Thursday, August 16, 2018

Jon Stossel On The College Scam




By Professor Doom

     Jon Stossel is one of the last few remaining investigative reporters, and used to be on television quite often, 20 years ago. His big career-killing problem was he tends to investigate government waste and corruption. It’s painfully obvious today that much (all?) of our mainstream media is just another department of our government, or at least the deep state, and thus has no interest in revealing its own corruption. Stossel found himself off the government-controlled airwaves because he was just too good at his job.

       Thus he’s consigned to “fringe” “alternative” media sites like Reason. He’s recently released a video detailing a scam I write about often:



     The video itself is more evidence of how the world has changed in the last 20 years. We’re in a post-literate society, which is just a fancy way of saying people don’t read much anymore. If you want to disseminate knowledge today, you must use video. I’ve considered doing some videos, but the whole “anonymity” thing might make it tough, and I do lack the technical skill to make much beyond me talking.

     Anyway, the video is short—another sign of the times, as people just can’t focus for very long. It’s one of the (many, admittedly) reasons the film industry is suffering so in theatres, and people just can’t tear themselves away from their phones for a whole hour and a half. Ok, nowadays a movie is usually an hour and a half of SJW posturing against a backdrop of explosions (hi Last Jedi!), but still.

        He says some things in this short video (along with a summary transcript for us dinosaurs who still read), and he misses a mark or two. I’ll cut him some slack because he’s trying to cover this ground fast enough to reach people who are so addled by today’s world they can’t think clearly for much past five minutes, but I’ll make some clarifications all the same.

That's because most people don't learn much in college. Studies find that a third of people haven't learned anythingdetectable after four years in college.
Yet government pours about $80 billion a year into college subsidies.
"Taxpayers ought to know that they're getting ripped off," Caplan tells Stossel.

      For those who don’t have time, the above is basically everything you need to know about higher education in America today: for the vast majority, it’s a big waste of time, and for anyone who pays taxes, it’s a big waste of money.

He says taxpayer money mostly helps more people signal their ability to conform to college expectations.

--emphasis added.


      While the above is true, the clarification needed is a college degree used to be a valid signal the holder was exceptional in some way. Today’s college degrees are mostly meaningless, since the average GPA is close to A-, and many schools mandate that a certain percentage of students pass every course…a degree is more of a rubber stamp of a person having a pulse than any exceptionality. Toss in how most degrees are in subjects of minimal, if any, job value and we’re back in rip-off territory again.

       Stossel merely discusses how giving everyone a degree destroys the usefulness of the degree. While true, he neglects to mention how the student loan scam is destroying the lives of 40,000,000 people and rising. I feel the latter detail is far more important to humanity than the destruction of the value of a piece of paper.

Caplan responds that if students wanted to learn they can just walk on to a campus and attend class. Caplan says professors are happy to let the student attend. But few students do that.


     The above is an odd thing to say. Yes, I don’t have a problem if someone wants to attend class, but I’ve received many warnings from admin not to let unregistered students in my classes. This is merely a minor detail, since the modern world really does allow anyone to read and learn about anything without much effort or expense without setting foot on campus (hi internet!).

Caplan does think college is great for a few people like him—tenured professors. He can never be fired, gets paid well, and only has to teach classes for five hours a week.
"That's a scam," Stossel responds, "we're paying so much money for people like you to teach five hours."
"Yeah. Well, I'm a whistleblower," Caplan quips.

     My blog has shown time and again that “tenure” and “can never be fired” are far from synonymous, and shame on Stossel for not being aware of that fact. That said, yes, “tenured professor at a legitimate school” is a wonderful job to have…but there are very few of those. Most college courses are taught by sub-minimum wage adjuncts, and some schools are trying to get the teaching done for free now, the better to yield money to the plunderers running many of these places.

      Moreover, the professor being interviewed used the time granted by his cushy job to write a book warning people away from college and exposing what a scam so much of it is. Maybe he’ll save a few people from destroying themselves in college. This highlights how professors got these cushy jobs, or used to get them, anyway. The whole reason scholars are given so much free time in their jobs is because writing books to help humanity is a thing they do in their free time.

    I’m just not concerned with the few and dying faculty with cushy jobs, not when admin outnumber faculty by a wide margin, are paid vastly more, and many have jobs just as cushy. I’ve never, ever, seen an admin write a book trying to help humanity, and I’ve seen quite a few actively hurt human beings in many ways.

