As Biden Taps Elizabeth Warren Ally to Oversee Student Loans, Debate over Canceling Debt Looms Large

Elizabeth Warren

The Biden administration has chosen a close ally of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to oversee the nation’s expansive federal student loan program.

On Monday, Rich Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Obama administration, was announced as the new head of the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, which oversees over $1.7 trillion in loans to U.S. students.

In a statement following his appointment, Cordray said he sought to “create more pathways for students to graduate and get ahead, not be burdened by insurmountable debt.”

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Christian University Student Leaders Refuse to Approve Conservative Club

Students at Point Loma Nazarene University

Student government leaders at Point Loma Nazarene University denied Turning Point USA’s request to become a chartered club.

The leaders and a university official at the private Christian university in San Diego said there was “misalignment” between TPUSA activities and the Associated Student Body mission statement.

“Misalignment between that mission statement and TPUSA publications and activities was the primary basis for denial,” university spokesperson Jill Monroe told The College Fix in an email.

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Adjunct Professor Berated Student After Student Suggested That Police Officers Are Heroes

Student Braden Ellis with adjunct professor on Zoom

An adjunct professor berated a student in her class after he expressed support for law enforcement.

Cypress College student Braden Ellis delivered a presentation about cancel culture during a Zoom communications class. In a phone interview with Campus Reform, Ellis affirmed The Daily Wire’s report that he had been discussing the attempted cancellation of “Paw Patrol” during the presentation.

“So you brought up the police in your speech a few times. So, what is your main concern?” asked the adjunct professor. “Since, I mean, honestly… the issue is systemic. Because the whole reason we have police departments in the first place, where does it stem from? What’s our history? Going back to what [another classmate] was talking about, what does it stem from? It stems from people in the south wanting to capture runaway slaves.”

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Commentary: The Origins of the Cruel Ritual of Diversity Training

In the typical scenario, students, staff, and faculty submit themselves to the mercies of hectoring lectures and demeaning demonstrations that purport to reveal white privilege and the oppressive conditions faced by “underrepresented populations” in their institutions. Former Smith College staffer Jodi Shaw’s account of how, as part of such training, she was humiliatingly reduced to her racial identity and reprimanded for her role in the oppression of non-white co-workers is but the most recent high-profile example being discussed and debated.

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Hamilton College Student Leaders Work to ‘Defund the Police,’ Claim ‘White Supremacists’ Are on Campus

Hamilton College

Following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, students and faculty at Hamilton College received an email denoting some of them as white supremacists and calling for the admissions office to better block such students from enrolling in the future.

It was part of a larger push to grow a “defund the police” effort at the private, New York college.

The email came from leadership at the school’s Student Assembly and was signed by President Saphire Ruiz as well as Fall Vice President Eric Stenzel and Spring Vice President Christian Hernandez Barragan.

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Biden Promotes 'Free' Community College for Americans, 'Dreamers'

President Joe Biden touted a key part of his education initiative Monday, pushing for two years of free community college nationwide, but some critics question the long-term efficacy of his plan.
Biden spoke at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia, to promote his proposal, which would provide, among other things, $109 billion for two years of tuition-free community college.
“Do we want to give the wealthiest people in America another tax cut, or do you want to give every high school graduate the ability to earn a community college degree?” Biden asked during his speech, arguing that 12 years of schooling is not long enough in the modern economy. “That’s why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – two years of universal, high-quality pre-school and two years of free community college.”

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'Deplorable' Professor Creates 'Anti-Indoctrination Mill' with New Education Startup

Michael Rectenwald

Michael Rectenwald got himself chased out of New York University when the self-identified communist copped to tweeting against trigger warnings, safe spaces and bias reporting under the pseudonym “Deplorable NYU Prof.”
The professor left two years ago with a golden parachute — the result of a legal settlement with the private university that included a retirement package.
He’s not content anymore with just writing polemical books and fiction in retirement. Now Rectenwald is scouting for academics to join an educational startup, American Scholars, that is launching this summer.

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A Total of Seven Harvard Professors Identify as Conservative, Survey Finds

The statue of John Harvard, seen at Harvard Yard

Two years ago, student leaders at the Harvard Crimson campus newspaper called on faculty to hire more conservatives in the wake of a survey that found only 1.6 percent of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences identify as conservative or very conservative.

It’s 2021, and nothing much has changed.

The Crimson’s latest survey of faculty found just seven professors identify as “somewhat” or “very conservative,” roughly 3 percent of survey respondents.

