Thursday, July 27, 2017

Ten Steps To Increase Conservative Ideas On Campus

Diversity has been and remains the watchword on America’s college and university campuses for half-a-century.  In practice, diversity means affirmative action to increase the number and percentage of women and minorities among undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and high-level administrators.

Progress has been substantial but uneven.  U.S. Department of Education data show that degrees awarded to women in 2017, at all tertiary levels from Associates to Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral, outnumbered those awarded to men by a ratio of 141/100 (58.5% female).  Women earned 62.1% of Associates, 56.7% of Bachelors, 58.3% of Masters, and 52.2% of Doctoral degrees.  Men remain a majority in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

Turning from gender to minorities, there has also been substantial progress in all tertiary levels.  Here are the percentages of enrolled students by race and ethnicity.

                                                               1980      2014
White:                                                     84           57
Black:                                                       5            13
Hispanic:                                                  2              8
Asian:                                                       2             7
Other (mixed, undefined):                         6           16

Black enrollment now matches the Black percentage of the U.S. population.  Chinese enrollment now slightly exceeds its U.S. percentage.   The most notable change is that Non-Hispanic White enrollment has declined by 25% among all students, putting it below Whites who constitute 62% percent of the U.S. population.

Progress has been much slower for women and minorities among faculty and high-level administrators.  One reason is that it has taken time to create a pipeline of doctoral women and minority students to move in and up the ladder of faculty and administrative ranks.  Universities are exerting great effort to recruit women and minority faculty and elevate them to high-level administrative posts.

Diversity is still largely defined in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity, with LBGTQ added to the mix.

DIVERSITY OF IDEAS

This brings us to diversity of ideas, ideology, politics, or intellectual diversity in general.  University faculty is overwhelmingly liberal/Democrat in political orientation, as high as 90 percent in top-ranked schools.  There is growing concern among some educators, commentators, and politicians that universities no longer provide students with a diversity of ideas, as evidenced in violent student protests against conservative speakers on campus.

As noted in a previous post, Stanford’s former Provost John Etchemendy (2000-17) has described the monolithic political culture at Stanford (and other universities) as the “enemy within.”  The following excerpts [shorted for brevity] are from his remarks to the Board of Trustees in February 2017.

"But I’m actually more worried about the threat from within.  Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. It manifests itself in many ways: in the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines [emphasis added]; in the demands to disinvite speakers and outlaw groups whose views we find offensive; in constant calls for the university itself to take political stands. We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves.
"This results in a kind of intellectual blindness that will, in the long run, be more damaging to universities than cuts in federal funding or ill-conceived constraints on immigration.
"It will not be easy to resist this current. As an institution, we are continually pressed by faculty and students to take political stands, and any failure to do so is perceived as a lack of courage. But at universities today, the easiest thing to do is to succumb to that pressure.  What requires real courage is to resist it
"The university is not a megaphone to amplify this or that political view, and when it does it violates a core mission. Universities must remain open forums for contentious debate, and they cannot do so while officially espousing one side of that debate.
"But we must do more. We need to encourage real diversity of thought in the professoriate, and that will be even harder to achieve [emphasis added].  It is hard for anyone to acknowledge high-quality work when that work is at odds with, perhaps opposed, to one’s own deeply held beliefs. But we all need worthy opponents to challenge us in our search for truth. It is absolutely essential to the quality of our enterprise.
"I fear that the next few years will be difficult to navigate….The first step is to remind our students and colleagues that those who hold views contrary to one’s own are rarely evil or stupid, and may know or understand things that we do not. It is only when we start with this assumption that rational discourse can begin, and that the winds of freedom can blow.  (Stanford’s motto is Die Luft der Freiheit weht (The wind of freedom blows.)"
On June 30, 2000, nearly installed President John Hennessy and Provost John Etchemendy issued a statement on diversity, which Hennessy read at a Faculty Senate meeting.

The key points in the statement are reproduced below.  To show how this statement can be used to increase diversity of ideas, I have struck out the words “women and minority (ies),” replacing them with “conservative(s).”

