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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.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION: Percentage Of Law Students Paying Full Tuition Falls To 28%, Down From 48% In 2011.

As I warned some years ago, if you want to see the bubble bursting, watch for increased tuition discounting.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Dangerous Rise of ‘The New Civics.’

You may wish to revisit this 2006 essay by Eric S. Raymond, The Gramscian Damage.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Study: For-Profits Match Similar Nonprofits in Learning Results.

Students at for-profit institutions achieve learning results that are similar to those of students who attend comparable nonprofit colleges, according to a new study by the Council for Aid to Education.

The council used its Collegiate Learning Assessment to measure learning outcomes in six areas for 624 students from four for-profit higher education systems, which the study does not name, and then compared the scores with those of a matched group of students from 20 unnamed public and private institutions that were selected because they were similar to the for-profits on key measures related to academic performance. The CLA aims to show how students’ learning has grown on average between when they entered and when they graduated from an institution.

“In all six comparisons, students at proprietary institutions outperformed the students at the nonproprietary comparison institutions,” the study said. “However, in all but one case, the difference in mean scores is too small to be considered statistically significant.” Students from the for-profits outperformed their peers at nonprofits to a statistically significant degree on the performance task section, which includes measurements of problem solving and writing.

Who could have seen this coming?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: What Happened To The Law School Class Of 2010? “The analysis offers strong evidence of structural shifts in the legal market. Job outcomes have improved only marginally for the Class of 2010, those outcomes contrast sharply with results for earlier classes, and law firm jobs have dropped markedly.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, COST-HIDING EDITION: How University Costs Keep Rising Despite Tuition Freezes: Ballooning fees are leaving some students feeling nickel-and-dimed.

At a time when public anger is laser-focused on tuition charges that are rising three times faster than inflation, something less well understood has actually been largely responsible for pushing up the cost of college: fees.

Think tuition is high? Now add fees for student activities, fees for athletics, fees for building maintenance, fees for libraries—even fees for graduation, the bills for which often arrive just as students and their families thought they were finally done paying for their higher education.

All are frustratingly piled on top of a long list of expenses beyond tuition that many people never plan for or expect, or that can’t be covered by financial aid—sometimes forcing them to take out more and more loans, or quit college altogether.

“It was, like, what is this?” Ann Roach remembered thinking as she kept getting billed for fees when her oldest son went to the University of Dayton. “It’s like buying a car. You think you have a price, and then they tell you, ‘Here’s a conveyance fee, or here’s a fee for $200 to put the license plates on.’ Nobody told us about these.”

Fees nationwide continue to increase even faster than tuition—often covering the same things but letting institutions claim tuition hikes are slowing. Now, however, in response to anger from parents and students, and pressure from legislatures, or for marketing reasons in a time when they’re struggling to attract applicants, a few universities and colleges are pledging to make them more predictable or even drop them altogether. And the resulting decline in borrowing and dropout rates on those campuses suggest the significant toll that fees were taking on their students.

They are a lot like car salesmen, when you get right down to it. Well, except that cars have gotten steadily better over the past several decades, whereas the quality of higher education has actually declined.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Rethinking Faculty Hiring At Fourth-Tier Law Schools. “Rather than embracing their responsibility to educate practitioners, they are trying to look, act, and spend like elite schools. They operate as if they are research centers whose purpose is to produce academic scholarship, not places where future lawyers learn their trade. The research center model creates costs for fourth-tier law schools that ultimately fall on the students. Because most fourth-tier schools rely on tuition for operating expenses and capital budgets, students are paying more tuition and taking on more debt to support their professors’ scholarship. Students subsidize these activities but receive little benefit. They are further short-changed when they graduate and discover their professors taught them little about the actual practice of law.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Charlotte Law School Cancels Classes And Works On Transfer Plan With Florida Coastal As Rumors And Lawsuits Swirl After Feds Cut Off Student Loans.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law Schools Do Not Adequately Prepare Students For Legal Practice.

If studies of practicing lawyers and recent law graduates matter, it is clear that law schools are failing, even worse than in preparation for bar admission, to adequately prepare their students for legal practice.

