Commentary: Attending a Different Selective Institution

May is National College Decision Month, when 1.2 million Class of 2022 high school seniors must commit to the institution where they’ll spend the next four-to-six years. 

Two of those high school seniors, Bill and Jane, will soon graduate and both will attend a very selective, but very different, institution in the fall. Let’s explore and project the net return on their decisions, six-years from now, based on facts and national averages.

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Commentary: MIT Bucks the Trend and Reinstates Its SAT/ACT Requirement

SAT multiple choice exam with a number 2 pencil

In case you missed it, on Monday MIT announced that they would be reinstating their SAT/ACT requirement for future admissions cycles. Like many universities, MIT had ditched the tests during the pandemic.

Even prior to the pandemic, however, there had been a widespread push to abandon these tests to enhance diversity.

“Data shows tests like the SAT are biased against students from low-income households. Poorer students tend to perform worse on the test,” CNN reported in 2015. “Blacks and Hispanics also consistently score lower on the SAT than whites.” (CNN conveniently left out that Asian Americans score much higher than whites, presumably because it didn’t fit the narrative.)

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Democratic Socialist Student Groups Are Pushing Leftist Policies on College Campuses

group of people protesting, holding megaphone

Following student pushback against a Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) flyer found at the University of California, San Diego, Campus Reform took a deep dive into what other progressive agendas the national student chapters supported.

In doing so, Campus Reform found that YDSA chapters across the country are demanding free tuition and debt forgiveness, advocating for the recognition of student employee unions, and pressing to take “community control” of police departments.

Additionally, these groups have recently hosted rallies, meetings, and book discussions on topics such as abortion, minimum wage, marijuana decriminalization, and Palestine.

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Commentary: Women’s Opportunities Are Being Taken Away by ‘Womxn’

In celebration of Women’s History Month, colleges and universities are hosting events to celebrate womxn, not women.

In an effort to become more inclusive of those that deny biological reality, higher education is in fact erasing women’s opportunities to excel in academics, athletics, and career tracks.

I am proud to be a woman. Women have been pivotal to our society. But making women compete with men undermines females’ ability to achieve success.

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Schweizer: U.S. Institutions of Higher Learning Fail to Report Millions of Dollars from China

TRANSCRIPT: McCabe: Investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, in his new book Red-Handed, reports how the Chinese Communist Party has targeted American institutions of higher learning. Schweizer told The Star News Network how these institutions, after receiving funds from communist China, have worked to suppress criticism of the communist regime there and…

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Texas Lt. Governor Proposes Eliminating Tenure to Rid CRT from Public Universities

Dan Patrick of Texas

The Texas Lieutenant Governor has stated his priority to eliminate tenure in an attempt to stop Critical Race Theory (CRT) from “poisoning the minds of the next generation.”

During a Feb. 18 press conference, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick argued that academia has been infiltrated by “tenured, leftist professors” and called for additional oversight methods to crack down on the controversial curriculum. 

Patrick defined CRT as “an offshoot of critical legal studies, which is an offshoot of a socialist program (which says) that everything that happened in life is based on racism.”

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American Bar Association Requires Law Schools to Educate Students on ‘Bias, Cross-Cultural Competency, and Racism’

Man in a suit writing on paperwork at a table

The American Bar Association House of Delegates has approved new law school accreditation standards at the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting, of which two amendments were focused on “diversity.”

In order to eliminate bias and enhance diversity, the ABA’s amended Standard 303(c) requires that “a law school shall provide education on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation.”

To fulfill this requirement, “Law schools must demonstrate that all law students are required to participate in a substantial activity designed to reinforce the skill of cultural competency and their obligation as future lawyers to work to eliminate racism in the legal profession.”

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Professor, ‘Free Black Thought’ Co-Founder Discusses Why He Teaches English, Not ‘Social Justice’

Dr. Erec Smith of York College of Pennsylvania

Erec Smith is an associate professor of Rhetoric and Composition at York College of Pennsylvania. After experiencing cancel culture 2019, he has since become an advocate for viewpoint diversity, especially in the Black community.

