Category: Academics

California Appellate Court Slams USC For Denying Basic Due Process To Accused Student

We have yet another court ruling that a university denied the most basic due process protections to a student accused of sexual assault.  For example, the University of Southern California appeared entirely unmotivated and uninterested in determining  if stains on clothing of the victim was blood or red paint from a party where “students splattered paint on each other.”  What is astonishing is that, while spending little time to guarantee a fair process, the university has continued to litigate this case to try to protect its right to summarily convict accused students.  Claremont McKenna College and the University of California-Santa Barbara were previously cited for such due process violations.

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Evergreen College Faculty Seek To Ban The Use Of “Covenant” As A Term Of “Cultural Genocide”

theevergreenstate640_c0-0-640-373_s885x516We have followed as the administration and faculty at The Evergreen State College have undermined their institution through national controversies and a failure to defend academic values.  This would lead to a sharp drop in applications.  Under deterred by the costs to their institution, the faculty seems intent on confirming the worst stereotypes of their school. The latest is a resolution that the faculty has proposed to ban the word “covenant” from official documents. The faculty drafters insist that the term reflects “cultural genocide” and will ban its use despite most people who fail to see the common term in the same way. Continue reading “Evergreen College Faculty Seek To Ban The Use Of “Covenant” As A Term Of “Cultural Genocide””

Columbia Students Shutdown Comedian For Joking About Race and Sexual Orientation

200px-ColumbiaNYUCoat.svgWe previously discussed how the attack on free speech on campuses around the world has led to even comedians being banned for insulting or disrespecting any group.  Many comedians are now avoiding gigs at universities to avoid controversies. The latest such example occurred at Columbia where a fairly typical skit led to stand-up comedian and former “SNL” writer Nimesh Patel being forced off stage by students upset that he made jokes about race and sexual orientation. Continue reading “Columbia Students Shutdown Comedian For Joking About Race and Sexual Orientation”

Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments

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Temple University professor and CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill caused a stir after he spoke before the United Nations and made pro-Palestinian statements that critics claimed were thinly veiled calls for the elimination of Israel.  CNN promptly fired Hill and many at Temple University demanded that the media studies professor also be fired.  Temple correctly stood firm on the free speech rights of faculty to speak out on such important but controversial issues. While disassociating itself from the merits of the commentary, the university stated that “we acknowledge that he has a constitutionally protected right to express his opinion as a private citizen.” Continue reading “Temple University Refuses To Fire Professor Dumped By CNN For Anti-Israel Comments”

Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors

Seal_of_University_of_California,_Berkeley.svgThere is an interesting controversy at the University of California (Berkeley) after history professor Brian DeLay tweeted  that it is time for the school to get rid of the use of end-of-semester student evaluations for hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Such evaluations have long been a critical measure of a professor’s credentials.  However, Professor DeLay insists that such evaluations tend to be lower for female instructors and people of color. Thus, his proposal is to stop the use of evaluations for all faculty in decisions related to hiring or promotion. Continue reading “Berkeley Professor Proposes Banning Use of Student Evaluations As Disfavoring Female and Minority Instructors”

Christopher Newport University Takes Stand For Free Speech

300px-CaptChristopherNewportStatue01We previously discussed the courageous stand of my alma mater, University of Chicago, against the growing speech codes and “safe spaces” in campuses around the country. Purdue University also took a stand in favor of free speech in adopting “the Chicago principles.” Now, Christopher Newport University (a university that I have long admired) has joined the ranks of free speech institutions with its own statement rejecting speech controls and regulations. The statement below states that “Although the University greatly values civility, and although all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.” Bravo CNU Bravo.

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Rutgers Reverses Ruling Against Professor Who Wrote About Hating All White People

downloadWe have been discussing the often inconsistent approach taken to controversial statements or postings of students and faculty at our universities and colleges.  The latest such case involves Rutgers University history professor James Livingston, who stated in a post that he hated all white people and wanted them out of his neighborhood.  The school has now cleared him of all wrongdoing and that is a victory for free speech. However, it is not clear if the same result would have occurred if the content of the hateful message were directed at blacks or minorities.  The concern is the inconsistency of a content-based approach to such sanctions.