      All the free money flowing onto campus has warped things, and since the profit margin on “education” today is so large, colleges compete to get people willing to pay for it. Before the student loan scam, this competition was done by getting the best faculty, having the most successful programs, and earning a stellar reputation. What do colleges do now?

     “…many compete by advertising luxury…”


     I know I’m something of a one-note singer, but Stossel only scratches the surface of what the student loan money has done to our campuses. Prospective students are now promised lobster dinners for coming to campus, a campus often decorated with a luxury resort-style pool and other recreational areas. 600 colleges now have rock climbing walls—they do look interesting even if most people have the sense not to use them. No matter, “looks” are what it’s all about now.

  “…used to be reading, writing, and arithmetic. Well now we’re the 4th ‘r,’ recreation.”


     The above quote from the video nicely sums up higher education after years of drowning in student loan money. Please, please, just stop the student loan scam already.




Monday, August 13, 2018

Pro Hetero-Marriage Professor Wins Supreme Court Case




By Professor Doom

     Some time ago, a professor made a blog post, chastising a teacher for shutting down a student who advocated for, well, traditional marriage. Arguing for heterosexual marriage is a faux pas on campus today, and the school formed a committee to investigate this “inappropriate” behavior.

       A few posts on a blog. Seven members on the committee. How much did it take to come to a conclusion?

Four days of hearings! Months of deliberations! A hundred and twenty three page report…over some blog posts. You better believe the committee was being browbeaten, and kudos to them for holding on to their integrity.

     --Well, holding onto their integrity for a few months, anyway.


     Now, I do feel the professor made a big mistake here, in that he named the teacher of the course. Our current world is flat out nuts, and while shutting down discussion of the value of traditional marriage is politically correct these days…it’s possible that will change. Because we now live in a world where a “mistake” made years before can destroy you, naming that teacher can negatively impact her career years from now.  Put yourself in the teacher’s shoes here: if she allowed open discussion of possible benefits to traditional marriage, she could have been hauled into the Diversity Palace for re-education. It’s a no win situation on campus for this stuff.

      He should apologize for that, at least. That’s my opinion, and it didn’t take over a hundred pages of explanation, multiple hearings, and months of consideration.

      Anyway, based on the committee’s “fair and balanced” ruling (and I assure the reader, taking that level of effort is a huge flag that the committee was, eventually, corrupted), they suspended the professor, and tried to force a full apology from him for advocating for traditional marriage.

      He won’t do it. He maintains that he shouldn’t be punished for following the mission of his Jesuit school. Thing is, like most schools, it’s been taken over by a wandering band of plunderers who care nothing for the school’s mission:

“As for so-called Catholic universities, first you have to understand that Jesuits are thin on the ground these days,” McAdams continued.  “The president of Marquette’s not a Jesuit, the provost isn’t, the dean of arts and sciences isn’t… there are so few Jesuits that so-called Jesuit institutions pretty much aren’t run by Jesuits.”


     As always, the school believes they were perfectly correct in punishment. The professor could appeal the school’s ruling…but this would lead to the school forming another loaded committee and browbeating that committee as well. 

     Instead of wasting time in a thoroughly corrupt system, the professor took his case to the Wisconsin supreme court, claiming, quite reasonably, that his contract does allow him freedom of expression without such punishments as “permanent unpaid suspension”—he’s tenured, so he can’t, technically be fired, but such distinctions are meager next to being not being paid or allowed to do any work.



      They ruled the university will need to give the professor over 3 years of back pay. I feel the need to mention these sorts of abuses go on by schools on a fairly regular basis…most professors just suck it up, because they can’t afford to go that many years without a paycheck. I also point out that this is all tenure means: they can’t fire him, but they don’t need to pay him, either.

"The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract's guarantee of academic freedom," said the majority opinion written by Justice Daniel Kelly.


    The article I’ve linked actually spends most of its time covering how the professor is wrong in his beliefs (it’s fascinating how much slant is here), but I include the “money shot” above.