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Alabama A&M Shutters Confucius Institute

Alabama A&M Quad

Alabama A&M University in Huntsville is the latest school to close its Confucius Institute.

According to a press release from Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), the university’s board “voted to close their Confucius Institute and end their relationship with the Communist Chinese Party.”

“Confucius Institutes are nothing more than Communist Chinese Party propaganda and spying units,” said Rep. Brooks. “For nearly a year, I, and other patriotic Alabamians have called on Alabama A&M University and Troy University to close their Communist Chinese Party-controlled Confucius Institutes.” 

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Over 100 American Colleges Demand Students Get Vaccinated

COVID Vaccine Parking sign

As American schools begin the process of slowly reopening at all academic levels, over 100 colleges and universities are implementing the strictest requirements by demanding that all students receive a coronavirus vaccine before returning to school, according to CNN.

In the beginning of April, only about 14 campuses had announced such a policy. But by the end of the month, that number had increased exponentially. Only a handful of the schools have included possible exemptions for various medical, religious, or personal reasons. The majority of schools demanding such mandatory vaccinations are private schools.

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LGBT Legal Group Sues to Strip Religious Universities of Civil Rights Protections

A group of Christian college students is suing the U.S. Department of Education, alleging that Title IX’s religious exemption allows federally-funded religious colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBTQ students.

The Religious Exemption Accountability Project filed the lawsuit in an Oregon federal court on March 29. The suit aims to prohibit any students from using federal tuition grants, student loans, and any other federal financial aid at post-secondary schools that uphold biblical beliefs on gender and sexuality.

“REAP’s lawsuit asserts the constitutional and basic human rights of LGBTQ+ students, seeking to end the sexual, physical and psychological abuses perpetrated under the religious exemption to Title IX at thousands of federally-funded schools, colleges and universities across America,” according to the organization’s website.

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Commentary: How the Chinese Communist Party Continues to Infiltrate U.S. Research and Higher Education

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called China the “most sophisticated” actor of foreign countries subverting our biomedical research in last week’s Senate hearing on the topic. This follows the release of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s (DNI) Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community earlier this month. That assessment, cited by Sen. Burr, noted that “China will remain the top threat to US technological competitiveness as the CCP targets key technology sectors and proprietary commercial and military technology from US and allied companies and research institutions associated with defense, energy, finance, and other sectors.”

In the Senate hearing, panelists disclosed several disturbing cases of research theft by the CCP and its agents. Dr. Michael Lauer, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testified that Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, fired its CEO and five other senior people for connections to the Thousand Talents Program. Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations at the Office of Investigations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services, provided in written testimony examples of two researchers who had been compromised with China ties as found by OIG fraud investigations.

Cantrell’s first example was a professor of internal medicine who led a team conducting autoimmune research at The Ohio State University and Pennsylvania State University. This professor pled guilty in late 2020 to making false statements to federal authorities to get $4.1 million in NIH grants and failing to disclose “his participation in a Chinese Talent Plan and his affiliation and collaboration with a Chinese university controlled by the Chinese government.”

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Law Professor May Be Fired After Personal Blog Post Criticized Chinese Government

Tom Smith

The University of San Diego is formally reviewing a law professor who made a blog post critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

“If you believe that the coronavirus did not escape from the lab in Wuhan, you have to at least consider that you are an idiot who is swallowing whole a lot of Chinese cock swaddle,” wrote Professor Tom Smith on his blog The Right Coast. He later clarified that the reference was to the Chinese government, not the people in the country.

When he first published the March 10 post, the USD Law School placed him under investigation, citing complaints of bias. Now, the law school has sent his case to administration for a formal review.

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‘Anti-Racist’ Professor with BLM Syllabus Offers ‘Diversity Bingo’ Extra Credit

Black Lives Matter sign

A University of Florida professor gave students a “Diversity Bingo” extra credit assignment, which called for students to find people of various ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations.

The course, titled Problem Solving with Computer Software, is a general requirement course for all business majors at the University of Florida. “Diversity Bingo” was offered to students in the class as an extra credit assignment.

The assignment appears within a chapter dedicated to problem-solving specify, using groups and critical thinking strategies. Within this chapter students learned about Problem Definition, Idea Generation, and Decision making. The professor also included this assignment as being relevant to the material.

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Another Professor Indicted for Receiving Secret Support from China

A professor at Southern Illinois University received an indictment for concealing his support from the Chinese government.

