Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cambridge University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Explained Why Black students Are Failing To Apply For Admission

In June 2018, Britain’s education minister attacked Oxford and Cambridge universities (Oxbridge) for their “staggering” failure to attract more Black students.  He warned that Oxbridge faces being fined unless they enroll a more diverse (more Blacks) student body.

Third on the list was the shortage of hairdressers skilled in cutting Afro hair.  (Where are the females in the photo at the top of the story?)  Two other priorities were the availability of Afro-Caribbean food and Black-style night life.

Naomi Kellman, founder of Target Oxbridge, a program to assist Blacks with Oxford and Cambridge applications, said that questions about Afro-hairdressers came up often.

Other speakers at the event cited cultural differences, that Blacks are concerned they won’t fit into White elite universities..

Perhaps I’m mistaken or confused, but I thought that students attend universities to learn something, not for the night life.  Partying till the wee hours of the morning does not make for alert students in morning classes.  There’s plenty of time for night life with a degree and a good-paying job in hand.

It would seem that one way to increase Black applications to colleges and universities in the US and UK is to insure that Afro-hairdressers, traditional Black food, and Black night life are available.  Cambridge University, one of the top five in the world in some international rankings and top ten in all, cannot be wrong.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How To Ease The Growing Mental Health Crisis On Campus

Here are some recent headlines:

“Massive survey finds 1 in 3 college freshman struggle with mental health.”  (Research published by the American Psychological Association)

“The College Student Mental Health Crisis.”  (Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors survey of counseling center directors)

“Mental health conditions on the rise among US students.”  (Journal of American College Health)

A lengthy list of mental health problems is too frightening to reproduce in full.  (College Student Mental Health statistics, National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Every university official calls for an examination of campus culture that produces anxiety and stress among students, instructing students how to sleep better, the importance of exercise, not to self-medicate, undergo resilience training, encourage students to seek help (especially male students), and provide more mental health services and supports on campus.  Little is written about the causes of rising mental illness on campus.

The causes are obvious to a person with 20/400 vision in one eye.  University administrators dare not explore this issue, lest it undercut all the “progressive” policies they impose on students. 

Here goes.

Co-eds (women) go to college for an education, but also for a social life, which has become impossible.  Every co-ed is repeatedly warned that she is likely to be a victim of sexual assault during her undergraduate years, sometimes by friends, sometimes by strangers.  BEWARE OF MALE PREDATORS!  (The same goes for female graduate students and faculty.  It’s just not safe to be a woman on campus!)

During orientation week, freshmen are instructed on Title IX guidelines to avoid committing acts of sexual assault.  Male students dare not ask a co-ed on a date, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee.  Those who do risk charges of unwanted sexual advances or sexual harassment and turned over to the Star Chamber of Title IX Inquisitors.  A glance at a pretty woman is an intellectual death sentence.  Campus climate surveys keep urging students to report incidents of sexual violence so, lo and behold, more and more are found every year.  Maybe it’s time to return to single-sex dorms?  Can’t do that because the transgender will complain.

Every White male must watch his words and facial expressions lest he be charged with racism, sexism, homophobia, White nationalism, White privilege, toxic masculinity, and a myriad of other thought crimes that run in the dozens.

Black students are told to watch out for and report incidents of racism, Hispanics for ethnic-ism, females for sexism, gays for homophobia, Jews for anti-Semitism, Muslims for Islamophobia, and so on for every identity group, large and small.

And what does every student hears 20 times a day from the minute he steps on campus:  Diversity and Inclusion.  He hears it when he wakes up, eats breakfast, bikes to class, sits in class, attends the next class, eats lunch, throws a frisbee for a few minutes, eats dinner, does homework, goes to sleep and dreams of Diversity and Inclusion, and every second in between.  He must swear an oath of allegiance (see David’s Oath of the Horatii) to Diversity and Inclusion, the bedrock of higher education.  He must not show the slightest doubt lest he be turned over to Torquemada or Robespierre.

Even if our freshman agrees completely with Diversity and Inclusion, enough is enough.  I got it.  You’re driving me crazy!

Ditto for man-made climate change.  How can one calmly get through a day being told that the planet will be doomed in 12 years because of climate change deniers?  What’s the point of it all if we are all doomed?  No wonder campuses are afflicted with weekend binge drinking!