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UCLA Refuses To Cancel Pro-Palestinian Conference Despite Pressure From Politicians and Activists

4929447497826304UCLA has departed from a disturbing trend toward speech censorship on campuses and refused to yield to demands to shutdown a pro-Palestinian conference, including demands from Congressman Brad Sherman and the Los Angeles City Council. In demanding the action, both Sherman and the city council have shown again a rising anti-free speech trend coming from the left — similar to the devastating rollback in Europe. Continue reading “UCLA Refuses To Cancel Pro-Palestinian Conference Despite Pressure From Politicians and Activists”

Leeds Trinity University Warns Faculty Not To Use Capital Letters That Might “Scare [students] Into Failure”

imagesThere is a growing concern about University’s treating students like emotional wrecks triggered by any routine terms or opposing views.  Leed’s Trinity journalism department however has reached a new level of manic mollycoddling with a warning to all faculty that they need to avoid using capital letters because uppercase letters may “scare them into failure.”

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Turley To Speak On Thursday At National Press Club On Presidential Removal Under The 25th Amendment

pj_site_2I have the pleasure of speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday about the use of the 25th Amendment to remove an American President.  In light of my debate on Monday in Dallas on the standard of impeachment with CNN’s Jeff Toobin, there certainly does seem a theme, or at least a focus, in these events after the midterm elections.  Organized as a a National Press Club Headliners event featured an impressive array of panelists.  The event is entitled “Presidential Jeopardy: Impeachment, Indictment and the 25th Amendment” and will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018, 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the Bloomberg Room of The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor Continue reading “Turley To Speak On Thursday At National Press Club On Presidential Removal Under The 25th Amendment”

Turley To Debate Toobin On Impeachment in Dallas On Monday

maxresdefaultturley-captureThe National Constitution Center and the Old Parkland Debate Series has announced that a debate will be held on November 12th between George Washington Professor Jonathan Turley and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on impeachment.  The debate will occur a week after the 2018 midterm elections and many have called for the impeachment of both President Donald Trump and Judge Brett Kavanaugh following a Democratic takeover of the United States House of Representatives.  The debate question is: Resolved, the framers designed impeachment as a political, rather than a legal process.  Toobin will argue that the Framers intended impeachment to be a political judgment while Turley will argue that the Framers intended more of a legal judgment. Turley was the last lead counsel in an impeachment trial in the Senate and Toobin previously worked for Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh.

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Idaho School Staff Suspended After Going To Halloween Party As Trump’s Wall and Mexican Stereotypes

downloadWe have another Halloween costume controversy.  Just yesterday we discussed the order of the College of Charleston for students to take mandatory diversity training for dressing as Mexicans and border police. Now fourteen staff at an Idaho primary school have been put on administrative leave for dressing up as a border wall and Mexicans. Superintendent Josh Middleton  has declared the costumes to be “insensitive” and “inappropriate” costumes.  The costume competition was billed as featuring “the most stereotypical outfits.” Continue reading “Idaho School Staff Suspended After Going To Halloween Party As Trump’s Wall and Mexican Stereotypes”

Poll: One In Three College Students Believe Violence Is Justified To Stop “Hate Speech”

Online survey of 800 full-time undergraduates conducted by McLaughlin & Associates and sponsored by Yale University’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program found that a startling number of colleges students believe that violence is justified to silence what they consider to be hate speech.  Today we discussed an FSU student arrested for battery in a confrontation with conservative students.  I will be having a debate at Rice University over calls for schools and government to outlaw hate speech.  As with many in the free speech community, I have been opposed to such criminalizing of speech. Continue reading “Poll: One In Three College Students Believe Violence Is Justified To Stop “Hate Speech””

FSU Student Charged With Battery In Confrontation With Campus Conservatives

Unknown-7Florida_State_University_seal.svgWe have seen an increase in physical assaults on campuses in the last few years as some students and professors seek to harass or silence those with opposing views.  The latest example comes with the criminal battery charge filed against FSU student Shelby Anne Shoup.  She was captured on videotape as they threw chocolate milk on conservative students and kicked over a sign for Ron DeSantis.  Notably, it was the FSU police who made the arrest.  Notably, we also discussed a poll today showing that one out of three college students believe that violence is justified to stop what they consider to be hate speech.  The incident raises a tough question whether such an offense warrants a criminal charge, though it is possible for a court to allow an expungement for some types of misdemeanors in the case of first offenders.

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Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks