… Blue Ridge mountains, Shenandoah River…
West Virginia University is gradually reducing itself to nothing – no foreign languages, a lot fewer professors, no grad program in math, fewer undergrad programs.
Shit, place ain’t got no money, and customers are voting with their feet.
Lotsa boohoo about all this from the liberal elites, but hold on jest a minute! Hang on jest one sec! UD ain’t crying, and she’ll tell you why.
As you know, UD sees no reason why a country (Hungary) or a state (New Mexico, Nevada, West Virginia, Florida) that wants to reduce itself to an intellectual desert should be kept from doing so.
The American system is already correcting for this. Notice, for instance, how Hampshire College has stepped up to offer an easy transfer to New College students who can’t take it anymore. Nevada has always done beautifully on the dumbshit tourist trade and doesn’t need fancy theories to run casinos. Its wretched state university system should call it a day; smart young Nevadans can go to California. Same deal for other pro-ignorance states – this is a big country with oodles of good (and some supremely great) universities.
As for West Virginia. Feast your eyes on UD‘s coverage, over many years, of WVU – a hopelessly drunk and disorderly party school in a hopeless state from which those who can flee are fleeing. Morgantown runs with squalid bars in which frat boys try to kill pledges via drink. The kids riot after purty near every football game. The football and basketball coaches continue to be paid like princes. It’s a world, to be sure; a party school world which is about what a state like WV can manage if you tell it to establish a university. But you’re never gonna get the yahoos in the legislature to smarten the place up, and fact is most of its students are fine with the way things are. Those who aren’t will find good schools in driving distance: FIVE states border WV, and three of them have good schools.
[M]ost professors, even conservative ones, will avoid institutions they know are restricting academic freedom. They know that in such places, because of whom it might upset, they may not be able to engage in the research they wish to explore and cover topics relevant to their academic discipline.
UD calls Florida Little Hungary: Like that country, it’s shutting down its best schools (Hungary hounded out Central European University) to make the world safe for professors like John Eastman.
Texas is the other state you don’t want to be in if you’re a self-respecting academic. Look how the state’s lieutenant governor started blubbering when one of Texas A&M’s most impressive professors said something negative about him.
OTOH: Take a trip down memory lane here at UD about the filthy jockshop which is A&M, and recall that ganging up on professors while kissing the ass of characters like Johnny Manziel is Job One at that school.
… and you too might pen a No Thanks letter to a university in one of America’s LGBTQ (Lawless Glocksucker Barbarian Tenureless Quisling) states.
UT-Austin tried to hire a game theorist for its new free-enterprise think tank. He turned down the job because of fights over tenure.
‘I must admit I have been closely following the activities of the Texas Legislature for the past couple of weeks, which has highlighted to me some potential risks that were not in the front of my mind at the outset of this process… If I moved from my current job, which is a decent job, to UT, what kind of intellectual community can I build there? … When you go somewhere as a senior faculty member, you’re thinking about, OK … how am I going to build that department? If I go there and I have tenure, but they don’t have tenure — and what I want to do is build a group in my field — that sounds very difficult because junior faculty wouldn’t want to come.’ …
Daniel Brinks, chair of the government department at UT-Austin, told lawmakers at a public hearing earlier this month that he made six job offers to fill two positions this spring and was turned down every time.
“People turn down jobs for lots of reasons, but from what these candidates told me, the uncertainty around tenure was a big factor in our failure to hire this year,” he told the House Higher Education Committee.
Might could be them real big guns yall got hangin off everybody too.
And baby when I say LAWLESS …
Eva Kaili seems to have been associated in some way with artificial intelligence at Stanford; but she has been made to disappear.
Oberlin College packs up its legal baggage and moves on from the Ohio Supreme Court to – I don’t know – the United States Supreme Court …? The European Court of Human Rights …? in a pointless, expensive quest to evade an already-crushing penalty for having bullied a venerable, much-loved local bakery practically out of business. The Ohio Supreme Court rejected Oberlin’s appeal without comment because nu? You did the deed; you never even attempted an apology; you hired the airhead apparatchik dean who made the magic happen. Own it, babe.
The numbers are out. As you’d expect, many prospective college students seem likely to avoid Ensouled Zygote states.
OTOH: If you’re a teenage girl for whom rape, drunkenness, berserk athletes/frat boys, gun and gang violence, self-righteous Christian/sexist administrations, and absolutely no abortion in the state, sounds like the ideal higher ed environment, UD (who has followed these schools for years) recommends the following:
Florida State University
Jackson State University
Louisiana State Baton Rouge
As with all lists, not all of these schools will feature all of your desiderata, though Baylor comes closest to ticking off all the elements you’re looking for.
They’re the only southern universities in the top twenty USNW rankings, and already some high school seniors (UD just listened to an interview on NPR this morning with several of them) are saying no way. Tennessee and Texas are absolutely looking like no-go sites for modern women, and North Carolina will almost certainly, in not too long a time, head back to the 1950s as well. Why risk signing up for four years at Duke?
These schools, marooned in too bad your father raped you, you poor thirteen year old land, can expect some portion of their faculty to try to get the hell out too. For years now, universities in that yall and shut ma mouth land have lost faculty because of the yall bring all your guns to campus, ya hear? laws in their university’s state; vicious anti-women legislation will draw yet more of them away.
But the good news is that these schools will not have to worry about diversity.
‘The Duke community represents the entire gamut of opinion from a network of spies should expose abortion seekers to the authorities to women who have ordered abortifacients should be incarcerated to a woman who aborts is an abomination in the sight of the lord and death in forced childbirth is what she deserves. C’mon down!’
… tops that one by denying tenure to a scholar whose qualifications outshine almost everyone on the Chapel Hill faculty.
Not at all surprisingly, Nikole Hannah-Jones, having ultimately dragged tenure out of these dummies, immediately dumped the place for another institution. That was exactly the right thing to do: Make your point, embarrass UNC, and leave its sports-mad ickiness behind you in a cloud of dust.
Not that Howard, where Hannah-Jones has accepted a position, is a paragon. I’ve followed Howard University on this blog for years, and it’s got a pile of problems. But at least it’s trying to solve them.
Chicago State University is arguably America’s worst university; Yale is arguably the best. Yet in Orwellian times, Yale and Chicago State meet in the Stasi space, where students denounce students, professors denounce professors, and students denounce professors, all in a context of terrified anonymity. “Students regularly attack their professors, and one another, for their scholarship, professional choices and perceived political views. In a place awash in rumor and anonymous accusations, almost no one would speak on the record.”
One might have thought Yale shot its wad when Naomi Wolf (current Wolf news here) attacked Harold Bloom twenty years after the whatever. But that was just one local accusation. We now have a world.
In the latest instance, involving a naughty law professor, a text-message “dossier” reveals …
“Evidence of what?” one (Yale professor) asked. Another called it “tattletale espionage.”
“Where are we — in Moscow in 1953, when children were urged to report on their parents and siblings?” the professor said.
Secret recordings, anonymous denunciations, a massive “whisper network” – Yale, meet Chicago State.
… this, from the MIT Technology Review. It was an insider reckoning with the school’s Media Lab, which turns out to have been an Early Epstein Responder. But unlike a lot of people and institutions, the Lab, under its modest, unworldly, cerebral, founder (“[Nicholas] Negroponte said that he prided himself on knowing over 80% of the billionaires in the US on a first-name basis…”), kept on taking Jeffrey Epstein’s money long after he had been convicted of sex crimes. (“He wiped his reputation off with the dirty money [the Lab] took. Then he raped more kids.”) Of course they tried to hide what they were doing (wouldn’t you?), and now the story of greed, moral degeneracy, and coverup at one of America’s most burnished schools has jumped all over the place, esp. the New York Times and the New Yorker.
A writer for the Guardian draws out – way out – some possible implications of this big ol’ scandal.
The ugly collective picture of the techno-elites that emerges from the [MIT] Epstein scandal reveals them as a bunch of morally bankrupt opportunists… [A] “third culture” [was supposed to] replace the [university’s] technophobic literary intellectuals with [intellectuals] coming from the world of science and technology…
It’s not uncommon for intellectuals to serve as useful idiots to the rich and the powerful, but, under the “third culture”, this reads like a job requirement… [C]lose the Media Lab, disband the Ted Talks, refuse the money of tech billionaires… Without such drastic changes, the powerful bullshit-industrial complex that is the “third culture” will continue unharmed, giving cover to the next Epstein.