A 2012 study by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) analyzed the job activities of newly-licensed lawyers to determine which knowledge domains and professional skills and abilities are most significant to their job. Acquisition of professional skills and abilities were deemed significantly more important to newly-licensed lawyers than legal knowledge — 25 skills and abilities were deemed more important than the highest rated knowledge domain. The percentages of lawyers using these 25 skills in their work (all rated between 89% to 100%) also were all greater than the percentage using the highest rated knowledge domain (86%). Yet these skills and abilities generally are not developed in traditional doctrinal law classes but in the experiential and first-year legal writing courses that, under the ABA standards, need only account for ten percent of a student’s legal education.

These important skills and abilities are also a small part of the bar exam, which purports to measure competence to begin the practice of law. Although the NCBE study was promoted as the basis for further development of the exam, since the study’s completion the portion of the exam devoted to testing skills remains the same (the 3-hour Multistate Performance Test). The NCBE’s only apparent response to the study’s dramatic finding that professional skills and abilities are what new lawyers need most for competent practice was to add civil procedure (the study’s highest rated knowledge domain) to the Multistate Bar Exam.

A report released this year by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers reinforces the disconnect between legal education’s overwhelming focus on legal knowledge and the competencies new lawyers need.

Honestly, two years of law school (one?) and an apprenticeship in a law office is looking better all the time.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Reinventing The Liberal Arts: College In One Year For $5.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY EDITION: Volokh: University Of Oregon’s Punishment Of Tax Prof Nancy Shurtz May Signal The End Of Free Speech For All Professors At All Universities.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Eugene Volokh: Silencing professor speech to prevent students from being offended — or from fearing discrimination by the professors. As always, of course, the concern about offense or discrimination is transparently one-sided.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Cornell student assaulted for being Republican speaks out: Attack ‘pushed me further to the right.’

Olivia Corn, president of Cornell University’s College Republicans, can vividly recall the night she was physically assaulted on campus for being a Republican.

The assailant emerged seemingly out of nowhere, catching Corn off guard as she read an email on her phone. “Fuck you, racist bitch, you support a racist party,” the attacker grunted at Corn, shoving her to the ground from behind, she says.

The assault occurred the night after Donald Trump was elected president.

Now, a month later, Corn has had time to reflect on the assault and its impact on her. Rather than allowing it to knock her down, “it pushed me further to the right,” Corn, a sophomore, said in an interview with The College Fix.

The biggest irony, she said, is she supported Marco Rubio, and was never a huge fan of Trump.

“I have always considered myself to be very tolerant and listen to everyone’s point of view,” Corn said. “So when I was shoved down, especially considering that I am not Donald Trump’s biggest fan and I tried my best to help Marco Rubio become the Republican nominee, by someone who was angry by my politics, I was saddened that I was not afforded the same respect that I offer others.”

Although Corn initially kept quiet to prevent unwanted attention while still on campus in mid-November, she finally spoke out publicly about her assault at the end of the semester.

“I realized when I got home that I need to highlight that these attacks occur towards Republicans all across the country,” Corn said. “It is wrong to resort to physical violence because someone has a different opinion.”

Although the attacker escaped before Corn could identify his or her face, she reported the incident to the Cornell police the next day. The incident remains under investigation, leaving unresolved questions about the attacker and an unsettling start to Corn’s next semester.

But it’s not just the physical assaults:

Corn said she already faced a tough battle on campus, figuratively, without this assault looming over her.

“People have said horrible things to me online like ‘I devalue the degree of Cornell university’ and that I’m uneducated,” she said. “In the classroom, I have teachers who say very unacceptable things about Republicans and it is very difficult to keep my mouth shut as the head of the Cornell Republicans.”

But Corn said she’s prepared to defend her conservative identity.

Remember, you’re not stuck there with them. They’re stuck there with you.

I ALMOST MISSED THIS HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE STORY: Maryland College President Defends Lavish Expense Account, Including Plane Upgrades, Private Car Service. “Despite the college’s payments on her leased Infiniti Q70, she reportedly uses a pricey car service and in one instance, spent $292 to travel 15 miles for a radio interview about ‘how to make community college more affordable.'”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: “I served for 8 years on a university sexual misconduct board and at the end of that distressing tour of duty concluded the following…”

(1) the combination of alcohol abuse by both parties (which is the case in the vast majority of charges), absence of witnesses, and absence of any forensic investigation in the student led process makes the charges almost impossible to prove by any standard of evidence; (2) a very small number of sexual predators can create a lot of misery on a campus (3) peer pressure and buddy systems by both male and female students are probably the best form of prevention; and (4) cases of sexual assault should go straight to the police and courts. Universities aren’t equipped to handle these cases and need to stop trying to serve as a parallel justice system. This is not a place for amateur hour.