Freshman also discuss three books on hard left issues they were told to read during the summer.  Nary a conservative book can be found among the summer reading lists.

Instead of adding more mental health counselors, student mental health would  be more likely to improve if universities stopped badgering their students about what to think (only progressive thoughts), how to think (in a progressive manner), and how to behave (stop looking at people or talking with them in an insensitive, hateful, or lustful manner).

The incidence of mental health was trivial when I attended college in the late 1950s-early 1960s.  Ditto for my children in the late 1980s-early 1990s.  If universities continue haranguing students on every little aspect of life, there will be more depression, anxiety, and suicides, and more mental health counselors—Catch-22 with no escape.

How about leaving students alone to learn and play. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Why Students Attending Elite Universities and Colleges Are Attracted To Socialism

The newest categories of students receiving preferential admission at elite universities and colleges are First Generation (households in which one or both parents did not attend college) and Low Income (households that cannot afford the cost of tuition and fees).  FG students make up as much as 20% of admissions and LI up to 27%.

Elite schools can offer many slots to low-income households because endowment income, annual gifts, and grants and scholarships from states and the federal government offset much of the cost of attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education (IPEDS) collects data from four-year colleges and universities and presents their full cost and after-aid cost in a standard format.

Average cost before aid:  tuition, other costs (books and on-campus room and board)

Average cost after aid

Average cost after aid by Household Income:

            Less Than $30,000
            $30,001 - $48,000
            $48,001 - $75,000
            $75,001- $110,000
            $110,001 or above

The most exclusive schools with the largest endowments and annual gifts are very generous, waving most or all expenses for families with household income below $75,000 and waiving tuition for those with income up to $125,000.

The table that follows shows the average cost before aid and the average after-aid cost for households with income below $30,000, between $30,001-$48,000, and $48,001-$75,000,

Average Cost Before And After Aid For HouseholdsBelow $75,000 in Annual Income ($)
Average Average Cost Average Cost
Cost for HI HI 30,001- HI 48,001-
School Full Cost 30,000 48,000 75,000
Princeton 61,860 1,348 1,771 6,224
Harvard 64,400 -230 632 3,392
MIT 63,250 7,432 4,727 5,247
Columbia 69,084 10,917 6,596 7,648
Chicago 70,100 3,620 2,289 4,672
Yale 66,445 4,978 4,392 6,896
Stanford 64,477 2,548 3,047
Duke 67,005 -1,070 827 7,805
Penn 66,800 7,755 5,323 12,968
Northwestern 68,060 6,416 9,054 11,480
JHU 65,496 14,236 9,384 13,448
Caltech 63,471 874 10,227 10,864
Dartmouth 67,044 15,604 7,316 18,324
Brown 65,380 5,335 5,459 12,181
Vanderbilt 63,532 1,168 6,043 11,146
Cornell 65,494 14,028 10,652 15,413
Rice 58,253 7,206 6,988 9,595
Notre Dame 64,665 8,838 13,451 13,979
UCLA 33,391 8,233 9,559 12,593
Wash.U. 67,751 5,716 6,580 9,528
Williams 66,340 2,780 3,795 8,188
Amherst 66,572 5,311 10,383 11,372
Swarthmore 64,363 6,120 4,422 16,603
Wellesley 63,390 8,204 9,948 12,150
Bowdoin 63,440 5,866 9,246 15,195
Carleton 64,420 16,366 11,408 15,350
Middlebury 63,456 5,141 9,505 11,186
Pomona 64,870 5,832 8,153 7,183
ClareMcKenna 66,325 7,089 9,083 7,182
Davidson 62,894 6,643 8,468 13,225

Students from families with income less than $30,000 can attend Princeton for an annual cost of $1,348 and only $6,224 up to an income of $75,000.  (A minus number means that the school is paying a student to attend.)  And so on in varying degrees for the other 29 elite universities and colleges.   No household with annual income below $75,000 pays over $16,000.  The cost of attending an elite school is lower than most state universities.