In a June 2021 “On the Media” podcast, Smith discussed the incident that led him to be “canceled” in higher education.

He spoke to WNYC Studios’ Shamed and Confused podcast about “Feeling ‘canceled’ in Academia,” and was featured in a December 2021 segment on Reputation.Erec Smith is an associate professor of Rhetoric and Composition at York College of Pennsylvania. After experiencing cancel culture 2019, he has since become an advocate for viewpoint diversity, especially in the Black community.

In a June 2021 “On the Media” podcast, Smith discussed the incident that led him to be “canceled” in higher education.

He spoke to WNYC Studios’ Shamed and Confused podcast about “Feeling ‘canceled’ in Academia,” and was featured in a December 2021 segment on Reputation.

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ANALYSIS: A Look at Universities’ Foreign Contribution Filings

College student studying

Data collected by the US Department of Education show that during 2021, colleges and universities amassed a total of $1.3 billion in contracts and gifts from foreign sources, including $337 million from foreign governments.

The U.S. Department of Education has expressed concern about foreign nations using funds to influence American institutions of higher education. “For at least two decades,” the Department said in a report published last October, “the industry has been on direct notice that at least some of these foreign sources are hostile to the United States and are targeting their investments (i.e., “gifts” and “contracts”) to project soft power, steal sensitive and proprietary research, and spread propaganda.”

Campus Reform has covered how China uses Confucius Institutes to exert influence on American schools. Needs a line about what Confucius Institutes are Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the program as “part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”

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University Accused of Weaponizing Public Records Law to Harass, Intimidate Faculty

Indiana University campus

Indiana University paid a law firm to file a public records request against itself to search the emails of a law professor who was investigating its presidential search process, the professor claims, citing an invoice for the firm’s services.

Steve Sanders said he learned about the Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request made by Hoover Hull Turner, “presumably to attempt to find out how I’ve learned what I know,” on the eve of publishing his investigation on Medium in October.

The request covered any presidential search-related emails he may have sent or received with trustees, search committee members, former officials and recently departed President Michael McRobbie.

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Commentary: The Pandemic Has Increased the Need for Student Tutoring

Two people writing on a dry-erase board

The first time I caught a plagiarized essay was at the beginning of my career as an English professor over 20 years ago. Two of my students had turned in papers with more than a few suspiciously similar phrases, and a quick Google search revealed that they had lifted whole paragraphs directly from an academic website about American poetry that was, as far as I could tell, honestly trying to help students understand the subject.

The culture of student cheating on the Internet has come a long way since then, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it into even sharper focus. One thing that has changed dramatically in the past two decades is that students aren’t turning to crude HTML sites put together by well-intentioned poetry scholars to cheat on their assignments, but to sophisticated “homework help” sites like Chegg.com that grew by almost 70 percent during the pandemic, reaching a current market cap of $8.5 billion.

Chegg is trying to encourage university faculty to partner with it, claiming (accurately) that “90% of college students say they need more help with their studies.” But the solution to helping students with their homework isn’t to move them onto online platforms that could easily be exploited for student cheating. Rather, students need to work with peer tutors on their own campuses.

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University President Calls out Chinese Students He Says ‘Harassed’ Their Dissident Peer

After a Chinese student at Purdue University spoke out against the Chinese Communist Party, fellow Chinese students at the American school allegedly threatened to report him to China for espionage. 

Zhihao Kong told ProPublica that after he posted a letter condemning the Tiananmen Square Massacre, China’s Ministry of State Security began threatening him and his family. 

“His family back home, in this case China, was visited and threatened by agents of that nation’s secret police,” President Mitch Daniels said in an email published by the Purdue Exponent. 

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Commentary: Five Times Campuses Ruined Holidays in 2021

two people with Santa hats looking at Christmas tree

Woke and leftist ideologies often target traditions and celebrations around holidays, particularly those that pertain to Christianity and American identity. 

With 2021 coming to an end, Campus Reform has compiled a list of the top five instances of colleges and universities ruining holidays on campus.