     The school, amazingly enough, is unrepentant despite the court ruling against them:

"At Marquette University, we are proud that we have taken a stand for our students, our values and our Catholic, Jesuit mission," it said.
"Marquette will comply with the terms of this decision, and it does not change the university’s commitment to the safety and well-being of our students."
The statement concluded: 
"This case has always been about Associate Professor John McAdams’ conduct toward a student teacher. The professor used his personal blog to mock a student teacher, intentionally exposing her name and contact information to a hostile audience that sent her vile and threatening messages."

     I’d warn the professor that his days are clearly numbered, but he’s 72, so I suppose he’ll be satisfied with winning on principles here. Still, this will be something of a pyrrhic victory for free speech:

The university says it ultimately wants to ensure "those whom it invests with the responsibility and privilege of teaching its students abide by its governing principles."


    The gentle reader should understand the above to mean that future contracts will give the university broad leeway to punish faculty who deviate from the narrative, in this case, dare to advance the notion that heterosexual marriage might not be a bad thing.

     As an aside, I think two competent people, regardless of gender, should be allowed to enter into whatever voluntary contracts they wish. I also think religions should be allowed to ask whatever they want of their voluntary competent followers. It didn’t take 4 months for me to come to those conclusions, either.

     So, let’s summarize here everything that happened, and the fallout:

      First, a professor makes some blog posts advocating for a belief system consistent with his institution, and makes the mistake of naming one person who shut down classroom discussion of an aspect of those beliefs.

      Second, the university uses their corrupt system to punish the professor, beyond all interpretation of reasonable justice.

      Third, the professor takes his case to a less corrupt system, and overturns the ruling based on written contract law. This is touted as a win for freedom of speech, and academic freedom.

      Fourth, the university changes future contracts so they can disallow future free speech and shut down future academic freedom. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop this.

      Finally, the university will spend a fortune on a new fiefdom, filled with Vice Presidents of Shutting Down Freedom, which in turn will come up with ways to fix the old contracts so they can retroactively shut down academic freedom as well. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop this, either.

      So, yes, enjoy your minor victory professor, you’ve earned it. I maintain the system is too corrupted at this point to allow for anything better, and that things will only become worse on this campus, just as they are on many others.




Friday, August 10, 2018

Gender Pronoun Obsessed School Loses Students (Shock!)




By Professor Doom

     A weird identity politics madness has been steadily taking over our campuses for a few decades now. Individual faculty who stood up against the madness were dogpiled by rabid admin, and eventually removed; I’ve seen it with my own eyes enough times.

      Last January, I covered such a dogpile at Laurier University. In this case, a teacher decided to have an open discussion of the “23 gender pronouns” symptom of the madness, and was called into the palace of the Diversity Fiefdom, for re-education: use of these pronouns was not a topic open to discussion. While I maintain these types of “conversations” between faculty and identity politics admin are commonplace, what made this particular incident remarkable was the teacher actually recorded the conversation, so that later all could hear with their own ears just how pathological the commissars on our campuses are.

     The short description of that meeting is as follows: a pack of Diversity admin tells the teacher that secret witnesses of unknown number have complained that discussion of gender pronouns creates a toxic environment, and that having this topic in the classroom be something that is open to debate is illegal. It’s disgusting stuff, and even globalist Jordan Pedersen came out against this sort of behavior by admin.

President Deborah MacLatchy took responsibility for the “institutional failure” revealed by the “independent fact-finder report” commissioned by WLU.

--this is a very rare case of admin investigating itself, and finding itself at fault. Much like with police self-investigations, having a PUBLIC tape of the incident made it impossible to whitewash.


      Having been caught in the act with indisputable evidence, admin quickly backed down and apologized…but I assure the gentle reader this stuff occurs on many campuses. The apology rings very hollow to me, because I know they’ll be back up to their dirty tricks just as soon as the public eye looks elsewhere.

       Now that everyone knows what kind of school this is, how are potential students responding?

Laurier Finance Prof. William McNally pointed out the university’s admissions confirmations as of June 7 have declined 15.2 percent from a year ago, while first-place choices are down 12.5 percent, both the worst in the province.


     I assure the gentle reader, this level of drop in admissions is a hard blow to the campus, and it’s clear a good proportion of the students are only going to this school for lack of a better option. Being a state school, they’ll survive this massive setback. Most likely, they’ll accomplish it by expanding class size and cutting down faculty—removing the Diversity staff who caused the problem is never an option.

