Bruce Cole: Scholar, Leader, Warrior
Bruce Cole died on January 8. He was 79 years old. People know of Bruce because he led the National Endowment for the Humanities during the George W. Bush administration, the longest tenure of any chairman of that agency. How he got there is a study in why he is worth remembering.
The Columnist on College
At this point, it is impossible to speak honestly about higher education and politics without acknowledging widespread anti-conservative bile. Identity politics are too strong and severe and, most important of all, broadly publicized to be denied. So, liberal commentators such as Rampell just ignore them.
The Habit of Trying
Researchers studied how students in the United States and in China would respond to a cash performance incentive. That the paid American students tried harder is an unsurprising conclusion. But here’s the disheartening part: The bribe made no difference to the Chinese students. They tried their best with or without money.
The Manufacturing of Controversy
If we really want to stop bias and high-handedness in higher education, we need to make less of the occasional outrages and focus more on the ordinary outlooks and activities of entire academic areas where tendentiousness and partisanship have become standard operating procedure.
A Waning of Indignation?
We still have illiberal episodes taking place, such as the protest at William & Mary against an ALCU official. But I suspect that student outrage and anguish and accusation are already on the wane. Protest is wearing itself out.
The Left in the Universities
There is a book coming out that everyone interested in campus politics should read. It is a refresher course in the recent past, years 1998-2010, well before the current protests and disinvitations and riots broke out, though it foreshadows everything that has happened since.
The End of Diversity
Silence followed for another day or two until a note of an altogether different tenor arrived. I’d been disinvited. The note began, “I have been advised that we must focus more on a gender balance for the panel and that I should be adding another female speaker. So at this time I am sorry to say I have to withdrawal my invitation.”
The Pseudo-Science of Micro-Aggression
In the absence of clear and distinct criteria for discriminating a micro-aggression from the ordinary slips and indecencies of modern life, all we are left with to gauge the event of a micro-aggression is the psychic condition of the one who has been micro-aggressed.
The Uninspiring Humanities
In making artistic greatness into a social matter, not a real or natural or objective matter, humanities professors killed one of the cardinal attractions of the discipline.
The Stony Brook Problem
No administrator is going to close programs to which undergraduates flock every semester. Popularity counts in the competitive market of departments.