Fruits of a credibility collapse
It's what the facilities manager at my old makerspace used to call Rule 0: Don't do something that will make me make a rule. Learn to read the room. Once you push things too far and there has to be a rule, you can't resort to judgement anymore when there are exceptions. And you have no one to blame but yourself.
It used to be that adults that were high school graduates wanted their children to go to college, get an education, and better themselves. Based on my circle of friends, that is no longer true. It appears that the only parents I know pushing college to their kids, now, are the college graduate parents. And not all of them.
This is a huge change from 20 years ago and a significant indicator of just how much colleges and universities have turned themselves into clowns and can't even see it. As Glenn notes: "With 57 genders, coloring books and crying rooms for election results, endless crusades against “whiteness” and “heterosexism,” and the like" .... and the Hollywood admissions scandal and all the other intellectual scandals ... who actually thinks that higher education is serious anymore? Especially with annual attendance costs double what a liberal arts major can earn in their first year. The value of the education is rapidly approaching zero and the cost is rapidly approaching infinity.
So, the clowns expect deference to their position that affirmative action is the best method of creating more clowns.
Where it began...
Where that lead to...
Children in 25 year old bodies borrowing or being subsidized by parents with tens of thousands of dollars for coloring books and crying rooms.
Where we are to day...
Go pound sand, Higher Education. You are no longer trustworthy.
No one likes to defer to an idiot.
My favorite PhD professors drove Volvos or trucks or maybe a Corvair. They all took their profession and their discipline seriously and conveyed it assiduously in the classroom. That was the time of lecture and discussion.
My recent encounter with academia has been different. I discovered a place where “professor” had become a lifestyle with a decent salary, a unique status, and an expensive car. The current occupants of the hallowed halls are unsure of who they are. Their diplomas hang on the walls like used rock concert tickets, a necessary signal apparently, and a reminder that they once did something somewhere.
Otherwise, the ivory tower is a place of arcane protocol, continually updated policy manuals, and discussions of the placement of commas and periods. The students who run that gauntlet for four years are an essential afterthought. Skills and knowledge are a serendipitous byproduct. The students may have an edge but are the survivors also elite.
Agree 100%. How many more institutions/corporates say "trust us"?
Now do Greggs.
It is extremely off that Diversity is thought of only in terms of ethnicity, sex, and sexual behavior...there are dozens if not hundreds of dimensions on which humans differ--personality and modes of thinking, interests, kinds of families in which they grew up, physical attractiveness, and lots more.
Affirmative Action racism has always been racism and should always have been called racism.
Each and every advocate of AA is a racist, a racist in the worse sense - wanting a law or policy apply differently to people according to their race.
Imagine basketball where Hispanics make 4, 8, & 12 point shots -- or more or less, until they score as many points as the less populous Blacks. Ruins the idea of a "fair game".
It is also illegal for colleges to discriminate against hiring Republicans as professors-- yet they've been doing this for years, for decades. Such activity should end tax exempt status of such colleges, like H S Y P.
This is exactly right. Had universities truly been concerned with diversity, they would not have endangered to the point of killing their discretion to continue rebalancing the scales to admit more black students which was always the only legitimate use of that discretion. But power eventually asserts itself purely as power, stripped of all justifications; and its objects must become increasingly arbitrary and ridiculous in order to reveal itself in its purity. In the last 6 or so years university administrators have dropped all pretense of administering universities for any purpose other than their own exercise of power. All the safe space, cancel culture, trans-mad nonsense is just that point of arbitrariness and ridiculousness. But as Glenn notes, the power mad will continue their domineering under different formal guises. The only way to undo this is to cut off their oxygen supply and halt all federal funding of universities except for a limited range of STEM support.
Yes, the academy has become ridiculous, bloated and unserious, as a result of gushing rivers of money disguised as student loans. It's time to shut off the spigot. As enrollments falls, I sense families are already doing just that.
I was hoping the opinion would point out that Harvard and UNC faculty and admissions officers were almost entirely comprised of leftists and that there is no 'diversity of viewpoint' metric in admissions.
A special prize for academic ridiculousness should go to the the Ivy League admissions officer who opined that Asian-Americans are **lacking in courage**.
The idea that an academic bureaucrat has any standing to discuss Courage is about as preposterous as you can get.
My son graduated high school in 2022, and said back then that the majority of his friends did not see college as a good option unless for a career for which a degree was ACTUALLY required (doctor, lawyer, chemist, etc.), and they were instead opting for trade school or some sort of trade apprenticeship. My son joined the Marines and plans to ultimately work toward a degree related to his specialty.
One advantage of being retired is that I had the time to watch the coverage of the Supreme Court decision in real time. While I did not watch every second of the coverage, I did watch coverage on CNN, MSNBC and Fox, as well as looking at some online coverage.
On a positive note, it’s clear that the media knew this outcome was likely, and all had pull together relevant material so they could intelligently comment on the relevant issues. (Contrast that to the coverage of the Titan incident where they were scrambling to become experts on undersea exploration almost in real time).
On a less positive note, they largely knew what they were going to say before the decision was rendered. I listened to one commentator talk passionately about the decision, and you the end of her segment through him almost as an afterthought that she had not yet had time to read the decision.
Is a lot to be said and a lot will be said but I’d like to make two points, both of which were hinted at in your essay but both of which deserve more in-depth discussion. I hope I know you well enough to predict that you will be sympathetic to my observations, but we will see.
Many in the media will oversimplify this as a decision all but eliminating affirmative action. Many in the media will oversimplify this as a decision downplaying the importance of diversity. Both of those aspects require further, nuanced discussion.
As the president of a small local nonprofit organization, I’m painfully aware that my board is less diverse than I would like. We all know how this arises — when openings occur, the easiest thing to do is reach out to our friends and acquaintances to identify people interested in our mission and willing to help. I’m pushing to engage in more affirmative action, but by that I mean casting a wider net. Let’s not simply go through our personal Rolodex, but find ways to reach out to people we don’t know as well. I want more diversity on my board, but by diversity I mean diversity of thought, diversity of interests, diversity of backgrounds, diversity of approaches to problem-solving.
Unfortunately, many treat diversity as the box checking of gender, gender identity and skin color. While I am certain there is some correlation between true diversity of thought, and diversity of the box checking, it’s the former I’m interested in the latter. I heard one commentator state that studies have shown that more diverse organizations are better at problem-solving. I believe that, but I believe it arises because people with different life histories, people who have different mindsets towards life and other differences will approach problems differently and that’s good.
With regard to affirmative action, I don’t think schools or organizations such as mine will have any difficulty embracing some aspects of affirmative action — finding creative ways of identifying diverse people, finding creative ways of reaching out to underserved communities, but I stop short of concluding that I should measure success by counting skin color and gender checkboxes.
And what is the compelling interest of the universities now? Surely they can't be saying that their admissions people are racists, or that black or Hispanic students are "less than", but that is the upshot after all these decades. The compelling interest is just virtue signalling because they don't want to deal with the real issues, like a bad educational system for the poor.