No, it’s not.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Be sure to pick up your “pronoun preference” pin at the door. “University of Kansas students are being offered buttons through the school’s library system meant to make their preferred gender pronouns clear.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Drexel Freezes Faculty, Staff Staff Salaries Due To Decreased Enrollments. Drexel’s appeal is becoming more selective. And with that whole “white genocide” thing it may become more selective, still. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: American Studies: A Sad Tale of Academic Decline. “Once it was a vibrant and useful discipline. Today, I’m sad to report, it is a regular source for ‘What wacky stuff are they up to on campus?’ articles and blogs. . . . I might chuckle if I weren’t employed and mentally invested in the field, and if I did not have residual respect for the open-minded, pragmatic approaches which marked American Studies for the first decades of its existence. But sadly, for the last generation, American Studies—beset by a nagging awareness that making interdisciplinarity the norm when studying culture became mission accomplished at least 20 years ago—has scooted pell-mell towards politicization in a misbegotten effort to remain relevant. The result today is an academic sub-specialty wedded to a tightly-corseted belief that the United States represents the locus of sin (racism, sexism, colonialism, and the like) in the modern world, and that any study of America should restrict itself to call-outs and condemnations. American Studies now serves chiefly as validation system for academicians who know their findings in advance: racism, sexism, and imperialism.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: A Plan To Make Students Great Again: Replace Loans With Income Shares, Force Colleges To Spend 5% Of Their Endowments Each Year.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Thomas Lifson: Higher Education At The Precipice.

An entirely predictable cataclysm awaits the American higher education sector. Having jacked up their prices at roughly triple the rate of inflation for at least 5 decades, college education is no longer affordable without crippling debt for all but the richest families. The sole justification for spending a quarter of a million dollars on a child’s education at a full-price private school is that a prestige degree is the gateway to upper middle class work status.

Yet in tandem with higher education’s putative lock-grip on career prospects has come an intellectual death spiral into ideology and irrelevance. Baristas with prestigious baccalaureate degrees are now a cliché; but the underlying fact is that a bachelor’s degree in grievance studies (most of the humanities and social sciences are now little but propaganda on the evil of America) does not equip one for useful work.

All of these facts are well known, but have yet to influence a significant-enough segment of the market, with a few exceptions.

If only someone had issued a warning.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Drexel University Professor Wishes All a Merry Christmas By Calling for ‘White Genocide.’ “According to the Daily Caller, the professor is a self described ‘radical political theorist.'”

I’m guessing that by “radical” he means century-old conventional hard-left ideas that have failed everywhere they’ve been tried. If these people weren’t dangerous, they’d just be tedious.

Related: “Looking at his public history of books and articles, it’s hard to believe Drexel didn’t know who they had hired. A socialist who writes for Jacobin thinks revolutionary violence is a good thing? Color me shocked!”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: University of Oregon illegally violates free speech in Halloween costume punishment. “The report’s findings of ‘harassment’ are nonsense. Courts have ruled that far more offensive behavior does not rise to the level of illegal racial harassment.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Report: Campus disinvitations hit record number in 2016. “One of the highest profile disinvitations in 2016 was journalist Jason Riley, who was disinvited from Virginia Tech. But the oddest disinvitation was John Derbyshire, who was disinvited by Williams College President Adam Falk due to fears his speech would be offensive to black students. Ironically, Derbyshire was invited by a black student, Zach Wood, who heads up the ‘Uncomfortable Learning’ series that brings controversial speakers to campus.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON EDITION: Blackman: University of Oregon’s Punishment Of Tax Prof Nancy Schurtz For Wearing Blackface To Halloween Party In Her Home Is ‘Dangerous And Wrong.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: George Washington University removes U.S. history from required courses — for history majors.

Cost of attending George Washington University: $68,725 per year.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Angry students say Charlotte School of Law hid the truth about its problems.