According to a United States Department of Justice press release, Mingqing Xiao — who teaches mathematics at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale — “fraudulently obtained $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by concealing support he was receiving from the Chinese government and a Chinese university.”

Accordingly, he was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement. He faces the possibility of twenty-year sentences for each of the former, as well as a five-year sentence for the latter. All three charges are punishable by fines of up to $250,000 each.

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UK Universities Could End up Paying Students Back for Services Not Provided During COVID

College students in caps and gowns

Universities in the United Kingdom have been instructed to pay students thousands of dollars because they had ‘”less valuable” experiences due to the universities’ COVID-19 actions. 

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent body that reviews students’ complaints against higher education institutions. It does not have the power to regulate or punish the institutions, however.

OIA recently shared several complaints students have made about the impact coronavirus has had on their educational experiences.Universities in the United Kingdom have been instructed to pay students thousands of dollars because they had ‘”less valuable” experiences due to the universities’ COVID-19 actions. 

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent body that reviews students’ complaints against higher education institutions. It does not have the power to regulate or punish the institutions, however.

OIA recently shared several complaints students have made about the impact coronavirus has had on their educational experiences.

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Minnesota College Forces Faculty to Attend Racially Segregated Anti-Racism Trainings

Aerial photo of Carleton College

A private Minnesota college has mandated monthly anti-racism training sessions for all of its employees, with most sessions segregated by skin color.

“All faculty/staff will need to either attend the live session or watch the recorded session each month,” Carleton College’s website states.

Carleton College is a small but influential private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, with about 2,000 students and an endowment of close to $900 million. Tuition is $59,000 a yeaA private Minnesota college has mandated monthly anti-racism training sessions for all of its employees, with most sessions segregated by skin color.

“All faculty/staff will need to either attend the live session or watch the recorded session each month,” Carleton College’s website states.

Carleton College is a small but influential private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, with about 2,000 students and an endowment of close to $900 million. Tuition is $59,000 a year.

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Medical Journal Forces Out Editor Who Questioned ‘Structural Racism,’ Professors Rejoice

Edward Livingston

A leading medical journal terminated an editor who questioned the existence of structural racism. His fellow medical professors expressed approval of the firing.

The American Medical Association wrote in a statement that it was “deeply disturbed” and “angered” by a recent Journal of the American Medical Association podcast that “questioned the existence of structural racism.” Though the organization claimed that “JAMA has editorial independence from AMA,” the statement added that “this tweet and podcast are inconsistent with the policies and views of AMA.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Alliance Defending Freedom Files Motion to Intervene in ‘Radical’ Lawsuit Attacking Religious Schools

Football player kneeling, praying on bench seat

Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a motion to intervene in a “radical” lawsuit attacking the religious freedom of both religious colleges and students attending these schools, ADF senior counsel David Cortman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Monday.

Former and current students of evangelical colleges filed a lawsuit last week against the Department of Education asking that a Title IX law that gives exemptions to religious educational institutions be declared unconstitutional.

The law currently forbids educational institutions receiving federal funds to discriminate on the basis of sex but exempts religious groups if the law “would not be consistent with the religious tenets of such organization.”

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Biden Admin Won’t Say How Much ‘Emergency’ Funding for Colleges Remains Unspent, Proposes Another $12 Billion Anyway

College student studying

Disclosure: The writer of this piece served as the U.S. Department of Education’s Press Secretary from summer 2019 through the end of the Trump administration and was involved in the announcement of the creation of the Education Stabilization Fund transparency portal. 

Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden enacted $40 billion in additional higher education relief funding without any public information on if, or how, the $21.2 billion allocated in December 2020 had been spent.

Even though colleges and universities were required to report their spending on January 28 and then again on February 8, the Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund transparency portal is still showing spending data as of Nov. 30 of last year.

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Biden Admin Won’t Say How Much ‘Emergency’ Funding for Colleges Remains Unspent, Proposes Another $12 Billion Anyway

College student studying

Disclosure: The writer of this piece served as the U.S. Department of Education’s Press Secretary from summer 2019 through the end of the Trump administration and was involved in the announcement of the creation of the Education Stabilization Fund transparency portal. 

Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden enacted $40 billion in additional higher education relief funding without any public information on if, or how, the $21.2 billion allocated in December 2020 had been spent.

Even though colleges and universities were required to report their spending on January 28 and then again on February 8, the Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund transparency portal is still showing spending data as of Nov. 30 of last year.

