Category: Academia

“Oppressive” Word Alert: Brandeis University Warns That “Trigger Warnings” Can Be Triggering

It is now common for universities to list offensive terms to be avoided by faculty and students, as we have previously discussed at schools like Michigan, James Madison, and Berkeley.  Now, Brandeis has issued a list of “oppressive” words that include such expressions as “killing two birds with one stone” and “beating a dead horse.” However, the school did not issue a trigger warning because “trigger warning” is now on the list as . . . well . . . triggering. Continue reading ““Oppressive” Word Alert: Brandeis University Warns That “Trigger Warnings” Can Be Triggering”

Former Miami Law Professor Files Federal Challenge Over Alleged Race and Gender Basis

“Unjust Enrichment”: Federal Court Rules That the University of Delaware Can Be Sued For Refunds Due To Shift To Virtual Classes

There is a major new ruling in Delaware that could impact universities and colleges across the country. A federal judge ruled in favor of allowing students at the University of Delaware to proceed with their claim that the school “unjustly enriched itself” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judge Stephanos Bibas found the claims (and demand for partial refunds) “plausible.” While not controlling precedent outside of Delaware, the ruling could encourage other such challenges across the country. Continue reading ““Unjust Enrichment”: Federal Court Rules That the University of Delaware Can Be Sued For Refunds Due To Shift To Virtual Classes”

“Heteroromantic” Privilege? James Madison University Pulls Controversial Diversity Training Video

James Madison University has been under fire for a controversial video used for diversity and social justice training of employees. The video details groups of privileged and oppressed persons. While employees were reportedly told not to share the material with others, the material became public before the school suddenly pulled it off of its sites. What stood out for me was the inclusion of the term “heteroromantic” as a privileged group juxtaposed with the countervailing oppressed groups of “homoromantic, Aromantic, bi/panromatic” individuals.  I had not previously seen those categories in such materials, so I sought out some definitions. Continue reading ““Heteroromantic” Privilege? James Madison University Pulls Controversial Diversity Training Video”

English Professor Claims Right To Use Racial Slurs In the Name of Racial Justice

There is an interesting case out of the United Kingdom on academic freedom versus anti-discrimination policies. Aysha Khanom was fired as an academic adviser with Leeds Beckett University after making racist comments about black conservative commentator Calvin Robinson. Khanom is making an equally controversial claim in court: her racist language is protected speech as an advocate for critical race theory. It is another distasteful but important case over the protections afforded academics in their communications outside of universities or colleges.

Continue reading “English Professor Claims Right To Use Racial Slurs In the Name of Racial Justice”

D.C. Sued Over Use Of Stun Grenades and Chemicals Against Reporters in Racial Justice Protests

We previously discussed the hypocrisy of the D.C. government and the media after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser admitted in court that it was the Metropolitan Police Department who used tear gas and stun grenades near the Lafayette Park in 2020. D.C. counsel also insisted that such use was entirely appropriate and sought to dismiss the lawsuit by the Black Lives Matter movement.  The media effectively buried the story despite flogging a false narrative against former Attorney General Bill Barr for over a year in non-stop coverage. Barr was even denounced by members of my own faculty. Now, reporters are suing the city for attacking the media. Yet, there is no outcry in the media or from the left against Bowser and her government. Continue reading “D.C. Sued Over Use Of Stun Grenades and Chemicals Against Reporters in Racial Justice Protests”

Bryn Mawr College Professor Declares America a “Failed Experiment” Created Just “For White People”

Chanelle Wilson is an assistant professor of education and director of Africana Studies at the affluent all-women’s Bryn Mawr College. She is the author of a new book on teaching critical race theory and anti-race practices at universities. On a recent podcast, Wilson offered a glimpse into those teachings which include the “fact” that America is a failed experiment that has done nothing for any group other than white people. Continue reading “Bryn Mawr College Professor Declares America a “Failed Experiment” Created Just “For White People””

Law Professors Claim The Recall Of Newsom Would Be Unconstitutional

Former Santa Clara Professor Arrested For Allegedly Starting Fire Near Dixie Blaze

We often discuss academics who find themselves in the middle of criminal or political controversies but few are as serious or as baffling as Gary Stephen Maynard, 47. The former Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University criminal justice professor has been arrested for allegedly starting a fire near that raging Dixie Fire (as well as other fires). His arrest follows what appears to be a mental breakdown. Maynard served as a lecturer in criminal justice studies specializing in criminal justice, cults and deviant behavior. Continue reading “Former Santa Clara Professor Arrested For Allegedly Starting Fire Near Dixie Blaze”

Oregon Suspends Need For High School Graduates To Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, and Math

I was once told by a pilot that jet bridges are the most dangerous places in aviation because “no one dies on the plane.” When someone has a fatal episode on a plane, the preference is to move the person outside to “call the code” on the bridge rather than require the plane to be held or quarantined due to the death. If you just move them outside, they died somewhere else. The result is that it can be challenging to determine how many people actually die on airplanes.

