Higher-Ed Follies du Jour - 2015-02-26

  • I encourage you to read the long but worthwhile article "Grievance School" by Steven F. Hayward at National Review; it's a piece with which I was much impressed when I read it in my dead-trees copy a few days ago.

    Of all the college towns fixed in the American mind as bastions of elite leftism, a Big Four stand out: Cambridge, Madison, Berkeley, and Boulder. It was no wonder, then, that the University of Colorado at Boulder received national attention, and raised many eyebrows, when it announced a couple of years back that it wanted to hire an identified conservative as a visiting faculty member — the beginning of a privately funded pilot program to bring conservative perspectives to its storied campus. I ended up being the guinea pig for this unorthodox experiment.

    Steven was (briefly and unsuccessfully) accused of "bigotry" for un-PC observations at the Power Line blog.

  • And more recently, Steven has been one of the scholars targeted by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Rep Raul has demanded that Steven's employer, Pepperdine, produce "detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming". Steven calls Raul and his ilk "McCarthyite witch hunters" and it's hard to disagree.

    I do hope the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on this topic, because I’d love to ask Rep. Grijava some questions in return, such as which contacts at Greenpeace ginned up the particulars of his complaint (since I doubt the worthy Rep. or his staff actually read Power Line, which is cited in his letter). Further, it will be fun to ask a series of questions about the incentives of government-funded scientists, such as what might happen to their government research grants if they didn’t report a result congenial to Rep. Grijalva. More to the point: why pick on the seven of us at universities?  Does he really just say “how high?” every time Greenpeace asks him to jump?

  • And, yes, I've heard of Pepperdine:

  • Another scholar under investigation by "Tailgunner Raul" Grijalva is Roger Pielke, Jr. His reaction is also very much worth your attention. His heresy was minor: asserting (with plenty of solid evidence) that it was “incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.” Pielke's conclusion:

    The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

    When “witch hunts” are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for both science and politics.

    Good luck unringing that bell.

  • Katherine Timpf reports that Wesleyan University is now offering "Open House", a "LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM" dorm. The uncensored version of the acronym: "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism".

    Ironically, it's on Church Street.

Last Modified 2015-02-27 5:02 AM EDT