Related: Students File $5 Million Class Action Lawsuit Against Charlotte Law School.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Josh Blackman: In punishing professor for wearing blackface, the University of Oregon crapped all over the First Amendment. Okay, that’s my headline, not his, but it’s true on substance.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: More On The Department Of Education’s Decision To Cut Off Federal Student Loans For Charlotte Law School.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: The ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Rule And The Coming Legal Job Destruction Caused By Artificial Intelligence.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY EDITION: The University of Kentucky has punished me in a “sexual misconduct” case, in part, for singing a Beach Boys tune covered by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

UPDATE: So I got an email from University of Kentucky spokesperson Jay Barstow, saying that the column I linked above doesn’t accurately reflect the facts. He included this redacted summary letter of charges, but I’m not convinced. There may be something juicy under the redactions, of course, but I can’t tell that because they’re redactions. That aside, there’s a mention of the song, that other faculty were unhappy with him, and that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. His version seems consistent with this article from the Herald-Leader, and I kind of doubt they’d let him make materially false statements in a column in their paper, on a matter that they’ve covered.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Much more from Elizabeth Nolan Brown.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: In Title IX Industry, Chaos and Confusion.

Every constituency and interest group involved with the increasingly complex and expensive process of campus sexual assault adjudication—administrators, consultants, victim advocates, due process hawks, and defense attorneys—is waiting with bated breath to see how the incoming administration will navigate the explosive terrain of Title IX enforcement. Inside Higher Education highlights the uncertainty swirling around the industry as to whether the administration will reverse the Obama administration’s aggressive measures reducing due process for students accused of sexual assault—and if so, what kind of effect that will have on the ground. . . .

There is no way to know exactly what actions the administration will take in this area, especially because a new head of the Office for Civil Rights in Education (the agency responsible for promulgating Title IX regulations) has yet to be appointed. It seems reasonable to expect that some of the Obama-era guidance will be rolled back, although an administration run by someone who has made comments that would likely be enough to convict him in a campus proceeding might be cognizant of the political optics of acting too aggressively in this area.

Then there is the possibility that no matter what action the Trump administration takes or doesn’t take on Title IX, near-universal anti-Trump horror on college campuses will make the climate more favorable to sexual assault activists. Much of academia has sworn to resist the Trump administration; this might entail a further leftward lurch on key culture war questions. Then again, if schools go too far in reducing due process, it’s not inconceivable that an enterprising right-leaning (or civil libertarian) head of OCR could take campuses to task for violating Title IX by discriminating against male students.

As with much else about the incoming Trump administration, the unsettled area of campus sexual misconduct law is highlighting the perils of government-by-executive-regulation (something that the New Yorker’s Jeannie Suk has discussed with respect to the transgender bathroom issue). To avoid further creative partisan rule-making on such an important and charged question, Congress would be well-advised to pass real legislation clarifying what Title IX actually requires, the mandate of various agencies charged with enforcing it, and its relationship to federal funding in higher education.

You could do this by regulation, but yeah. On the other hand, when you see the huge edifice of “interpretation” and “guidance” that the bureaucracy has managed to build based on Title IX’s single sentence providing that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” you have to wonder.

For more on how that happened, everyone who’s interested should read Robert Shibley’s Twisting Title IX.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: All the way down the slippery slope at Cal State Northridge.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, $39 EDUCATION EDITION: A Complete Computer Science Education—Minus the Student Loans. All in a $39 course. “This eight-course training touches upon all the fundamentals you need for a coding career. It isn’t haphazardly assembled by amateurs. Rather, it’s led by a team of former Google developers drawing upon their tech expertise to break down technical subjects into easy-to-digest terms.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: 165 Law Schools Have Reduced The Size Of Their 1L Classes Since 2011, 53 By 33% Or More.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Harvey Silverglate: Babson College Dropped Ball in Post-Election Incident.

The shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later mentality that has gripped our college campuses, currently basking — or wallowing — in a so-called diversity and inclusion phase, has visited Babson College, where members of the administration and faculty worked themselves into a lather over an incident of racial harassment that, it turns out, the most elementary investigation would have demonstrated never occurred.

This puts Babson, President Kerry Healey, and a number of administrators and faculty members into the uncomfortable position of having failed to adhere to an academic obligation — first determine the facts, then draw conclusions, and only then open your mouth. . . .

Healey was joined by Dean of Students Lawrence Ward, and some 200 members of Babson’s faculty — none of whom apparently had bothered to look for evidence before condemning Rand-Ricciardi and Tomasso and effectively labeling them racists and homophobes. It was a classic example of the justice meted out by the infamous character Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland,” who pronounced sentences — “off with their heads” — before the inconvenience of a trial.