That story came to mind this week as more schools moved to end standardized testing — a move that can guarantee no one fails in their schools. In this case, students who lack proficiency in basic subjects are being sent out into society or even college to fail somewhere else. Anywhere other than the school. Continue reading “Oregon Suspends Need For High School Graduates To Be Proficient in Reading, Writing, and Math”

Better Sooner Than Later? Oklahoma Coaches Claim Right to Discipline Players For Unpopular Viewpoints

There is an interesting case developing in the University of Oklahoma on free speech on campuses. Volleyball Player Kylee McLaughlin sued coaches Lindsey and Kyle Walton after she was allegedly excluded from the team for expressing conservative or unpopular views. What is notable is that, in the motion to dismiss, the coaches argue that they have a right, if not an obligation, to exclude players who are unpopular due to their views. According to the complaint, they further suggested that such action prepares “Sooner” athletes for the real world. While the case has drawn little attention beyond the site The College Fix, it raises serious issues for academia and free speech (as well as an intentional infliction of emotional distress claim). Continue reading “Better Sooner Than Later? Oklahoma Coaches Claim Right to Discipline Players For Unpopular Viewpoints”

“How Much Can You Afford?”: Baltimore Professor Sentenced For Selling Math Grades

Prof. Edward C. Ennels taught math at Baltimore City Community College but appears to have been offering a running lesson on supply side economic theory.  Ennels reportedly was selling grades on a sliding scale depending on your worth and your ambition: $150 for a C; $250 for a B; and $500 for an A.  He has now earned jail time after pleading to 11 misdemeanor charges, including bribery and misconduct in office. Continue reading ““How Much Can You Afford?”: Baltimore Professor Sentenced For Selling Math Grades”

Baylor Professor Calls for Prosecution of Criticism of Fauci and Other Scientists as Hate Crime

Physicist Richard P. Feynman once said “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” Feynman’s statement captures how science depends upon constant questioning and challenging of assumptions. Yet, what is healthy debate to some is criminal dissent to others. Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine is calling for federal hate-crime protections to be extended to cover criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists. The frequent MSNBC and CNN guest wants Congress to expand hate crimes to “scientists currently targeted by far-right extremism in the United States.” Continue reading “Baylor Professor Calls for Prosecution of Criticism of Fauci and Other Scientists as Hate Crime”

Professors: Going to Public Places Should be a “Privilege” Reserved for the Vaccinated

Do you have a right to leave your home to eat or recreate? Apparently not if you are a “non-vac.” NYU Professor Arthur Caplan and Yale Professor Sarah Hull have published an essay in MedPageToday declaring that unvaccinated people should be barred from public places from airplanes to movie theaters to restaurants. What is most striking is how the two academics (who teach bioethics) declare that appearing public is a privilege, not a right. They are not alone in such views. CNN’s Don Lemon recently called for barring unvaccinated people from offices and businesses, insisting “It has nothing to do with liberty. You don’t have the freedom and the liberty to put other people in jeopardy.”  The essay comes as New York announces mandatory proof of vaccines will be required for public places.

Continue reading “Professors: Going to Public Places Should be a “Privilege” Reserved for the Vaccinated”

George Mason Law Professor Challenges School Vaccine Mandate [Updated]

George Mason University law professor Todd Zywicki is objecting to the school’s mandatory vaccine policy for faculty and students as a condition to returning to campus.  Zywicki is raising an issue that is largely being ignored by the Administration and the media in the push for mandatory vaccine rules by private companies: the millions with natural antibodies to the virus. Zywicki recovered from the virus and says that blood tests confirm that he has antibodies. Given that test, he does not want to expose himself to an unnecessary vaccine given the risk (albeit low) of complications or a negative reaction.

Continue reading “George Mason Law Professor Challenges School Vaccine Mandate [Updated]”