1. Colleges celebrate Valentine’s Day with ‘Sex in the Dark’

Multiple colleges hosted a question and answer “Sex in the Dark,” a virtual Q&A event with health experts, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

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Commentary: Why I Stopped Donating to Harvard, My Alma Mater

The statue of John Harvard, seen at Harvard Yard

This year, for the first time since graduation some two decades ago, I did not donate to either of my alma maters. Like many of you, I have become disillusioned with the illiberalism on many college campuses and could no longer support them with an annual gift. While higher education has historically tipped to the political left, the gap has widened in recent decades. Analyzing data on faculty ideological leanings, the American Enterprise Institute reported that “in less than 30 years the ratio of liberal identifying faculty to conservative faculty had more than doubled to 5.” 

At Harvard, where I attended graduate school, the faculty political imbalance is particularly striking. According to a 2021 survey by The Harvard Crimson, the college newspaper, out of 236 faculty replies only 7 people said they are “somewhat” or “very conservative,” while 183 respondents indicated that they are “somewhat” or “very liberal.” A similar problem plagues my undergraduate college, Bowdoin. 

The absence of my meager donations won’t matter to the colleges I attended, each of which has billions of dollars in endowment money. But big alumni donors at some leading universities are using their influence to improve free thought and inquiry on college campuses. 

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Commentary: Five Times Campuses Ruined Holidays in 2021

two people with Santa hats looking at Christmas tree

Woke and leftist ideologies often target traditions and celebrations around holidays, particularly those that pertain to Christianity and American identity. 

With 2021 coming to an end, Campus Reform has compiled a list of the top five instances of colleges and universities ruining holidays on campus.

1. Colleges celebrate Valentine’s Day with ‘Sex in the Dark’

Multiple colleges hosted a question and answer “Sex in the Dark,” a virtual Q&A event with health experts, just in time for Valentine’s Day. 

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Commentary: Why I Stopped Donating to Harvard, My Alma Mater

The statue of John Harvard, seen at Harvard Yard

This year, for the first time since graduation some two decades ago, I did not donate to either of my alma maters. Like many of you, I have become disillusioned with the illiberalism on many college campuses and could no longer support them with an annual gift. While higher education has historically tipped to the political left, the gap has widened in recent decades. Analyzing data on faculty ideological leanings, the American Enterprise Institute reported that “in less than 30 years the ratio of liberal identifying faculty to conservative faculty had more than doubled to 5.” 

At Harvard, where I attended graduate school, the faculty political imbalance is particularly striking. According to a 2021 survey by The Harvard Crimson, the college newspaper, out of 236 faculty replies only 7 people said they are “somewhat” or “very conservative,” while 183 respondents indicated that they are “somewhat” or “very liberal.” A similar problem plagues my undergraduate college, Bowdoin. 

The absence of my meager donations won’t matter to the colleges I attended, each of which has billions of dollars in endowment money. But big alumni donors at some leading universities are using their influence to improve free thought and inquiry on college campuses. 

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Commentary: The Flaw in Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying’s Proposal for the Future of Humanity

Bret Weinstein podcast

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, evolutionary biologists and visiting fellows at Princeton University, have written a fascinating new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, which Penguin Random House released in September.

The instant New York Times bestseller is riddled with interesting ideas and clever insights, ultimately arriving at a radical conclusion about how humanity must be governed in the future if we are to avoid civilizational collapse. However, the book’s concluding argument is built upon one fundamental economic fallacy, and to understand the flaw in the proposal is to understand how truly catastrophic the pursuit of Weinstein and Heying’s vision would be.

The Fear of Abundance

Weinstein and Heying’s fundamental claim is about the human propensity to seek economic growth, and the ultimate unsustainability of that goal.

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Stanford Extends Test-Optional Policy for Third Straight Year

Close up of a pencil on top of a multiple choice exam paper

Stanford University has made its admissions process test-optional for the third year in a row.

Following the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States, Stanford previously suspended standardized testing requirements for the 2020-21 undergraduate admissions cycle. Stanford School of Medicine ceased requiring the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and physics graduate applicants did not have to submit scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the GRE subject test in physics.

