Michael B. Poliakoff (President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni) Read More
New York Times Letter to the Editor
Excerpt: Editors Note: This article is a collection of letters to the editor. Poliakoff’s letter is the last of the seven included.
This article prompts the hypothetical question whether a latter-day Albert Einstein would have a chance of employment at Berkeley or a number of other University of California campuses.
When asked about his commitment to diversity, that world-class physicist would likely give a response along the lines of these words he once said: “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” That fails, on Berkeley’s scoring rubric, to indicate sufficient alignment with the ideology the college expects all faculty to share. And that would be the end of the applicant’s candidacy in almost every instance.
Jonathan Kay Read More
Excerpt: In his new book, the German-born American political scientist authoritatively traces the evolution of the “identity synthesis” (Spoiler alert: that’s the term he’s come up with to describe the ideology formerly known as wokeness) by reference to the ideas of Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Noam Chomsky, and other influential leftist thinkers.
At its root, Mounk argues, the identity synthesis is an illiberal intellectual movement that rejects liberalism’s focus on colorblindness, free speech, individualism, and ideological pluralism—while also rejecting Marxism’s utopian promise of a better future in which society’s class-based divisions are healed.
Hannah Natanson Read More
Excerpt: As gold sunlight filtered into her kitchen, English teacher Mary Wood shouldered a worn leather bag packed with first-day-of-school items: Three lesson-planning notebooks. Two peanut butter granola bars. An extra pair of socks, just in case. Everything was ready, but Wood didn’t leave. For the first time since she started teaching 14 years ago, she was scared to go back to school.
Six months earlier, two of Wood’s Advanced Placement English Language and Composition students had reported her to the school board for teaching about race. Wood had assigned her all-White class readings from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me,” a book that dissects what it means to be Black in America.
James Huffman Read More
National Association of Scholars
Excerpt: Academics from across the political spectrum have appropriately objected to some recently proposed laws as threats to academic freedom and thereby to higher education’s historic mission—the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. The principle of academic freedom has long stood as the guarantor of the free and open inquiry requisite to the academic pursuit of truth and is widely understood to allow for no exceptions.
But adherence to the principle does not preclude all limits on faculty conduct. Academic freedom does not require colleges and universities to tolerate bad teaching or incompetence. Nor should it protect professorial conduct that undermines open inquiry and pursuit of truth.
Paul Levy Read More
Excerpt: (Editor’s note): Paul Levy, former Chair of the Board of Overseers and founder of the Levy Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, recently sent this
letter by email to Elizabeth Magill, newly appointed President of the University of
Pennsylvania. In 2018 he resigned as Trustee Emeritus and Law School Overseer
over the treatment of law professor Amy Wax.
Hannah Natanson Read More
Excerpt: The American Library Association is facing a partisan firefight unlike anything in its almost 150-year history. The once-uncontroversial organization, which says it is the world’s largest and oldest library association and which provides funding, training and tools to most of the country’s 123,000 libraries, has become entangled in the education culture wars — the raging debates over what and how to teach about race, sex and gender — culminating in Tuesday’s Senatorial name-check.