For many years Stanford University has had a commitment to enhancing the diversity of its faculty. This commitment is based, first and foremost, on the belief that a more diverse faculty enhances the breadth, depth, and quality of our research and teaching by increasing the variety of experiences, perspectives, and scholarly interests among the faculty. A diverse faculty also provides a variety of role models and mentors for our increasingly diverse student population, which helps us to attract, retain and graduate such populations more successfully.

“The President and Provost wish to emphasize Stanford's continuing interest in and commitment to increasing the diversity of our faculty and to providing access to equal opportunities to all faculty independent of gender, race, or ethnicity political ideas. More specifically, we assert our commitment to the following steps, some of which reaffirm existing university policies, and others that extend those policies:

“1. Faculty searches are obligated to make extra efforts to seek out qualified women and minority conservative candidates and to evaluate such candidates. It is the obligation of the search committee to demonstrate that a search has made a determined effort to locate and consider women and minority conservative candidates….Department chairs and deans have the responsibility to make sure that these obligations have been fulfilled.

“2. We will make use of incentive funds and incremental faculty billets to encourage the appointment of candidates who would diversify our faculty, such as women and minorities conservatives in fields where they continue to be underrepresented….[we] hope to accelerate this process by encouraging departments and schools to take advantage of opportunities to appoint additional equally qualified candidates from underrepresented groups conservatives who are identified during searches but who (for reasons such as their area of specialization) may not be the first choice of the search committee.

“3. The Provost has established an Advisory Committee on the Status of Women Faculty Conservatives and is in the process of forming an Advisory Committee on Faculty Diversity Conservatives.  These committees will work with the Provost and his staff to explore ways in which we can foster the goals of diversity of gender, racial and ethnic ideas.

“4. We will continue to monitor and report on the representation of women and minorities conservatives on the faculty, as well as their tenure and promotion rates, on a yearly basis to the Faculty Senate.

“5. We will support and mentor all junior faculty conservatives, and we will continue to use a review process for tenure and promotion that is based on a candidate's contributions to research and teaching and that is appropriate for the candidate's area of scholarly interest.

“6. We will continue to evaluate faculty salaries, with special emphasis on women and minority conservatives faculty salaries, through an objective methodology (the so-called quintile analysis). Any inequities in salaries for women or men, minorities or non-minorities conservatives will be sought out and corrected.

“7. We will also monitor the distribution of University resources that support individual faculty research programs, including both research funds and space, to ensure that the distribution of the University's resources is not based on improper factors (such as gender, race, or ethnicity conservatives). Any such inequities discovered will be corrected.

“8. We seek to increase the representation of women and minority faculty conservatives in leadership positions in departments, schools, and the University administration.  Such criteria will also form a part of the yearly review of all faculty leaders.

“9. Attracting and retaining the best faculty members in an increasingly diverse society requires us to have a university that is supportive of faculty diversity, both in the composition of the faculty and in their scholarship. Stanford University seeks and promotes an academic environment for each faculty member that is collegial, intellectually stimulating, and respectful of his or her contributions and accomplishments. Such an environment should enable the highest quality scholarship and teaching, and provide every faculty member a voice in department decision-making.

“10. Realizing that small pool sizes and pipeline problems continue to affect the availability of talented women and minority conservative faculty candidates in many fields, Stanford will continue a strong effort to seek out and support graduate students who bring diversity to our university. As an institution, we will encourage women and minority conservative students to pursue academic careers.

We call upon all our colleagues to engage actively in this important effort.

See how easy that was.  An eleventh step would be to lunch a monthly president/provost sponsored conservative speaker program on campus.

WILL STANFORD’S NEW PRESIDENT AND OTHER HIGH-LEVEL UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS SUPPORT CONSERVATIVE IDEAS ON CAMPUS?


We’ll see.  He will state that Stanford subscribes to the principle of academic freedom, the free and open exchange of ideas. Time will tell if conservatives and conservative ideas are increasingly a reality at Stanford and other colleges and universities.  I will be delighted should they come to pass.  I’m from Missouri, the “show me” state.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Lyrics For The College And University Classes Of 2021

In a previous post, your friendly proprietor alerted you to dozens of words that can be hurled at you if you dare to think for yourself and reject the progressive narrative.