Why are students in elite schools attracted to socialism?  Socialism is redistribution of income directed by a government.  (Redistribution can be voluntary through charity.)  Many students attending elite schools are beneficiaries of redistribution.  It’s reasonable for them to believe that if America is rich enough to redistribute income to them to attend elite schools, it should be rich enough to redistribute income to everyone to bring about an equitable distribution of income for all.

In addition, almost every university has a Center for the Study of Inequality.  Faculty in these centers strive to identify the degree of inequality that exists in the U.S. and recommend  government policies to produce a more even distribution of income.

The growth in endowment and investment income, gifts, and federal and state aid that markedly reduces the cost of attending an elite school provides support for redistribution.  No amount of socialist failures around the world will change students’ minds.

How many students understand that gifts for endowment, gifts for annual expenditure, and government grants come from those who succeed in business in a market economy.  The top 10% of income earners pay 71% of federal income taxes and a comparably large share of state income taxes, which finances government grants to students.  Without the income and profits earned in America’s market economy and the disproportionately high share of taxes they pay, there would be much less money to redistribute.

Sadly, the well-to-do serving as university trustees are at the forefront of supporting the programs of redistribution that make elite education available to students from low-income households.  In so doing, they reinforce student demands for more redistribution (more socialism).  This situation will intensify in the coming years.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

An Analysis Of Admissions In Elite Universities And Colleges For The Class Of 2023

In the past two decades, almost every elite university and liberal arts college has reduced White admissions from a majority to a steadily decreasing minority of its undergraduate students.  They boast of this achievement on their web sites and in their admission brochures.  In 2019, the share of White admissions to elite schools ranges from 21% to 36% less than Whites as a share of the U.S. population.  One can plot the reduction in White admissions over the past 20 years from the published numbers in their Common Data Sets.

Until this year’s class of 2023 (2019-2023), most elite schools reported the acceptance rate, ethnic/racial and gender composition, and geographic distribution of those offered admission.  When the admission cycle is complete, as mandated by Congress, universities report applications and enrollment information to the National Center for Education Statistics.  They also fill out the Common Data Set, which includes applications, admissions, enrollments (yield), and the gender and ethnic/racial composition of enrolled (matriculated) students.

In late August 2018, Stanford announced that it would no longer publicize applications during early or regular admissions.  An official stated that Stanford feared that the large number of applicants (over 45,000), coupled with the tiny 5% (2,200) offered admission, would discourage talented students who would thrive at Stanford from applying, believing they had little chance of acceptance.  Stanford only reported the percentage of First Generation students in its Class of 2023.

Other elite schools declined to report admissions data in whole or in part.  Another change this year is that some schools reported race/ethnicity as “People of Color [POC),” combining Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Alaskans, Indians, Pacific islanders, and mixed race into one number.  The Common Data Set reports POC as distinct racial/ethnic categories.  However, reporting POC for admissions and then months later separate racial/ethnic categories for enrollments precludes comparing the ethnic/racial composition of admissions with that of enrollments.

Elite schools are dramatically reducing transparency.  This will help many universities avoid criticism that they are imposing an admission quota on Asian students, who will be included in POC, but not separately counted for admission.

Here are instructions for reading the table that follows.  No numbers across-the-board indicate no information provided in the announcement to admitted applicants.  Empty cells indicate that no data was reported for that specific category.  Numbers in brackets [40-60%] are the POC percentage.  The substantial number of empty cells differs from prior years when the table could be completely filled out.  If you want to compare 2023 with 2022, download admissions data for 2022 from each school’s website.

The top 20 universities and top 10 liberal arts colleges are taken from the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.  They are listed from top down.

Admissions to Class of 2023 for Elite Universities by Race and Ethnicity (Percent)
School White Asian Black Hisp Int'l Misc. Rate FG
USA 60 6 13 19 3
Princeton [56] 6 18
Harvard 25 15 12 12 3 5 16
Columbia 5
Chicago 6
Yale 6
Stanford 18
Duke 7
Penn [56] 7 15
Northwestern 9
JHU 24 28 14 18 9 6 10
Dartmouth [51] 12 8 16
Brown [49] 13 7 14
Cornell [55] 8 11 13
Rice 9
Notre Dame 15
Wash.U. 39 20 15 13 8 5 14
Williams 37 [58] 11 5 12 20
Amherst 27 20 21 18 11 3 11 11
Swarthmore 10 9 27
Wellesley 32 [57] 11 20 17
Bowdoin 9
Carleton 21
Middlebury 16
Pomona 28 18 14 20 14 6 20

FG:  First Generation
Notre Dame:  [POC + International] = 47%

No admissions information:  Caltech, UCLA, Claremont McKenna, Davidson.  Vanderbilt admission rate was 20% for Early Action and 6% for Regular Decision, but no information on the overall rate.

