Posts Tagged Colleges and Universities

Book notes – The Shadow University

(Part 1 of 2. Part 2 is here).

Ralph Raico mentioned this book in a speech he gave on the occasion of his being awarded the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Cause of Liberty. (Read the speech on the Mises Institute website.) Here’s the relevant section from the speech:

Today America is in the grip of a dominant political class.  It consists of the media, the educational establishment, and the state apparatus–the federal bureaucrats, the federal judges–as well as their supporters at every level of government.

Paul Gottfried has described this political class and its aims and goals very well, in his book, After Liberalism [I’m reading that, too. Book notes to follow].  It is a self-appointed elite that fully intends to bring about a radical restructuring of our society, to alter all of our inherited ideas and values in the direction of egalitarianism and socialism.  In the end, there will be a systematic redistribution of property, from the rightful owners to the “needy.”  So, massive expropriation, together with a crusade to remake the nature of man–the Bolshevik Revolution, but without, to all appearances, any need for mass murder.  It will all be done through what passes for “democracy” today.

In the colleges and universities, the agenda of this political class is virtually unopposed. Unless you are actually in the midst of academic life today, you will find it hard to imagine what it is like.

There are whole departments, Women’s Studies, Black Studies, in some places Chicano Studies, and others devoted to this task.  On every campus there is a Diversity Office, dedicated to bringing more professors of victimology on to the campus.  There are speech codes and the incessant war against fraternities.  Agitation and violence are sanctioned and permitted for privileged groups, while conservative speakers often are not even allowed on the campus because of a threatened riot.

In many schools–including the best schools– “sensitivity training” for the whole class of entering freshmen is mandatory.  A new profession has been created, sensitivity “facilitators,” whose job is to remake the personalities of the students. You can read about this in documented detail in the excellent book by the distinguished scholar Alan Kors and the civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate, The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses. Read the rest of this entry »


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The truth about (American) colleges

Gary North writes regularly for the libertarian, free-market economics website LewRockwell.com. I’ve been impressed by his no-nonsense, fact-filled, humour-laced style (a combination of honest businessman and high-powered professor).

Links in these articles led me to Dr North’s own website. Here, there’s free stuff and a subscribers-only area. The free stuff includes sections on college finances and study habits, both of which I found fascinating. The latter especially I found of potential practical use, especially the sections on note-taking and on writing book reports.

Somewhere amongst the numerous articles and reports, I found a reference to this Forbes article Is College Worth It?, and this New York Times 2006  one on Brand U. This article included the following, which caught my eyes as discussions about changing names (of the department, of the faculty) pop up fairly regularly in formal meetings where I work in Japan.

I RECENTLY did some research for a satirical novel set at a university. The idea was to have a bunch of gags about how colleges prostitute themselves to improve their U.S. News & World Report rankings and keep up a healthy supply of tuition-paying students, while wrapping their craven commercialism in high-minded-sounding academic blather.

I would keep coming up with what I thought were pretty outrageous burlesques of this stuff and then run them by one of my professor friends and he’d say, Oh, yeah, we’re doing that.

One of my best bits, or so I thought, was about how the fictional university in my novel had hired a branding consultant to come up with a new name with the hip, possibility-rich freshness needed to appeal to today’s students. Two weeks later, a friend called to say it was on the front page of The Times: “To Woo Students, Colleges Choose Names That Sell.” Exhibit A was Beaver College, which had changed its name to Arcadia University. Applications doubled.

There was a Japanese newspaper article on specific cases of this type in Japan just a couple of months ago which my wife pointed out to me. I’ll post the link later.

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I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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