      I really want to point out, the whole purpose of Diversity staff is to create this kind of strife. If people weren’t so heavily devoted to the intense navel-gazing of identity politics, there’d be no need for Diversity staffers. So, they cause more problems, securing their position and if the problems are big enough, like at Mizzou, even more Diversity staffers will be added to admin.


      Another school with race riots due to excess Diversity staff is Evergreen college. They too are losing a catastrophic number of students, over 20% in the last two years.

      So the schools publicly known for this behavior are losing students. What is the administrative response? You can bet it won’t be about integrity or education, and definitely won’t involve thinning the ranks of admin:


--Shepherd is the teacher who made the recording.


     As I mentioned seven months ago, steps will be taken to reduce recordings on campus. Admin sure doesn’t want to be put in another situation where they’ll have no choice but to rule against themselves based on publicly known evidence. What else is happening on this campus?



     As I also predicted, the teacher who made the recording will likely find herself unemployed, and unemployable, soon. Admin is vicious and spiteful, and hates admitting it’s wrong. I remember spending well over a year trying, and failing, to convince admin at my own school of things like “12/5 is not 2.35” and “consensus and arithmetical mean do not have the same meaning,” to no avail beyond receiving punishments. I foolishly kept assuming good faith on their part (because it’s hard to believe this level of incompetence or malevolence)…I should have made recordings, but I’ve kept my documents. It is certain they’ll get rid of the teacher as soon as they can get away with it.

     Anyway, my successful predictions above are not due to any metaphysical powers on my part: I’ve simply seen these things play out many times, and I’ve observed admin more than long enough to have a firm grasp of their behavior patterns. “Punish the whistleblower and make it harder for us to get caught again” is as predictable behavior on their part as a cockroach’s response to the kitchen lights being turned on, for much the same reason.

She promised “mandatory and standardized” training and support between course instructors and TAs for “clarity and consistency.” 


     I predicted the above as well, because it’s well known that admin always wins when admin screws up. So, now additional admin will be hired to set up this new standardized training, and the old admin will receive pay raises for being part of a larger bureaucracy. There’s more to it than that, however.

The president implied that the entire policy could be on the table. Not only will WLU search for an “appropriate structure” to oversee the policy’s execution, but it will “undertake a full review” of the policy itself.


     By “appropriate structure,” they’re talking about yet another university fiefdom, filled with highly paid vice presidents to oversee a policy that wouldn’t need to exist if there was a scrap of integrity on campus. They might even take “structure” literally, and build a new administrative palace in honor of their mistake (I concede I didn’t predict at the time they’d go this far). There’s even more to it than more waste.

     Recall that the system on our campuses is edu-fascism, the merger of administrative and ideological interests. Admin wins, above, so next the ideology will need to win:

     After the teacher who made the recording finds her career in higher ed annihilated, admin will hold mandatory meetings making sure everyone gets the message: “Identity politics is to be accepted as objective fact, and is not open to discussion. Anyone who records this statement will be summarily fired, as per policy.”

      But at least we now have a recording of an example of the conversations that quite commonly occur behind closed doors in Diversity fiefdoms on our campus. Thus, there’s one fewer thing I’ve said about higher education my gentle readers need no longer take on faith is true.



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

University Gives Pay Raise…Only To Non-Males




By Professor Doom

     I’ve said many times there’s a systemic anti-male bias on campus, but for the most part I’ve only documented it with words. It’s not just words which show a distinct dislike of males, and allow me to demonstrate with one campus which is putting their money where the y chromosomes aren’t (the self-identified ones, anyway):



      I’m quite puzzled why this hasn’t received more news coverage.

It discovered that female faculty, on average, were being paid less than their male colleagues, taking into account age, experience, hiring date and “some performance data.”


     Statistics is a particularly weak-willed subject: you don’t have to torture it much to have it tell you anything you want to hear. That said, there’s plenty of evidence the gender wage gap is a myth. A simple look at, say, male boxers versus female boxers shows males make more to be sure…but if you compare male models to female models, then now you can show females make more. I cite these two examples because simply by weighting between extremes (using mysterious “performance data”) you can get any result you want. Most studies use sane weightings and account for career choices, hours worked, and such, of course.

     “Sane” is a matter of opinion, I guess. What to do?

