. Huh. I thought universities were nonprofits that were supposed to be nonpartisan.

Related: ‘Tolerant’ educators exile Trump voters from campus.

Plus: When campus microaggressions are real.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, BLUE-STATE CORRUPTION EDITION: Flashback: In Illinois, Substitute Teaching For One Day Reaped Nearly $1 Million in Taxpayer-Funded Pension Money.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, RAMPANT HOMOPHOBIA EDITION: Censorship: UC-Davis Student Protesters Shut Down Milo Yiannopoulos.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Georgia Tech’s Model Expands: Three years after its low-cost MOOC-inspired master’s degree program in computer science launched, the institute announces a new program in analytics priced at less than $10,000. “The announcement is perhaps the clearest indication yet that Georgia Tech views OMSCS as a successful model for delivering graduate education. The program hasn’t lived up to best-case projections — early on, the institute said it could grow to as many as 10,000 students in its third year — but it has generated a positive cash flow, positive evaluations and plenty of buzz in higher education circles.”

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Legislators Take Aim At Academic Tenure:

Following in the footsteps of Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, which in 2015 and 2016 weakened tenure protections for public university faculty, legislators in Iowa and Missouri have introduced bills to eliminate the practice in their states. . . .

Both bills were introduced very recently and it’s unclear whether either one have a chance of making it into law. The usual argument for tenure—that it is a necessary institution for protecting academic freedom—continues to hold significant purchase, and rightly so. Many untenured professors report being afraid to express unpopular views; it’s possible that eliminating tenure would make academia even more politically conformist. And politicians have a tendency to try to interfere improperly in university research agendas.

At the same time, this is by no means a simple question. The institution of tenure-for-life—and the “for-life” part is critical; it used to be that professors could be forced to retire when they reached old age—imposes significant costs on universities as well. It makes education more costly by reducing universities’ flexibility in consolidating or changing departments, forcing them to hire an ever-growing poorly paid caste of low-paid adjuncts. .

And when it comes to risk-taking and conformity, the evidence is once again mixed. It could be that while the institutions frees tenured professors to be more creative, it encourages young faculty to be more risk-averse. And one study found (unsurprisingly) that on average, the quality of professors’ work declines after they get a job-for-life guarantee.

It would probably be unwise for state legislatures to torch the institution of tenure overnight. At the same time, the existing faculty hiring and retention system is overdue for reform. Faculty are becoming a smaller and smaller share of university personnel, even as adjuncts and administrators proliferate; the university business model is increasingly not working for the American middle class; and higher education is growing increasingly politically monotonous and irrelevant in the humanities and social sciences.

I don’t think tenure is the problem — in fact, the real political activists seem to be student life / diversity administrators. But higher education’s brand has suffered a lot in recent years, which makes this sort of thing less unthinkable than it used to be. And that brand damage has been self-inflicted.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charleston, Florida Coastal Law Schools Fail ‘Gainful Employment’ Test, Will Lose Federal Student Loans If They Fail Again Next Year; Three Other Law Schools In Danger Zone.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.