Admission Rate only:  MIT, Columbia, Chicago, Yale, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Notre Dame, Bowdoin, Carleton, Middlebury.

Selective information:  Stanford, Swarthmore

People of Color instead of separate information on Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and Mixed:  Princeton, Penn, Dartmouth, Brown, Cornell, Williams, and Wellesley.

Full information excluding Whites:  Harvard.

Full information:  JHU, Washington U., Amherst, Pomona

The percentage Whites admitted is listed for 6 schools.  Percentage White can be derived for 6 additional schools by subtracting the sum of People of Color and International Students from 100%.

Where reported or derived, with the exception of Notre Dame with White admissions of 53%, the percentage White varies from a low of 24% to a high of 39% of admitted applicants.  Compared with the national population, Whites are under represented by a low of 21% to a high of 36%.

Ideology?  Diversity?  Implications?  Consequences?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Harvard President Larry Bacow Proclaimed Diversity of Thought At A Speech At Peking University On March 20, 2019

Harvard President Larry Bacow, speaking at Peking University six weeks before the centennial of the May Fourth Movement, stated that the purpose of a university is the search for truth, which “has to be discovered, revealed through argument and experiment, tested on the anvil of opposing explanations and ideas,” in short, academic freedom.

Read carefully from the thirteenth paragraph beginning “Great universities stand for truth,…” to the end of his speech.

In paragraph 15, Bacow says “We must invite into our communities those people who challenge our thinking—and listen to them.”

Bacow concluded with a poem from one of China’s great modern poets, a Uyghur.

Wow!  In one speech, Bacow committed two major intellectual crimes against the Chinese Communist Party and Xi’s efforts to Sinicize the Uyghurs.

First, Bacow implicitly called into question the truth of  Xi Jinping Thought, which is now embedded in China’s constitution and which is required study for students and faculty at Peking University and every other university in China.  Indeed, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for the Modern Era” is the sine qua non of contemporary Chinese politics and society.  Criticism or questioning any aspect of Xi Jinping Thought is NOT permitted in China’s universities. Challenging Xi Jinping Thought in 2019 is the equivalent of deliberately disagreeing with the Catholic Church beginning with Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition in 1478 until 1834.  Both Spaniards disagreeing with Catholicism and Chinese with Xi Jinping Thought were and are being met with severe punishment.

Concluding his speech with a stanza from a Uyghur poet, Bacow added insult to injury.

Reporting from all Chinese state media, such as People’s Daily and Peking University’s social media sites, omitted any mention of Bacow’s statement that the search for truth requires diversity of thought with free discussion of opposing ideas or his quoting a stanza from the Uyghur poet.

After his speech, Bacow met with President Xi.  Both agreed that education exchanges and cooperation are beneficial to both countries.  Bacow said that Harvard will continue to promote exchanges and cooperation with Chinese educational and scientific research institutions.  Chinese media reported favorably on the meeting between the two men.

Imagine that President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Harvard on one of America’s historical celebrations in which he proclaimed that democracy, liberalism, and freedom of expression were Western governing structures designed to oppress workers and peasants, and to prevent the development of China and better living conditions for the Chinese people.  Imagine he talked about Harvard’s participation in enslaving Black people.  Then imagine he concluded with a paragraph from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

From the perspective of President Xi Jinping, President Larry Bacow’s Thought is reactionary and counterrevolutionary to China’s socialist system.

I would bet that the required study of Xi Jinping Thought and the repudiation of Western ideas in Chinese universities has been greatly intensified since March 20, 2019.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why Rich White Parents Pay Bribes To Get Their Children Admitted To Elite Universities

Elite universities have gone overboard in reducing White admissions to expand those of People of Color and international applicants.