      We can just use logic. If this wage gap was real, any company which strictly hires females would save 20% on employee pay—a HUGE bonus to any company’s bottom line. Since there’s no company that’s showing great success from this strategy, we can conclude this alleged “pay gap” is simply statistics begging for mercy from an evil manipulator.

      Anyway, this Canadian university manipulated their statistics to get the politically correct result. And what to do about this alleged problem?

The Canadian Press reports that more than 300 faculty got a pay bump of $2,050 earlier this month – those who identify as female or “non-male,” apparently meaning that only cisgender men and transgender men (biological women) are left out.


     Wait a second. The usual (fake) statistical quote is that women earn 80% as much as men. So…they’re saying a measly $2,000 will close the gap? But that would mean men on this campus only earn a lousy $10,000 or so a year! Why didn’t the university ask why their manipulated statistics meant the faculty were only getting starvation wages?

     More importantly, why isn’t there outrage over this blatantly sexist policy?

     Time and again I’ve been passed over for being male…or at least, whispers told me as much. I tell myself the rumors are just feeding my natural paranoia but how does a male on that campus not protest this openly unfair treatment? For a time I did nothing to discourage a department head’s belief I was a homosexual; she was fooled 
sufficiently that I stayed on campus a few years longer than otherwise, I’m sure…but I never considered that if I just self-identified as female my career and paycheck would be enhanced. I’m going to claim integrity kept me from doing so, though I suspect my height and proportions would make passing as a non-male quite difficult.

       Oh, by the way, it’s not just this one campus:

The University of British Columbia gave non-men a 2 percent raise in 2013; McMaster University did it two years later ($3,515) at the urging of its professor, Charlotte Yates, who just did the same as provost as Guelph; and the University of Waterloo gave its self-professed females $2,905 in 2016.


     The gentle reader needs to understand the insidious “best practices” policies of higher ed: once one place does it, other schools feel justified. So I suspect this practice will spread throughout North America soon enough.

      And there’s not nearly enough outrage. Note carefully how the bonuses go to “non-men”…this is targeting a very specific group on campus. Considering there are now, supposedly, dozens of different genders, going after a minority like this should be a problem but…there’s no outrage.

     Back to this particular Canadian university, perhaps the males could enhance their pay with promotions or awards? Not a chance at this school:

…is also working on non-men quotas in senior leadership roles and “prestigious awards,” and badgering faculty into revealing information about their race and ability status so it can impose quotas for those categories.


     Again, how is this remotely fair?

     Why is there no outrage? I totally respect that some jobs require a certain gender (eg, dress fashion models), but outside of those edge cases, I promise the gentle reader if a school started giving male-specific bonuses and job searches for positions and activities which had nothing to do with gender, I’d be speaking out against it.

      But is there truly nobody in a position of power capable of identifying this obscene sexism?


www.professorconfess.blogspot.com


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Professor: “It’s Logical To Hate Men.”




By Professor Doom

     I’ve sneered quite a bit at Gender Studies, and while I feel it’s obvious on the face of it that this is a topic well worth a sneer, a recent op-ed article in the Washington Post by a professor of sociology and director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University really highlights what passes for academic “thinking” in this “discipline,” at the risk of abusing scare-quotes.

      Before quoting the article, I can’t help but rant a bit that stuff like this easily gets published in major papers, while I haven’t had a publisher give me the time of day in years. Yes, the Post has a disclaimer about how editorials may not necessarily represent the opinions of the Post but…considering their track record, I suspect the professor’s views aren’t much different than anyone else’s at that paper (or much of mainstream media1).

     So, let’s hit some highlights:

“it seems logical to hate men”

     I’ve kept the quote small, because there’s such an incredible level of foulness to these few words, it’s astonishing.

    “Seems” logical? Logic has very particular rules…either an argument is logical, or it is not. You just can’t put the word “seems” next to the word “logical” and not sound like an idiot.

     Even if I could get past “seems” and “logical” without losing all respect for the author, the words that come next are odd as well. As far as “to hate men,” we still have major issues. Imagine instead if she said it was logical to hate blacks? I rather expect there’d be an outcry, no? How about logical to hate Jews? Still no good.  I strongly suspect “to hate whites” would be considered quite reasonable to the Post, but nevertheless the hypocrisy is over the top, as basically all ethnic groups and religions have a negative side to them that could, quite illogically, be extended to the entirety of the group. Why does she get a pass to target men?