As a technophobic literary whatever, UD‘s thrilled at the prospect of threadbare morally serious professors taking their no money and no influence and bashing the brains out of the techies and their billionaire buddies… but this seems unlikely. The Guardian writer seems a bit over the top. After all, it ain’t just techies – look at what Stanford med school professors have been doing forever! The future belongs to the bullshit-industrial (industrial bullshit?) complex.
I mean, talk about overcoming adversity. She had her heart set on being a suicide bomber and killing hundreds of men, women, and children. She got arrested all dressed up and ready to go — in full suicide-bomb gear.
Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself for undeploying, she applied to university. Something to do between vest fittings.
But her past keeps catching up with her. Universities keep throwing her out.
UD proposes that this woman approach Rick Singer with some serious money. Surely she’s got some ISIS cash. He can get her into Stanford.
[Yale] has lobbied against the [new] 1.4 percent excise tax on annual endowment returns, which targets 35 universities — including Yale — with assets greater than $500,000 per full-time student. According to a budget update published earlier this month, projected spending from the University’s endowment will grow by 6.3 percent next fiscal year, despite adjustment to the new tax.
Don’t worry, Yalies! We’ll labor night and day to keep the government’s stinking hands off that 1.4 percent!
… (as UD has always called it) has disappeared as a university (few students attend; almost no one graduates) but continues to thrive as a taxpayer-sponsored kleptomania/litigation machine. Corruption, virtually the only game on campus (uh, plus basketball), must be kept quiet in order to sustain itself, so the school’s constantly suing or threatening to sue students, professors, and administrators who tell the truth about what’s going on. CSU loses the suits, of course, and has to pay (the good people of Illinois have to pay) big settlement and legal costs.
Here’s the latest payout, the result of the school suing two faculty bloggers who did not conform, wrote CSU, to the “high standards of civility and professionalism [that] are central tenants [sic] of the University’s values.”
… interviewed UD in a hotel room during a New York City MLA convention; they then invited her to spend three days in LA – she gave a paper, walked around the cool campus, got taken out to cool LA restaurants, and left the city feeling extremely good about USC.
She was thrilled to get a job offer a few days later, but ultimately decided she was more of an east coaster.
UD recalled all of this when reading an opinion piece by Braudy about the resignation of USC’s benighted president, Max Nikias. He left under the impossible pressure of multiple very big sex and drug scandals, and he really had to leave. But Leo makes the important point that despite the awful scandals on his watch, Nikias did a huge amount of good for the school.
When Nikias became provost in 2005, one of his first acts was to institute Visions and Voices, an arts and humanities program that is free to all students, bringing writers, actors, dancers and other prominent artists to campus to create a vibrant nighttime activity rather than the commuter wasteland that had existed before.
… More than 100 endowed faculty chairs and 20 new research centers were established under Nikias’ leadership and with the funds he raised. The number of residential colleges, where students can fruitfully interact with faculty, graduate students and each other, increased from one to 15. Older campus buildings were renovated and new ones added, including the Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, and the Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The campus itself has been beautified with more than a thousand new trees as well as numerous places for students and faculty to sit, have coffee and converse.
And if you are in search of an ethical as well as a bricks-and-mortar legacy, consider his enormous expansion of the diversity of USC’s community of scholars, and especially his strong support of first-generation students, students from foster families and DACA students.
The USC student body now is drawn from all 50 states and 129 countries. Sixteen percent of the incoming freshman class will be the first in their families to attend college; about a quarter are underrepresented minorities. Two-thirds of all USC students receive financial aid, which has increased almost 80% under Nikias, from $187 million to $325 million — the biggest financial aid pool in America. Very few “spoiled children” here.
Nor is USC any longer the University of Second Choice. The university is rated 15th nationally by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, and USC this year had 63,000 freshman applications.
… among faculty and staff. At our most career-criminal schools, like the University of Louisville, the theft starts at the top (UL is currently trying to use the courts to claw back a few of the millions their last president apparently swiped) and moves briskly and efficiently through various heads of programs (who can forget Dean Felner?) and also into – no kidding – athletics.
UD has learned over the blogging years that the less legitimacy – hell, the less reality – something calling itself a university has, the more the random people hanging around this random place will steal. Schools with a graduation rate approaching zero percent – for instance, Southern University, with its beloved, larcenous band leader – and schools approaching zero enrollment, like Chicago State University, will be the national theft standouts.
Obviously, as the school tanks, very few conscientious people will want to have anything to do with trying to run it. You end up hiring rogues, hastening the process of decline.