Remember, higher education is supposed to be valuable because it teaches critical thinking.

Related: Legal advocacy group says Babson’s actions a ‘serious concern.’

A national legal advocacy group that’s successfully sued colleges for violating students’ free speech and due process rights is putting Babson College on notice that it’s monitoring the discipline of two students who waved a Donald Trump flag on the Wellesley College campus the day after the presidential election.

The Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is delivering a letter to Babson today, said Ari Cohn, FIRE’s senior program officer for legal and public advocacy. He said the Babson case is “of serious concern” to FIRE.

“Because these students are going to face harassment and disorderly conduct charges simply for pre-existing support of a candidate, without anything more than that, the college’s promises of freedom of expression are essentially meaningless,” Cohn said.

Annual cost of attending Babson College: $58,692.

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

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Antonia Okafor: 15 Racist Classroom Presentations That Will Make You Never Want to Send Your Kids to College.

Obviously if you see anything like this, you should immediately report it to the Bias Response Team, and follow up to make sure they take your complaint seriously.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: New Diversity Initiatives Hurt the University of Wisconsin’s Campus Climate. “Campus ‘diversity’ entails not only having a critical mass of students from various groups, but also trying to ensure that those students never suffer any of the annoyances that are a normal part of life.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The ‘H-Bomb’ Fizzles—The Harvard Brand Takes A Hit.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: July 2016 California Bar Exam Results: Nine Law Schools (Including UC-Hastings) Are At Risk of Failing ABA’s Proposed New Bar Passage Accreditation Standard.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: University Of Wisconsin Gives Administrators Final Say Over Five-Year Post-Tenure Reviews; Underperforming Faculty Will Be Placed In Remediation Program, Leading To Termination If Performance Does Not Improve.

The problem with this is that administrators are in general more politicized, and less trustworthy, than faculty.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Washington State professors denounce ‘discourses of free speech.’ “The scholars go on to suggest more must be done to crack down on what they consider hate speech and acts, telling the campus community that the defense of freedom of speech and freedom of expression is harmful.”


The lawyer for one of two Babson College students investigated on unsubstantiated racism allegations stemming from their celebration of Donald Trump’s election is demanding an apology and threatening a defamation lawsuit after the school lifted its campus ban on the pair yesterday.

Babson Dean of Students Lawrence Ward informed students Parker Rand-Ricciardi and Edward Tomasso by letter yesterday that the school is “removing any interim restrictions on your access to campus.” The letter cites the “formal conclusion of the investigation phase of the College’s Community Standards process” as the reason for the lifting of a ban imposed shortly after the Nov. 9 incident.

Rand-Ricciardi and Tomasso were accused in social media posts of shouting racial and homophobic slurs while driving in a Chevy Silverado flying a Trump flag through the Wellesley College campus on the day after the election, which were unsupported by Babson’s investigation, according to a letter by Rand-Ricciardi’s lawyer.

Attorney Jeffrey Robbins wrote to Babson’s lawyers yesterday saying the college’s handling of the incident “badly defamed” his client, and that Babson is “liable to Parker for the tort of defamation and, it would appear, for violations of the Massachusetts Civil Rights statute under the common law, for the intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.”

Robbins is calling for the college to retract statements its officials made impugning the pair, offer a public apology and withdraw internal charges of harassment and disorderly conduct.

Robbins’ letter cites excerpts from Babson and Wellesley campus police reviews that found the pair yelled only “Trump 2016” and “Make America Great Again” from a truck they drove onto the Wellesley campus, but no witnesses corroborated the claims that they spit at two students, uttered slurs or purposefully drove to a building popular with black students.

Um, “purposefully drove to a building popular with black students?” Anyway, note the lesson here: Lawyer up, and punch back twice as hard. Also, the parents must be wondering why they sent their sons to Babson if this is the kind of treatment they face. Because you know the school would have given women or minorities the benefit of the doubt.

Alumni, parents, and students need to push back against this sort of behavior — as does the Department of Education once the Trump Administration is in place.

Annual cost of attending Babson College: $58,692.

Related: Trend seen in colleges muzzling political speech.

“We see over and over campuses doing a terrible job of investigating supposed offenses, and we also repeatedly see them investigating things that don’t sound like offenses at all,” said Robert L. Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which advocates for free-speech rights and due process for students accused by colleges of civil rights violations.