You probably think some of the people charging you with intellectual crimes are hypocrites.  For example, flying on a private jet to a conference on global warming, or denouncing inequality while earning $300,000 a year as a tenured professor at an elite university.

To help you resist the assault on thinking for yourself, I suggest you memorize the lyrics of “Games People Play” that Joe South released in late 1968, almost a half-century ago.  South won the Grammy Award for “Song of the Year” and “Best Contemporary Song.”

The first three stanzas will keep you sane as you endure the psychobabble that calls itself progressive.

But, if you are really clever, you will learn how to use the progressive vocabulary to your advantage.  If you master its terminology and keep a straight face, you can run for high political office and enrich yourself while promising to help the have-nots.

Games People Play (Joe South)

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers
Till they're covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limousine

La-da da da da da da da
La-da da da da da da
Talking 'bout you and me
And the games people play

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Welcome to Stanford’s Class of 2021

Professor John Etchemendy, who served as provost for over 16 years (2000-2017), in a departing speech before the Stanford Board of Trustees, outlined challenges higher education is facing in the coming years. Following is an excerpt from that talk, with comments inserted by your friendly proprietor.


But I’m actually more worried about the threat from within. (Comment:  I cannot recall or find a single public remark or email to the faculty, staff, and students of Stanford in which Provost Etchemendy expressed concern during his 16 years as provost over the threat from within.  Perhaps he only realized this problem after stepping down.)  Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. It manifests itself in many ways: in the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines; (Comment:  In my 16 years as provost, Stanford’s Academic Council tenured and tenure-track faculty has grown from 1368 to 1659.  During those years, several hundred members of the faculty retired.  This means we made about 500 new appointments.  I can’t recall how many of these have conservative credentials, but there must be a few.  Some Stanford departments do not have a single registered Republican.  I’ve searched my email files but I can’t find those in which I instructed our 7 school deans and dozens of department chairs to include highly qualified conservative candidates in their searches, nor can they find their email replies to me assuring this was the case); in the demands to disinvite speakers and outlaw groups whose views we find offensive; in constant calls for the university itself to take political stands. We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves.
(Comment:  In the 2016 presidential election, over 90% of Stanford’s faculty voted for Hillary Clinton; only 5% for Donald Trump.  But our faculty never let their politics intrude on their teaching and research.)
This results in a kind of intellectual blindness that will, in the long run, be more damaging to universities than cuts in federal funding or ill-conceived constraints on immigration. It will be more damaging because we won’t even see it: We will write off those with opposing views as evil or ignorant or stupid, rather than as interlocutors worthy of consideration. We succumb to the all-purpose ad hominem because it is easier and more comforting than rational argument. But when we do, we abandon what is great about this institution we serve.  (Comment:  Who was the Chief Academic Officer of Stanford University during the past 16 years?)
It will not be easy to resist this current. As an institution, we are continually pressed by faculty and students to take political stands, and any failure to do so is perceived as a lack of courage. But at universities today, the easiest thing to do is to succumb to that pressure. (Comment:  Stanford Board of Trustees voted to divest from coal companies during my tenure as provost.)  What requires real courage is to resist it. Yet when those making the demands can only imagine ignorance and stupidity on the other side, any resistance will be similarly impugned.
The university is not a megaphone to amplify this or that political view, and when it does it violates a core mission. Universities must remain open forums for contentious debate, and they cannot do so while officially espousing one side of that debate.
But we must do more. We need to encourage real diversity of thought in the professoriate, and that will be even harder to achieve. (Comment:  No thanks to you.)  It is hard for anyone to acknowledge high-quality work when that work is at odds with, perhaps opposed, to one’s own deeply held beliefs. But we all need worthy opponents to challenge us in our search for truth. It is absolutely essential to the quality of our enterprise.
(Comment:  The Hoover Institution is the only unit on campus in which diversity of thought truly prevails and in which the monoculture of the left does not dominate.  Yet during your years as provost, you made it more difficult for Hoover to hire full-time Senior Fellows by removing their right to purchase a campus residence, sponsor foreign visitors, and serve as principal investigator in federally funded research.)
I fear that the next few years will be difficult to navigate. We need to resist the external threats to our mission, but in this, we have many friends outside the university willing and able to help. But to stem or dial back our academic parochialism, we are pretty much on our own. The first step is to remind our students and colleagues that those who hold views contrary to one’s own are rarely evil or stupid, and may know or understand things that we do not. It is only when we start with this assumption that rational discourse can begin, and that the winds of freedom can blow.
(Comment:  Hmmmm.  Wonder if new Provost Persis Drell will take actual steps to do something about the intellectual imbalance at Stanford, or just mouth the same platitudes as her predecessor Etchemendy—after he left office.)
At the Faculty Senate Meeting of April 27, 2017, here is a summary of Provost Drell’s remarks.
In reaffirming Stanford’s commitment to academic freedom, Provost Drell said that expression of the widest range of viewpoints of members of the faculty at Stanford is encouraged, free from any institutional orthodoxy and from internal or external coercion. She said individuals may express viewpoints that are critical of elected officials and national policies.
“The only thing legally forbidden is for the institution itself or the institution’s resources to be used in engaging in political activity in support of or opposition to a candidate for elective public office or other purely partisan activity,” she said.
Drell said Stanford has a long practice of not taking political or policy positions, unless they have a direct bearing on its ability to carry out its core missions of research and education.
“We believe the sharing and appreciation of diverse perspectives is vital to our community, therefore it is essential that the institution remain a neutral broker of ideas,” she said.
(Comment:  I am eager to see her instructions to Deans and Department Chairs that they include candidates with diverse perspectives in their searches.  Or that she re-instates former privileges that Etchemendy removed from full-time Hoover Senior Fellows.  I’m from Missouri, the “Show Me State.”) 


Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Reading List for College And University Classes Of 2021

Update (July 28, 2017)

Classism
Colonial Pedagogies
Deconstructing Racial Microaggressions
Eurocentric Pedagogies
Hyper-Masculine
Implicit Bias
Logism
Nativist
Neurosexism
Restorative Justice
Xenophobia

Update (July 21, 2017):

The following progressive terms should be added to the list below.

Androcentrism
Demeaning
Equal Pay
Glass Ceiling
Gender Stereotypical Roles
Lost In A Labyrinth
Objectify People
Sexualize People
Sticky Floor
Women Being Underconfident

Most colleges and universities send their entering classes a list of books to read during the summer.  It provides common ground for the frosh to discuss new ideas with each other and faculty during orientation.

Your friendly proprietor has a better idea, to wit, mastering the progressive vocabulary.  Doing so will stand you in good stead during your first week on campus and the years to come.

Here is a partial lexicon, presented in alphabetical order.  The list is not exhaustive.  Feel free to add other words or coin your own by combining two or more in the comments section.

Practice these words and phrases until you can utter them with conviction.  Try constructing sentences with two, three or more, the better to show your progressive erudition.

Never disagree with, or challenge, anyone who uses these words, except to correct, refute, or denounce anyone who misrepresents, distorts, or rejects them.

If you are ever accused of transgressing any of these progressive notions, level two or more similar charges against your accuser.  

Otherwise, Welcome!

Alt-Right
Bigotry
Black Lives Matter
Bullying
Climate Change
Cultural Appropriation
Deconstruction
Deprivation
Derogatory
Deterioration Of Our Public Goods
Discrimination
Differences (Value Our)
Diversity
Dreamers
Environmentalism
Fat-Shaming
Feminism
Gender-Free
Gender-Specific
Glass Ceiling
Global Warming Denier
Hate Speech
Healing Space
Homelessness
Homophobia
Human Rights
Hunger
Islamaphobia
Inclusive
Inequality
Inequitable
Intersectionality
LGBTQ
Mansplainng
Manspreading
Marginalize
Masculine
Microaggression
More Women And Minorities In STEM
Nonjudgmental
Offensive
Oppression
Patriarchy
Poverty
Racism
Rainbow Coalition
Right-Wing Extremism
Safe Spaces
Sanctuary Cities
Save The Planet
Sexual Violence
Sexism
Social Ills
Social Justice
Species Eradication
Stereotype Threat
Sustainable
Tolerance
Transphobia
Trigger Warnings
Unconsciously Learned Racism
Underprivileged
Unfair
Victimzation
White Heteromasculine Hegemony
White Privilege
Whiteness
Workers Rights

Monday, July 3, 2017

Make China Great Again

Every Chinese knows the outlines of Chinese history from its founding four thousand years ago as the most advanced civilization in the world, to its decline under Western imperialism in the 19th century, to its rebirth in the late 20th century.