Now, according to the university’s admissions site: “For both the current 2021-22 admission cycle and the following 2022-23 cycle,Stanford will not require ACT or SAT scores for first-year or transfer applicants. 

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Frat House Cannot Hang Its Own Christmas Wreath, University Insists

Christmas wreath on an oak door

Fraternity and sorority students at Emory University are not allowed to hang their own exterior Christmas decorations.

That policy was news to members of the Atlanta university’s Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity when Josh Gamse, assistant director of sorority and fraternity life, informed the chapter Dec. 3 that its wreath was violating school policy.

“Since this is the second violation of the policy, an incident report will be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct,” Gasme wrote in an email obtained by Campus Reform. 

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University Ordered to Pay Almost $2 Million After Students Win Religious Freedom Lawsuit

A federal judge ordered the University of Iowa (UI) to pay $1.9 million in fees and damages after two student groups won a series of religious discrimination lawsuits against the university. 

The Becket Fund, which represents Business Leaders in Christ, will receive $1.37 million while Intervarsity Christian Fellowship will get $533,000, Crux reports. 

Eric Baxter, a senior VP and counsel at The Becket Fund, told Campus Reform targeting students of faith “comes at a price.” 

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Emails Reveal University President ‘Struggled with Supporting Free Speech’ for Christian Activist’s Appearances on Campus

A Christian activist’s appearances at Salem State University prompted the institution to change its free speech policies while being legally compelled to uphold the individual’s First Amendment rights. 

Campus Reform has previously covered the activist, Chike Uzuegbunam during his legal fights to exercise free speech as he publicly promotes his religious views, which have come under scrutiny for their purported anti-LGBTQ messages. 

In October 2020, Uzuegbunam won his Supreme Court case against his institution after Georgia Gwinnett that his speech, which included controversial flyers, “should not be constitutionally protected,” Campus Reform reported in March. 

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Academic Journal Publishes Hoax on Conservative Takeover of Higher Ed

Man speaking in front of crowd

A prestigious academic journal has egg on its face for publishing a hoax paper that claimed to find widespread concerns about “undue” conservative influence in higher education.

“Right-wing money strongly appears to induce faculty and administrators … to believe that they are pressured to hire and promote people they regard as inferior candidates, to promote ideas they regard as poor, and to suppress people and ideas they regard as superior,” according to the abstract in Higher Education Quarterly.

Peer reviewers failed to perform basic due diligence on the paper submitted in April and approved in October, neglecting, for example, to verify that authors “Sage Owens” and “Kal Alvers-Lynde III” were UCLA professors as they claimed. Owens even used an encrypted email service for correspondence with the journal.

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Princeton Students Call out Dean’s Rittenhouse Email for ‘Factual Inaccuracies, Misconstrual, and Virtue Signaling’

Kyle Rittenhouse

Some Princeton university students are pushing back after receiving a politically-charged email from a dean following the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

Princeton University students enrolled in the School of Public and International Affairs received a Nov. 20 email, obtained by Campus Reform, titled “Our Moral Duty” from the dean of the school, Dean Amaney Jamal.

“Last August, Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two protestors and wounded a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During his trial, he emotionally broke down on the stand, saying he was acting in self-defense. Today, he was acquitted of all six charges against him, including three of which were homicide related,” the email read.

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‘Academic Fiasco’: Duke Student Leaders Vetoed Pro-Israel Student Organization

Christina Wang

The Duke Student Government (DSG) recently “chartered” a chapter of Students Supporting Israel (SSI), only to uphold its president’s veto of the organization days later.

The Chronicle reported that the Nov. 10 approval followed SSI’s stated intention to be “clear and confident pro-Israel voice on college campuses and to support students in grassroots pro-Israel advocacy.” 

Five days later, however, the outlet reported that the DSG president, Christina Wang, vetoed the body’s approval of SSI over a now deleted social media interaction reportedly between the group and an individual that did not conform to expected conduct for a student organization.