      Having dispensed with this short train wreck of a quote, let’s move on.

     The argument, such as it is, is that because some men have done bad things, that all men are bad and should be hated…and this is “logical” according to the professor. It annoys me greatly that words like “logical” get abused to mean the exact opposite of what they actually mean (the word “scientific” is also abused greatly these days, but I digress). The opinion piece is splashed with a picture of Weinstein, and I’m certainly not defending him (or other examples), but just because some men are evil, it is not, in fact, logical to hate men in general.

     The professor has a long list of crimes by men, but seems to have blinders on. Women have done a few bad things, too, though she mentions nothing of that, and her “crimes” are, as one might suspect, heavily slanted (with no corrections from the paper).

Women are underrepresented in higher-wage jobs, local and federal government, business, educational leadership, etc.; wage inequality continues to permeate every economy and almost every industry; women continue to provide far higher rates of unpaid labor in the home (e.g., child care, elder care, care for disabled individuals, housework and food provision); women have less access to education, particularly at the higher levels; women have lower rates of property ownership.


     The above is just a sampling of her long list of crimes by men, including the repeatedly debunked canard about the “gender pay gap.” There are so many studies negating it that only willful ignorance could explain her ignorance of the truth of the matter…but how does the Post not know?

     How is this dreck even publishable?

     Now, there’s something called Title IX that’s supposed to prevent this sort of sexual discrimination on campus but…Northeastern’s Title IX fiefdom seems to have no concerns here, despite numerous complaints from faculty about the clear violation; their Title IX department released a pretty weak statement:

“Northeastern University steadfastly supports a safe and inclusive learning and working environment in which hate has no place,” the statement reads. “The university has more than 1,000 faculty members whose viewpoints span the entire political spectrum. Consistent with our unwavering commitment to academic freedom, the opinions of an individual professor do not reflect the views of the university or its leadership.”


      Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for academic freedom and all but…the hypocrisy here is pretty loathsome.  Professors who release statements pro-heterosexual marriage endanger their jobs, professors who ask for academic integrity endanger their jobs, professors who dare criticize some aspect of college sportsball endanger their jobs, and I could go on quite a bit with this…but hatred of males is not an issue?

     The gentle reader should understand this sort of anti-male sexism is quite common on campus, and next time around I’ll show a far more systemic example than just one Gender Studies professor’s op-ed.


www.professorconfess.blogspot.com


1.     1. As an aside, does anyone else have growing curiosity about how mainstream media gets their money? Many alternatives sites now have viewerships far above “big” sources like CNN, MSNBC, and NYT, to name just a few, but clearly are just barely getting by, while the mainstream sites have money for national broadcasting, to send reporters all over the world, get handed tens of millions by Facebook to make more “news,” and all sorts of things that alternatives, despite the much larger viewership, aren’t even close to being able to afford. Yes, perhaps the mainstream sites are spending their savings…but it’s been like this for years now. Who is paying them so much money to spread these kinds of stories?








Wednesday, August 1, 2018

University of Chicago Heads For The Abyss




By Professor Doom

     When it comes to great schools in Higher Ed, everyone can name a few schools in the Northeast (Hi Princeton! Hi MIT! Begrudingly hello Harvard!), but past that? Things get hazy. One of the few that people can name not in that region is University of Chicago, established in 1890. Part of what made this private non-profit school great was its low acceptance rate, hovering around 8% for years.

      Those days are coming to an end, thanks to two recent incidents.

      Let’s take a look at the first:



     I’m sorry but I’m not buying this. Any student that legitimately wanted to learn about “diversity and inclusion” could just, you know, pick up a book and read. Making it a “requirement,” that is, making it mandatory indoctrination, just doesn’t make any sense. In my decades of higher ed I’ve never seen a mass of students begging to be forced to take another course (much less spend $3,000 or more for the privilege).

A group calling itself UChicago United has presented 51(!) demands to the school, and one of them is this requirement. They claim the school "has consistently failed to meet the needs of its marginalized students," and, as such, must take "action to build accessible campus resources and measures of accountability to support the creation of an environment that minority students are able to lay claim to as their own."


      Ok, so let’s go with the flow here. Some student group presents a list of demands to admin, demands that will cost money. Now, when faculty make demands of admin, especially demands which would cost money, the answer is generally “no,” and usually gets reinforced with a few firings.