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Teaching Assistant Docks Point on Conservative Student’s Black Panther Essay: ‘White People Cannot Experience Racism’

Alyssa Jones

A student at Virginia Tech University was told by a teaching assistant that “White people cannot experience racism” when asked why she received a low grade on her final paper.

Students in the Nations and Nationalities class at Virginia Tech were asked to complete a paper describing a hate group from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list, and analyze how that group justifies its worldview, according to Alyssa Jones, a student in the class.

Jones is also the president of the Virginia Tech University Turning Point USA chapter and a campus ambassador for The Leadership Institute, the parent organization of Campus Reform.

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Brown University Students Overwhelmingly Vote in Favor of Reparations for Black Students

Brown University

On Monday, Students at the Ivy League school Brown University voted in favor of two resolutions approving reparations for black students, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

Both resolutions seek to identify any black students who are direct descendants of slaves, or “who were entangled with and/or afflicted by the University and Brown family and their associates,” in reference to the university’s founder Nicholas Brown Jr.

One resolution would give priority admission to any such black students, while the other would give direct monetary payments to said students. In the vote amongst all students on campus, the admissions resolution received 89 percent of the vote, while the financial payment resolution received 85 percent. The vote was held after the student government at Brown passed a resolution, introduced by the student government president Jason Carroll, “calling upon Brown to attempt to identify and reparate the descendants of slaves entangled with the university.”

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Clemson University Students Fight to Ban ‘Racist’ Tomi Lahren from Campus

Tomi Lahren of Clemson University

Students at Clemson University in South Carolina are calling on the school to ban Fox News conservative personality Tomi Lahren from a Turning Point USA conference set to take place on the campus on April 8. 

Students say that Lahren’s past criticism of the Black Lives Matter organization disqualifies her from speaking at the university.

“We are committed to creating a more equal, fair and inclusive environment on our campus,” said the Clemson University College Democrats on March 11, “Statements made by Ms. Lahren, especially those concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, are divisive and hateful.” 

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Commentary: Higher Ed Approaches the Antiracism Training Abyss

Free expression and open inquiry in higher education are under attack by ideologues seeking to impose neo-Marxist “critical” theories, most prominently critical race theory, which places race at the center of all political and social issues.

Critical race theory training, misleadingly characterized as “antiracism” training, has spread widely throughout higher education and is often compared to Maoist struggle sessions, where dissent incurs public shaming, job loss, and harassment. This training often turns into race-shaming and Kafka-trapping, using denial of racism as proof of racism. The result is self-imposed racial conflict and systemic retaliatory discrimination masquerading as “equity.”

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Commentary: Progressive Educators Dumb Down Education in the Name of Antiracism

Some progressive educators are calling on their peers to go easy on students when grading their essays or math homework, all in the name of antiracism.

Don’t mark them down too much, you might hurt their feelings, the argument goes.

Or, it’s white supremacy to actually grade students using traditional, objective standards. Who are you to tell them they’re wrong? As long as they try, let’s not break their hearts or bruise their egos!

I wish I were kidding. I’m not.

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Commentary: Why Our Universities Have Failed

Where did Antifa youth rioting in the streets receive their intellectual and ethical bearings? Why are the First and Second Amendments no longer fully operative? How did the general population become nearly ignorant of their Constitution, history, and the hallmarks of their culture? Why do employers no longer equate a bachelor’s degree with competency in oral and written communications, basic computation, and reasoning? How in the 21st century did race and ethnicity come to define who we are rather than become incidental to our individual personas? In answering all these questions, we always seem to return to higher education – the font of much of our contemporary malaise.

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Commentary: The Ivory Tower’s ‘Anti-Racist’ Olympics

Are the lofty lords of higher education beginning to realize that the dictates of social justice would require a “largely peaceful” defenestration of these “educators” along with their cushy, taxpayer-subsidized sinecures?

Academia’s elites are engaged in a heated competition at the Anti-Racist Olympics. The no-fun and games are a decided public spectacle, one demanded by the contestants’ leftist ideology and fellow-traveling peers to prove one’s fealty to the hideous myth of America’s systemic racism.