FIRE has successfully advocated for students at odds with campus disciplinary boards, including helping a Texas student sue and reach a settlement with Blinn College this year after she was told she needed special permission to display a gun rights sign and collect signatures for her student group on campus.

“I think they are concerned about the school’s public relations,” Shibley said about overzealous college administrators. “I think they are concerned about looking like they care about all of their students. Which is good, but that also means they have to care about the students who are being accused. That doesn’t go in only one direction.”

You know, if you’re looking for a year-end charitable donation, donating to FIRE is a good idea.


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Fate Of Arts Education In The Age Of The Microaggression.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Anderson On The California Bar Exam Carnage: Law Schools Need To ‘Cull The Herd Of Bloated Tenured Faculties.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Babson College “Hate Crime” Investigator Who Went After Trump-Supporting Student Was A Hillary Clinton Backer. “The chief Babson College official investigating two students accused of hurling racist and homophobic slurs after President-elect Donald Trump’s victory declared her avid support of Hillary Clinton on Twitter the day before the incident. Jaclyn Calovine, Babson’s associate director of community standards, is the official complainant against the students on behalf of the college, charging them with harassment and disorderly conduct.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TRUMP DERANGEMENT EDITION: Lawyer: Students were caught up in Babson College ‘witch hunt’ following Donald Trump win; Attorney says college report clears students of using racist, homophobic slurs. But Babson is still pursuing a double-secret investigation, apparently. Plus:

“(Babson) cannot properly punish Parker for celebrating an election, however unwelcome that celebration or how people ‘experienced’ it. We are talking about fundamental First Amendment rights here; a college should be the very last place that indulges, let alone actively promotes, a witch hunt against students for celebrating the election of a President who disappointed groups demanding retribution regard as abhorrent.

“During that discussion, one of you said that you understood my point because you ‘wrote my thesis on the right of Nazis to march in Skokie.’ Respectfully, that is not what we are talking about here, and that such a comparison could be drawn by a Babson official indicates that something is severely out of control at Babson, and elsewhere, when it comes to this matter,” Robbins wrote.

Alumni, parents, and students need to push back against this sort of behavior — as does the Department of Education once the Trump Administration is in place.

Annual cost of attending Babson College: $58,692.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Graduate Sues University For $1.2 Million, Says ‘Appallingly Bad’ Teaching Prevented Him From Being A Successful Lawyer.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: UMass Law School Gains Full ABA Accreditation, Needs To Double Enrollment (From 66 1Ls) To Be Financially Sustainable.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Valparaiso Law School Faces Two Bleak Choices — ‘Admit More Unprepared Students Or Face Reality And Close.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Students Name the Most Insanely PC College Courses in America. These 5 Are Truly Absurd…


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Report: Student journalists face administrative backlash.

Student journalists at college and university newspapers are facing consequences for reporting on concerns that show their schools in a negative light, according to a report from the American Association of University Professors.

The report, endorsed by the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Student Press Law Center, focused-in on two examples of students facing backlash after doing their jobs.

At the University of Missouri, a student journalist and videographer were threatened with “muscle” by an assistant professor as they tried to cover protests at the university. At Wesleyan University, a student who wrote an opinion piece critical of the Black Lives Matter movement was harassed, and the student government slashed the paper’s funding for publishing the piece.

These two incidents were not isolated, the AAUP report found.

Why are universities such cesspits of censorship and intimidation?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: 39 Private College Presidents Earned > $1 Million In 2014 (Up From 32 In 2013).

I think we should cap the pay of administrators at universities receiving federal funds at the level of a Supreme Court justice. That sounds fair.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges Turn Blind Eye To Anti-Semitic Behavior.


ONLY IN 2016 DO YOU SURRENDER BY HAULING YOUR FLAG UP: Hampshire College returns US flag to full staff; president denies playing politics.

UPDATE: Thoughts from Mike Rowe. “Tuition at Hampshire College is about $60,000 a year. That’s not a problem because it’s expensive – it’s a problem because 85% of Hampshire students qualify for some form of federal financial aid. That means that We the People are enabling schools like Hampshire to sell a liberal arts degree for approximately $250,000.”

It’s like there’s some sort of Higher Education Bubble or something.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: 10 to 15 Law Schools Could Close If Enrollment Keeps Shrinking, Higher-Ed Market Analyst Says.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Ohio State Knife Attacker Abdul Artan Was Taking a Class About Microaggressions. His group project was due later this week.