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Students Meet to Move Campus ‘Beyond Policing’ After Shooting Near Campus

University of Texas at Austin hosts their "#NationalNightOut "

After a shooting involving two non-university individuals occurred near the University of Texas at Austin over Halloween weekend, a segment of the student body is working to realize a vision of campus safety “beyond policing.”

Following the incident, The UT Senate of College Councils hosted an event titled “Campus Safety Beyond Policing” during which students discussed various ways to pursue a supposedly safer campus without needing UTPD. 

The event was led by the Equity and Inclusion Team of the Senate of College Councils, which opened up the meeting by stating that the purpose of the meeting was to “gain insight into what safety means to you beyond policing and how to best advocate for your needs.”

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Commentary: There Is No Room for ‘Privileging Feelings’ in the Marketplace of Ideas

Person holding a phone, group of people taking a photo together

In 2015, the University of Chicago issued a statement, referred to as the “Chicago Statement,” in response to “recent events nationwide that have tested institutional commitments to free and open discourse.”  Through the statement, the University reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to free speech and expression, including its “overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.”  

The statement emphasized that:

“[E]ducation should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”  

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Students Behind Viral Arizona State University Video Face Code of Conduct Charges, Faculty Say That Is Racist

Screen cap of student with a laptop that has a "Police Matter" sticker on it.

Faculty members are pushing back against Arizona State University for charging Code of Conduct violations against the female students who attempted to kick out two White men from the school’s Multicultural Community of Excellence Center earlier this year.

Campus Reform obtained a copy of the email asking faculty and staff to sign an “internal letter requesting that the University Administration revoke Code of Conduct violation charges against” the students behind the now viral video from September.

Leah Sarat, an associate professor of Religious Studies, sent the mass email, which was co-signed by 11 other individuals, on Nov. 2.

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Arizona State University Professor Calls Traditional Grading Racist, Suggests ‘Labor-Based Grading’ Instead

Asao Inoue

Arizona State University professor Asao Inoue recently ranted about “White language supremacy in writing classrooms,” during which he called for abolishing traditional grading in favor of “labor-based grading.”

The latter method scores assignments based on the amount of effort students put towards in the work, devaluing quality and accuracy in the grading.

During Nov. 5 lecture at the University of Tennessee titled “The Possibilities of Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies”, Inoue claimed that “White language supremacy in writing classrooms is due to the uneven and diverse linguistic legacies that everyone inherits, and the racialized white discourses that are used as standards, which give privilege to those students who embody those habits of white language already”.

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President Recalled, 17 Senators Suspended: Accusations of Transphobia, Election Integrity Rock Student Government

Arsalan Darbin

Students at the University of Houston voted in a Special Recall Election Oct. 26 and 27 to remove Student Government Association President Arsalan Darbin from his position.

A resolution to recall Darbin was set in motion Oct. 6 by Senator Abraham Sanchez, former president of the University of Houston College Democrats, who accused Darbin of fostering a hostile work environment.

“The resolution was very general, like I set a hostile work environment or fail to perform my duties,” Darbin told Campus Reform. “Just very general allegation[s]”.

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Professor Canceled Because He Wasn’t Upset over a Fake Racial Bias Incident

Steven Earnest

A professor at Coastal Carolina University was canceled after he emailed his department questioning their reaction to a perceived racial bias incident that proved to be baseless.

“Free speech and basic civility are disappearing,” the theater professor Steven Earnest told Campus Reform. “So, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I still am.”

On Sept. 16, a non-White visiting artist working with non-White theatre students at the South Carolina university wrote a list of names on the board so that the students could connect as a group.

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UPDATE: College Republicans Can Now Sell ‘Back the Blue’ Apparel, But Only to Members

Campus Reform reported earlier this month on the denial of a “Back the Blue” shirt designed by the College Republicans chapter at Ohio Northern University. 

ONU College Republicans president Madeline Markwood submitted a shirt design to the university’s Communications and Marketing Department with the pro-police phrase printed on the sleeve and a Thin Blue Line flag printed on the back. 

The department denied Markwood’s submission because other schools have had to “retract and apologize” for similar initiatives.