Beginning with paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms in the late 1970s, continuing through the presidencies of Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and now Xi Jinping, China has been transformed from an impoverished, backward nation into a modern economic, military, and political powerhouse.

President Xi does not wear a baseball cap with the words “Make China Great Again” stitched on the front.  But he has a Trumanesque wooden desk sign with the characters “Make China Great Again” carved into it.

Think about it.  President Trump’s keywords are “Make America Great Again,” to fix what ails the United States after the past two presidencies of continuous war, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and subpar growth.  Opposing Trump’s agenda of tax cuts, deregulation, and reducing government intervention in private affairs are all Congressional Democrats, many House and Senate Republicans, establishment Republican politicians who lost to Trump in the primaries and their donors, government bureaucrats, the media, the professoriate, liberal and conservative think tankers, Hollywood, and many foreign leaders who want the United States to pay for their defense and climate agenda.

Now look across the Pacific.  President Xi’s keywords are “Make China Great Again,” to the restoration its dominant historical position in Asia.  Supporting him are tens of millions of Chinese Communist Party members, the People’s Liberation Army, the media, and the vast majority of hard working Chinese people who want a better life for themselves and their families.

The American commentariat is working overtime to explain away and cover up the failures of the past 16 years.  President Trump is working hard to create an environment conducive to sustained higher growth through lower tax rates on firms and individuals, reducing burdensome regulations on economic activity, and limiting the intervention of the federal government in private affairs.  He is running a high hurdle race hoping to get through the first heat in his first two years without tripping over every hurdle.

Meanwhile, President Xi wakes up every morning knowing that he has five more years left in the ten-year term of a Chinese president to “Make China Great Again.”  If all goes as planned, in October 2022 he will hand power and his desk sign to the next decade of Chinese leadership that will strive to "Make China Great Again."

Saturday, July 1, 2017

China's President Xi Jinping Reads The Riot Act To Hong Kong

Mid-morning, on July 1, 2017, twenty years to the day after China recovered sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom, China's President Xi Jinping issued his "4-NOTS" doctrine to an assembly of Hong Kong's elite.

1.  Hong Kong people shall NOT challenge the authority of the Central People's Government in Beijing or the absolute sovereignty of the Chinese nation, which includes Hong Kong.

2.  Hong Kong people shall NOT use the territory to carry out infiltration and sabotage against the mainland.

3.  Hong Kong people shall NOT push for more autonomy or independence from China.

4.  Hong Kong people shall NOT tear Hong Kong apart by deliberately creating differences, internal rifts, provoke confrontations, and engage in any reckless moves (in short, shall NOT push for more democracy than China is willing to tolerate).

Transgressing the 4-NOTS crosses Xi's "red lines"and is absolutely impermissible.  (President Xi does not suffer red-green color blindness.)

What if Hong Kong people flout Xi's warnings?  If that happens, Hong Kong will quickly lose its autonomy and likely be absorbed into Guangdong Province, or come under direct rule of the Central People's Government well before 2047.

In 1997, Hong Kong was important to China.  Its economy was equal to 18.4% of mainland China's GDP.  Twenty years later, due to sustained high growth in the mainland, it has fallen to 2.8%.  By 2030, it will be on the order of 1% or so.  Hong Kong will have lost its previous importance to Chna.

To repeat, If Hong Kong people behave themselves and obey Xi's 4-NOTS, they can enjoy a prosperous and satisfying life.  If not, they have been warned.

Xi Jinping is not a typical Western-style president, prime minster, or chancellor.  He means what he says and will act on his words.