      It’s the same here with these students, admin could just respond with “no,” have their drivers take them back to their lakefront property, and call it a day. So far, admin hasn’t acceded but I know it’s just a matter of time.

      What bothers me here isn’t the student demand, but the lack of curiosity about how this massive list of demands came to be, how this very student organization came to be. These strike me as very legitimate questions but…nothing. I can’t help but suspect admin is behind it on some level.

      Bottom line, the destructive ideology which has taken down many schools clearly has its sights on University of Chicago. It’s just a matter of time.

      That time is rapidly being shortened, as admin has made a major change to admissions:

Chicago Drops SAT/ACT Requirement. 



     One of the many things hurting higher ed right now is the emphasis on growth over scholarship, and, bottom line, restricting admissions—great for scholarship!—is terrible for growth.

      So, get rid of entrance exams. Yes, other schools are doing this, and once one school does it, others follow, for “best practices” reasons, even if there hasn’t been anywhere near enough time to determine if the removing tests is a good idea. The justification admin gives is “it helps diversity” of course:

“Today, many underresourced and underrepresented students, families and school advisers perceive top-ranked colleges as inaccessible if students do not have the means to help them stand out in the application process,” said James G. Nondorf, vice president and dean of admissions at Chicago.


      “Underrepresented” is the dog whistle for wanting more diversity, of course. Now, I grant the UC is following up with more scholarships (good for them!), but this is a top tier research school. How will they now determine a top student?

In addition, the university announced a new program in which it will invite students to submit a two-minute video introduction of themselves. And the university will allow self-submission of transcripts to minimize the need for students to pay fees.


    The above sounds  all flowery and sweet, but it’s covering up considerable rot. Our public education system is producing full on illiterates, and those standardized tests weed them out quite nicely, at least for a school which cares about such things. Often schools require students to write some sort of “why I want to go to college” essay, for much the same reason.

     But instead of all that, now they’re going to use 2 minute videos. A student no longer needs to show he can read or write, will have no official test scores, and there won’t even be official transcripts. Does anyone else see some room for skullduggery here?

       What’s funny about this is schools claim that standardized tests are unfair—children with wealthier parents can pay for extra test-taking training and to some extent “buy” a higher test score. This is true, but going to videos is quite misguided—now the children of wealthier parents will just pay to have those videos professionally shot, and this is far, far, more expensive than simply getting someone to force the kid to study.

       Another issue here is time. When you use standardized tests, you can make a very fast judgement, and the student can have a pretty good idea if it’s worth his while to even apply. I love the unintended consequences here of going to video: not only will the rich have a bigger advantage, more poor kids will waste their time on videos because anyone can do that, unlike scoring well on a test.

     Now consider, assuming good faith by the university, the time it takes to review these videos.

     Well, the university got almost 28,000 applications last year, at 5 minutes apiece to load, watch, and review a video. We’re looking at over 2300 hours of looking at videos to figure out which students should be admitted. So, a process that used to take a day to narrow down to the top few thousand will now take weeks of work by a team of administrators (you don’t need scholars to watch videos).

      The school admits about 2,500 students a year, so after a few weeks of weeding out the bad videos, they’ll spend another week full time reviewing the top 5,000, I suppose. And there’ll be no paper trail, no quantitative way to tell if the admissions process is now completely controlled by identity politics.

      Yeah, I see a major problem here. Isn’t it odd that our vast cadre of highly paid administrators can’t see how foul this process will be? Or perhaps they want it that way?

      Now, absolutely, I have issues with standardized tests but…at least they’re something, a known albeit weak quantity which admissions can make some minimal baseline objective decisions over. How can 2 minute videos hope to be as effective as tests with decades of experience using millions of students behind them? How can nobody else be asking this question?

       It’s possible that this is all just a ploy to get more applications, which can then be rejected, lowering UC’s acceptance rate—having a low acceptance rate is prestigious, after all. Even if this is the true plan, the end result is admissions will now be set up in such a way that identity politics, and not academic ability, can become the sole determining factor for getting accepted into college…it may not be the intention, but the damage that this result will do to UC is immeasurable.

       Considering we have “students” already demanding identity politics become a mandatory part of the UC, the likelihood of admissions becoming corrupted by these changes is pretty high.