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Virginia Scholar Refuses to Cave to Pressure Over Tweet Criticizing Bisexual Superman

Sophia Nelson

A scholar at a Virginia university is not backing down as students and faculty seek to get her fired for a tweet she posted criticizing DC Comics’ new bisexual Superman character.

“Regrettably, this has all gone too far,” Sophia Nelson, scholar in residence at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, says in an open letter to the university community dated Friday.

“I read the student petition against me in a Fox News article posted on Wednesday, October 27th,” Nelson writes, “and was devastated to read these words: ‘Our community is hurt and disappointed in the way this university has dealt with the homophobic and racist statements of Professor Nelson.’”

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Harvard’s Endowment Ballooned by $11 Billion As It Fought off Student Class-Action Lawsuit over Tuition Costs

Outside of Harvard Law School

Harvard University announced Thursday that its endowment grew by $11.3 billion to a record $53.2 billion during the fiscal year ending in June, a year-over-year increase of 33.6%.

The announcement comes after Harvard, which runs the nation’s largest private university endowment, defeated a lawsuit from students who took umbrage with the school’s decision to not offer partial tuition refunds when it moved to online-only classes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fiscal year 2021 was an extraordinary year. Public and private markets both continued their strong performance, which allowed the endowment to not only increase its distribution to the University, but also continue to grow during this critical time when pandemic-related financial pressures challenge all of higher education,” Harvard Management Company Chief Executive N.P. Narvekar said in a report Thursday.

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University of Minnesota Beats First Amendment Challenge to ‘Heckler’s Veto’ Against Ben Shapiro Event

Ben Shapiro speaking

Sixteen minutes after learning that a University of Minnesota student group booked conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to speak at its main campus in Minneapolis, then-president Eric Kaler declared, “I do not want this in the middle of campus.”

All he knew at that point, four months before the February 2018 event, was that Shapiro was “a right wing speaker and he made some appearances on other campuses.”

Citing security needs, the university ended up putting Shapiro in a venue on its St. Paul campus, far from student housing. Demand far exceeded capacity, and a regent accused the university of passing over a larger venue on the main campus that was easier to secure.

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Commentary: New Group Equips Parents with Seven Tools to Combat Wokeness in K-12 Education

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

It’s no secret that the far left has infiltrated higher education with its radical ideas. But now, woke ideology has come for K-12 classrooms across the country. 

“As parents, we send our kids to school to learn to think critically, to figure out how to solve problems, and to respectfully discuss and resolve differences of opinion,” Ashley Jacobs, executive director of Parents Unite, said Friday during the new organization’s first conference. 

“But,” Jacobs said, “our educational systems are not enabling these skills, and in some cases, [they are] stifling them.” 

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‘Majority of Faculty Agree with Many or Even Most of My Positions’: Canceled Professor Speaks Out

Dorian Abbot

A University of Chicago professor, whose prestigious lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was cancelled at the behest of a Twitter mob who disagreed with his viewpoints, warns that “free society is at risk” as “woke ideology” and cancel culture takes hold.

Dorian Abbot, a professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, had his appearance at the Carlson Lecture cancelled on Sept. 30 “to avoid controversy” just eight days after a Twitter mob consisting of MIT students, postdocs and recent alumni went after him, according to a written account published on Common Sense by Bari Weiss

For 10 years, Abbot has been teaching and researching climate change and the possibility of life on extrasolar planets, never considering himself a very political person until about five years ago when he noticed a shift in attitude toward discussions involving a difference in opinions, Abbot wrote on Weiss’ Substack.

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Commentary: Guided by Faith, Divinity Student Fought His ‘Anti-Racist’ Princeton Seminary — and Won

Timothy Keiderling’s decision to enroll in the Princeton Theological Seminary reflected his commitment “to give my life to work for justice and to live out the values of the Kingdom of God.” In a letter to the seminary’s president, Craig Barnes, he wrote that he “would sacrifice anything to make sure that my brothers and sisters see relief from their oppression.”

But the seminary’s concept of justice clashed with Keiderling’s conscience when PTS required him to attend “anti-racism” training sessions that he considered a form of indoctrination. He refused to participate in the sessions even after being reminded that they were mandatory. And then – early this year, with the potent support of the newly founded Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) – he convinced the seminary to exempt him from the training.

