There is no faster – or more amusing – way to make a campus radical lose his composure than to fuss about the importance of cultural literacy.
The term “cultural literacy,” made popular by the controversial scholar E.D. Hirsch, describes a person’s capacity to comprehend cultural references and use that knowledge in conversation with others.
As they reel from revenue losses connected to the pandemic, many colleges and universities are racking up other costs not likely to turn up in their glossy brochures or as line items on staggering tuition bills: untold millions of dollars in legal fees and settlements for allegedly violating the rights of students, professors, and applicants on free speech, admissions and other matters as the schools pursue social justice causes.
Harvard University’s legal costs fighting a continuing 2017 challenge to its racial admissions practices have surpassed $25 million, the cap of its primary insurer, and it is now suing a secondary legal insurer, the Zurich American Insurance Company, over its refusal to pick up the tab going forward.
University punishment of faculty for their speech has exploded in the past five years, most often prompted by their expression on social media or in the classroom, a new report claims.
More than 60% of the cancelation campaigns came from the professor’s political left, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Those were overwhelmingly driven by undergraduates, followed by fellow scholars and graduate students.
The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that it was dropping charges against five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) who had lied about their histories to obtain jobs at American universities, Breitbart reports.
The five soldiers were seeking visas in order to apply for jobs and doctoral positions at several universities in the states of California and Indiana. They had all been arrested in the summer of last year as part of a wider crackdown on Chinese infiltrations into American upper education. All five of them sought either J-1 or F-1 visas in order to apply to positions at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of California, Davis, Stanford University, Indiana University, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
However, officials revealed the stunning decision to drop the charges in statements to the Wall Street Journal last week, claiming that since “the defendants had all been detained or under other restrictions in the U.S. since their arrest a year ago,” the agency had determined “that further litigation in the group of cases would unnecessarily prolong their departure from the U.S., and that their situations since their arrests amounted to sufficient punishment and deterrence.”
A handful of U.S. colleges are employing a type of social credit system through various technologies designed to track students as they attend courses and walk across campus.