Not from The Onion.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Law School Dean Wants al-Qaeda To Go After The U.S. News Rankings.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Texas Legislators Push For New Public Law School In The Rio Grande Valley Because ‘Everybody Has A Law School.’

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: It’s sexist, apparently, for fraternities to oppose rape. “The University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center has cancelled a ‘Walk A Mile In Her Shoes’ march by one of the university fraternities because it thought the event to raise awareness about rape was ‘sarcastic’, ‘homophobic, transphobic, and sexist.'”

And they used the derisive term “fratboy” in doing it. It’s almost as if their starting point is reflexive hostility toward fraternities, and men in general. Why are they receiving state and federal funding? I hope the Trump Education Department will investigate what clearly seems to be a hostile educational environment for male students.


Conservatives have understandably felt for decades that the higher education establishment is indifferent or hostile to their interests. The number of right-of-center faculty has dwindled to the point of disappearance; Republican speakers are regularly shouted down; campus speech codes and harassment policies seem designed to disfavor conservative points of view. Now that the cultural wind is at their backs as never before, some on the Right may be tempted to be vindictive, and to do to college liberals what college liberals have done to them. Ben Carson, currently being considered for a Trump Administration cabinet position, suggested during the primaries that the government should police colleges for liberal bias.

Needless to say, such efforts would be deeply destructive. If Orwellian left-wing speech codes are wrong, then McCarthyist speech codes are wrong as well. If the principle of academic freedom requires the protection of conservative scholarship, it requires the protection of liberal scholarship, too. The aim of genuine defenders of the liberal tradition must be to promote tolerance and open-mindedness, not to replace left-wing academic hegemony with a right-wing version.

This is all 100% true. Also, the real sources of PC dictatorship on campus are the educrats — “diversity and inclusion” offices, “student life” deans, etc. They’re much bigger offenders than faculty.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: What Columbia needs to learn about free expression: The university’s punishment of college wrestlers went too far.

What’s funny is, Columbia’s president is Lee Bollinger, a famous First Amendment scholar whose biggest book, The Tolerant Society, stresses the civic importance of teaching people to put up with ideas they hate. It’s been a long time since I read that book, but to be fair, it seems like it’s been even longer since Bollinger has. . . .

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: WSJ: Many Deans Resist Law School Accreditors Raising The Bar—’Nobody Looks At Job Outcomes Of PhDs, MBAs.’


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, UNIVERSITIES TAKE SIDES EDITION: University Bullied Students to Change ‘America’ Theme Party Because Trump Won: America party ‘provides an opportunity for students to dress or behave in a way that offends or oppresses others.’

Best part: “Administrative efforts failed: the party took place as planned on November 18.” Stick it to the Man!

But this is just sad: “Emails sent to student government representatives were provided to TheDC on condition of anonymity. Multiple student government representatives confirmed the emails’ authenticity on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation from the administration.”

“Fear of retaliation?” That says terrible things about Loyola Maryland.

Cost of attending Loyola University Maryland: $62,750 per year.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Yale President Thumbs His Nose at Federal Law.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Universities’ Unfunded Pensions Exceed Debt.

PUNCH BACK TWICE AS HARD: University of Virginia Law Professor Robert Turner Defends Jefferson’s Legacy at Jefferson’s University. “Perhaps the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society would be willing to organize and host such a debate — I’ll be happy to take on the three most prominent champions of censorship, so long as I get equal time and adequate rebuttal time.” Only 3-1 odds? They don’t stand a chance. Always outnumbered, never out-gunned.

Related: Yes, You’re Right, Colleges Are Liberal Bubbles. Here’s the Data. It’s a “higher education bubble” in more ways than one.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: ABA Places Two More Law Schools On Probation: Charlotte And Valparaiso.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Rutgers professor who teaches a course on politicizing Beyonce is taken for psych evaluation by NYPD over ‘threatening’ tweets about ‘shooting white people.’ He says it’s all part of “Trump’s crackdown on free speech.” Honestly, the Second Amendment tweet mentioned here — would conservatives care as much about the Second Amendment if guns killed more white people — isn’t a threat at all. It’s not clear that that’s the basis for what happened, but it wouldn’t be the first time a university characterized something harmless as a threat.