It was “a real victory which can advance the academic freedom cause substantially,” says Princeton Professor Robert George, a leader of the AFA who acted as an adviser to Keiderling, and whom the latter credits with making his victory possible. “Instead of a victim, we have a victor — one who stuck to his guns and persuaded his institution not only to respect his right of conscience, but to acknowledge the difference between education and indoctrination.”

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New Study Sounds the Alarm on Students’ ‘Self-Reported Cognitive Distortions,’ Support of ‘Trigger Warnings,’ and ‘Safetyism’

College student studying

A recent study examined the association between college students’ “self-reported prevalence of cognitive distortions and their endorsement of safetyism-inspired beliefs, the belief that words can harm, and the broad use of trigger warnings.”

Published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the article utilizes the definition of “safetyism” found in the book The Coddling of the American Mind, intending the term to mean a “culture that treats safety – including emotional safety – as a sacred value, which results in adherents diminished willingness to sacrifice safety for other moral or practical considerations.”

The four-person research team included three members from the University of California, Irvine, including the lead author, and one investigator from St. Edward’s University in Texas. 

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Marijuana Use Soaring Among College Students While Alcohol Use Drops, Study Finds

two people passing a blunt

Marijuana use among college students has surged while alcohol use dropped, according to a recent National Institute of Health and National Institute of Drug Abuse study.

The “Monitoring the Future” study found that 44% of college students said they used marijuana in 2020, an increase from 38% in 2015. More, “daily” or “near daily” marijuana use among college students increased from 5% to 8% over the last five years.

The number of college students who said they consumed alcohol, on the other hand, dipped from over 62% in 2019 to 56% in 2020, according to the report. Binge drinking among college students, defined as having five or more drinks in one outing, decreased from 32% in 2019 to 24% in 2020.

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Merit System Is Unjust Because It Rewards Productive Individuals, Professors Argue

Woman on laptop working outside

Professors from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs are arguing that “success and merit” are “barriers” to the equity agenda. 

“Admitting that the normative definitions of success and merit are in and of themselves barriers to achieving the goals of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary but not sufficient to create change,” professors Beth Mitchneck and Jessi L. Smith recently wrote for Inside Higher Education.

Mitchneck and Smith attributed those definitions to a “narrow definition of merit limited to a neoliberal view of the university.” Specifically, they express concern that universities receive funding and recognition based on the individual performances of professors’ own work such as peer reviewed journals and studies. 

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They Took It: The University of Texas at San Antonio Abolishes ‘Come and Take It’ Football Chant

University of Texas at San Antonio Inaugural Football Game

The University of Texas at San Antonio is no longer using “Come and Take It” as a football chant.

In August, university President Taylor Eighmy expressed concern that “Come and Take It” is inseparably linked to political debates, including those over gun rights. 

The chant is emblazoned on a flag waved at UTSA’s football games and also used as a rallying cry during the fourth quarter. 

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College Textbook Blames COVID Deaths on Americans Who Oppose Lockdowns

A textbook assigned to students at a North Carolina community college states that COVID-19 protocols “saved tens of thousands of lives” while Americans who disagreed with those restrictions caused deaths.

“Most Americans responded to the pandemic by limiting their social contact, covering their faces when going out, and washing their hands thoroughly after they did,” the passage begins and then continues with, “yet lives were lost because some Americans held beliefs that were at odds with the facts.”

The textbook appeared in the POL 120: American Government course at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte.

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Indiana Attorney General Investigates University’s Ties to Chinese Communist Party

Xi Jinping

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that his office will investigate the  and the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University. 

“The investigation is aimed at identifying and getting to the bottom of the true intent of any relationships between Valparaiso University’s programming and the Chinese Communist Party,” a statement from Rokita’s office reads. 

Valparaiso, a private Lutheran institution, received $1.1 million from the Chinese government between 2010-2019 and acknowledges the Rokita’s investigation on its Confucius Institute website. 