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Commentary: NYU Prof Says More Than 20 Percent of Universities Could Fail Because of the Lockdowns

As bad as the COVID-19 lockdown has been in any number of sectors of the US economy, colleges and universities have been hit particularly hard. Restaurants and movie theaters have physical plants that continue to cost them money regardless of whether they are serving food or showing movies. Hotels have it even worse, because they are far more expensive to maintain. But colleges and universities have it worse still. Their physical plants include not only housing and dining facilities, but also recreation areas, classrooms, and expansive grounds. In addition, colleges and universities have staff that often number hundreds of times that of hotels.

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Carol Swain Tells Fox and Friends Weekend: The Destruction of Monuments is About the Destruction of Our Culture, It Has Nothing to do With Race

Dr. Carol M. Swain appeared on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends Weekend Edition with hosts, Jedediah Bila and Pete Hegseth this past Saturday to discuss the tearing down of national monuments.

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Commentary: Pandemic Waste in Higher Education

Life has been very strange for millions of American college students this past month. Many packed their bags and moved back home to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Universities scrambled to provide virtual classes to their students to help them comply with recommendations for social distancing. Our bustling campuses quickly turned into ghost towns, and university administrators redirected their full attention towards student instruction.

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George Mason University Professor Calls College a ‘Racket,’ Blasts Diversity Hires

An economics professor at George Mason University is speaking out about the “racket” that he says is college, and blaming it on the “diversity people” who he says have flooded the university system with unnecessary and perpetually increasing expenses tied to a seemingly endless need for more and more diversity initiatives and faculty.

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Commentary: Fixing Higher Education Begins with Reforming How It Is Financed

college students

Our educational industrial complex is broken, and swift reform is needed. College costs continue to rise much faster than inflation, and too many students are plowing themselves into debt and wasting years of their lives pursuing pointless degrees. Upon leaving college, these students are often surprised to discover that their degrees have little value. Of course, most colleges are liberal indoctrination centers, where conservative voices are few and often drowned out.

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Commentary: Loan Reform Requires Colleges With Skin in the Game

President Trump’s recent budget proposal calls for reforms to the federal student loan program, so that colleges that “accept taxpayer funds have skin in the game through a student loan risk-sharing program.” Certainly, a change in the student loan program is long overdue.

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Macalester College President Wants to Remove Name of ‘Racist’ Founder From Building

The president of Macalester College in St. Paul wants to remove the name of founder Edward Duffield Neill from an on-campus building because of racist views he expressed in his writings.

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Josh Hawley to Introduce Bill That Would Hold Universities Financially Liable for Defaulted Student Loans

by Andrew Kerr   Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri announced Tuesday he will introduce two pieces of legislation this week targeting institutions of higher education, one of which would put universities on the hook financially if its students are unable to repay their student loans. Americans hold nearly $1.5…

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China Discontinues American and European History AP Tests for Chinese Students Seeking U.S. College Credits

by Ethan Cai   The Chinese government will completely suspend certain Advanced Placement (AP) history tests by 2020 in an attempt to hide “unfriendly” material. Chinese students seeking college credit for U.S. colleges will no longer be able to take the U.S. history, European history, world history, and human geography…

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Commentary: We Need a Higher Education Reformation

by Emina Melonic   American higher education, once the envy of the world, is suffering a crisis of confidence and a loss of purpose. “Once upon a time, universities were institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the transmission of the highest values of our civilization,” writes New Criterion editor and publisher Roger…

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Minnesota House DFL Voted Down Amendments to Make Sure Financial Aid Goes Only to Legal Residents

  The DFL-controlled Minnesota House voted down two amendments to its omnibus higher education finance bill last week that would have ensured state financial aid goes only to legal residents. One of those amendments was introduced by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) and would have made sure that only legal residents…

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Higher Education and the Threat of Fascism

by George Leef   In a recent essay published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley is haunted by a spectre—the spectre of American universities aiding the rise of fascism. (The essay, “Fascism and the University” is subscriber-only content, unfortunately.) He says that “patterns have emerged that suggest the resurgence…

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Commentary: Social Justice Teaching Has Invaded Business Schools

by George Leef   Many professors cannot resist the temptation to smuggle their personal beliefs into the courses they teach. As long as those beliefs are “progressive,” there is little chance that higher-ups in their departments or top administrators will try to rein them in. For example, engineering has been…

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Scholars Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt Expose Universities and Their ‘Coddling’ of the American Mind

California liberalism

by George Leef   In 2015, Greg Lukianoff (president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) and Jonathan Haidt (professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business) wrote an article for The Atlantic entitled “The Coddling of the American Mind.” In that article, the authors…

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