When the data for the top 20 national universities and top 10 liberal arts colleges become available at the end of March, I’ll post the percentages of admissions by race and ethnicity and compare them with the national percentages of the United States.  Some schools provide only partial or no information on the racial/ethnic composition of their admissions.

In this post I’ll describe the transformation of my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL).  The story is similar for about half of the top 20 universities. 

I attended WUSTL during 1958-1962.  In 1958, the school was a “streetcar college.”  Only about 10% of the students were campus residents; the other 90% commuted to class.  People of Color were few and far between.  I do not recall seeing a single Black or Hispanic in my three years in Engineering school.

During my undergraduate years, WUSTL embarked on a dorm building program to broaden its student body.  Within several decades, it developed into a regional university for the Midwest, with students coming from states between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains.  Several decades later, it became a national university, competing for a national ranking in the teens, right after the Ivies, MIT, and Stanford.  It also established cooperative agreements with universities around the world in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

During 1960-2020, the United States underwent a steady demographic change.  White residents declined in successive decades from 85% of the U.S. population in 1960, to 84%, 80%, 76%, 69%, 64%, to an estimated 60% in 2020.

Let’s compare national racial/ethnic percentages with WUSTL admissions for the class of 2023.

                  White      Asian    Black   Hispanic    Misc     Intern’l

USA              60%          6          13          19           3

WUSTL         39%         20          15          13           5            8

Two numbers stand out.  One is the huge under-admission of Whites relative to their share of the national population.  The other is the over-admission of Asians.

There may be several reasons for these disparities.  First, WUSTL may be trying to avoid getting caught in the Harvard problem, which is being sued for a purported quota on Asian applicants.  Second, Asians are counted as “People of Color,” which dramatically enhances Diversity among admitted undergraduate students.

Two other factors reduce available slots for middle- and upper-middle-income White applicants.  Every elite university has embarked on a campaign to enroll first-generation low-income (FLI) students, some of whom are White.  Also, filling out athletic teams (swimming and diving, tennis, water polo, etc.) consumes White slots.  Some athletes may be top students, but some are not.  Although WUSTL is a Division III school, it still needs to fill out its intercollegiate sports teams with good athletes to be competitive in its conference.

These factors leave fewer slots for non-athletic upper-middle-class Whites.  No wonder some White parents take desperate measures to get a slot.

To present an image of greater fairness in admissions, six of the top 10 universities have announced that they will no longer give preference to legacies (family members who attended the specific university) and some have declared that donors will no longer receive preference for their children.

N’est-ce pas?  Maybe so, maybe not.  University officials will doubtless claim that privacy precludes disclosing the names of donors whose children have been accepted or rejected for admission.  Universities are all for accountability and transparency, but not when their gifts are at stake.  University faculty are quick to denounce inequality, except when it refers to their own top-ranked school.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Say It Ain’t So Joe, Say It Ain’t So!

In 1919, a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein bribed players on the Chicago White Sox to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.  This became known as the Black Sox scandal.  Gambling on baseball remains so abhorrent that to this day Pete Rose, who had the most hits in baseball history, but who gambled on the outcome of games, has been blocked from Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

On the centennial of the Black Sox scandal comes another bribery scandal, this one for admission to elite universities.  On March 12, 2019, the Department of Justice, after an investigation involving 300 FBI agents, handed down charges against 37 parents who indirectly paid up to $6.5 million in bribes to nine college coaches, two SAT and ACT exam administrators, one exam proctor, and one college administrator between 2011 and  2018.  The schools are a Who’s Who of elite universities, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, USC, UCLA, Wake Forest, and UT-Austin.

University leaders said they were appalled and disgusted.  Each professed, in Sergeant Shultz’s words, “I know nothing.”  The named coaches in the DOJ complaint were immediately suspended or terminated.

Wow!  Who knew that the paragons of virtue, morality, diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and equality can be bribed and bought?!  Or is just a case of rogue coaches?

Pay to row?  Pay to sail?  Pay to swim?  Pay to hit a tennis ball?  Pay to kick a soccer ball?  Pay to hit a volleyball?  For students who never played these sports or played them poorly?

One good thing, though.  This will go down as the rich White academic scandal.

Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so!