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University of California Freezes Safety Officer Hiring until Campuses Submit ‘Holistic, Inclusive’ Plan

University of California Berkeley Campus

University of California’s new Community Safety Plan shifts major responsibilities and funding away from UC Police Departments.

The plan, based on an 80-page report released this summer by the Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board, was announced by UC President Michael Drake last week and will be implemented across all 10 campuses. It reflects UC’s “commitment to equity and social justice.”

“Under this new model, a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals, campus police, social service providers, police accountability boards and other personnel will work together to prioritize the well-being of the entire UC community,” Drake said in a message to the university. “This reimagined structure will ensure that the m,ost appropriate responders are deployed to meet our community’s specific needs with tailored care resources and services.”

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University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media Dean Resigns Post after Nikole Hannah-Jones Controversy

Susan King of UNC

Susan King is stepping down as dean of the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. 

The university announced the decision yesterday. 

The Hussman School faced backlash from progressives after it apparently backed off from a plan to give Hannah-Jones tenure for her work as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. 

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Biden Administration Plans to Cancel $5.8 Billion More in Student Loan Debt

Man on macbook working

The Department of Education announced Thursday that it will cancel student loan debt for over 300,000 borrowers with severe disabilities.

The program, set to erase over $5.8 billion in total debt, will begin in September and apply to over 323,000 borrowers classified as having a “total and permanent disability” by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Education Department announced. Borrowers will now receive automatic discharges of their debt, whereas previously needed to fill out applications.

“Today’s action removes a major barrier that prevented far too many borrowers with disabilities from receiving the total and permanent disability discharges they are entitled to under the law,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in the announcement.

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Professor Calls America Failed Experiment: ‘Only for White People … Didn’t Work for Black People’

Chanelle Wilson

A Bryn Mawr College professor argues that America is “only for white people.”

Speaking on the “Refuse Facism” podcast, Chanelle Wilson, assistant professor of education and director of Africana Studies at the women’s liberal arts college, said the country “didn’t work for black people.”

“Damn sure it didn’t work for indigenous people,” she continued. “It did not work for people of Mexican ancestry. It didn’t work for Asians, it didn’t work for Jewish people, it didn’t work for Japanese people. It didn’t work for Chinese people.”

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Memo Reveals University of North Carolina Plan to Sideline ‘Diversity of Thought’ Ahead of Nikole Hannah-Jones Appointment

Nikole Hannah Jones

A memo obtained by Campus Reform reveals that the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media considered “diversity of thought” to be in conflict with its efforts to achieve social justice objectives.

Hussman Dean Susan King wrote the August 1, 2020 memo to university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. She stated, “There is a fundamental conflict between efforts to promote racial equity and understandings of structural racism, and efforts to promote diversity of thought. These two things cannot sit side by side without coming into conflict.”

King wrote the memo in anticipation of Nikole Hannah-Jones joining the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and teaching a class based on the “1619 Project.” 

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Law Professor with Naturally Acquired COVID Immunity Battles George Mason University’s Strict Vaccine Mandate

A George Mason University law professor with naturally acquired immunity from COVID is fighting against his employer’s strict COVID vaccine mandate.

Antonin Scalia Law School Professor Todd Zywicki, who recovered from a bout with COVID and has blood tests showing antibodies to the virus, said he will not agree to the university’s policy that employees get the vaccine or face numerous sanctions.

“George Mason is forcing me to choose between serving my students on one hand and undergoing an unnecessary and potentially risky medical procedure on the other,” Zywicki said in a statement.

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University Refuses to Rehire Math Professor Who Criticized Slavery Reparations

Saint Joseph’s University will not renew its contract with math Professor Gregory Manco despite the fact that a three-month investigation into his Twitter history found he had not violated any campus policies.

Manco has been a non-tenured assistant professor of math at Saint Joseph’s since 2005 and also a volunteer assistant baseball coach, but tweets in February criticizing slavery reparations and racial bias training had prompted the probe even though he used an anonymous account.

He was put on administrative leave during the probe. Its outcome, announced in May, determined Manco could not be found guilty of violating any policies, citing “insufficient evidence.”

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