Sunday Commentary: Scholars Focus on the Wrong UC Crisis

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brown-votes-to-occupy-dutton-wth-cptMy first experience as a graduate student in UC Davis’ political science department is now nearly 16 years ago.  In a lot of ways it was an eye opener for me because the culture of research coming from a teaching college was very different.

Political science in the research areas is not the study of politics; rather it is a study of political systems and political actors.  Critics might be stunned at how apolitical the field is in most ways because the focus is on hard quantitative research, where statistical analysis and complicated mathematical models dominate the leading journals, and methods dominate over outcomes.

I remember one of my colleagues noting that they had little interest in politics, but rather a curiosity in understanding how political systems worked in different countries.  That is not to say that if you go across the field that you will not find those political junkies following political affairs, it is simply to draw a distinction between the practice of politics and the study of political science.

Through my decade-long work at UC Davis, I became acquainted with a number of other programs – particularly at Stanford and Berkeley.  My work took me across disciplines, as well.

So the idea espoused by a nebulous group of conservative critics, of California education being co-opted by political activism, is a bit too far-fetched from my view.

There is a notion that the “decline in quality at UC corresponds to a fundamental transformation of the curriculum: away from an emphasis on teaching facts and intellectual skills, and toward the propagation of a political agenda.”

The group is called the California Association of Scholars, founded “to confront the rise of campus political correctness.”  The reality is a bit ironic, however, as an unpacking of their study shows that they have themselves engaged in the same kinds of activities they are purported to shun.

Writes a scathing LA Times editorial: “When the group shows its work, things aren’t that clear. ‘A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California’ is a mélange of anecdotes, second-hand studies (some of them national surveys that may not reflect the situation at the UCs), leaps of logic and ideological hyperventilation.”

As the LA Times notes, it is not that UC or any system in California is beyond reproach.  “Clearly,” they argue, “some UC professors and programs have on some occasions transgressed the line between education and indoctrination.”  But overall, they argue, “the report fails to establish the existence of either a ‘cancer’ or a ‘crisis’ requiring urgent action by the Regents to restore a ‘rigorous marketplace of ideas.’ “

The report includes a number of horror stories involving those instructors who do foist their opinions on students, and it finds questionable course descriptions and reading lists.

We do not have to go far to find examples in our own backyard of professors who have gotten a bit too close, say, to the student protesters and have become involved in their causes.

On the other hand, I would argue my department would have looked down upon that type of activism by a professor.  I think most departments at UC Davis would be uncomfortable with a professor engaging in that type of activism on campus.

As the LA Times notes, “You don’t have to be a Republican to object to a computer science instructor who calls Arnold Schwarzenegger a ‘Nazi actor,’ or a community studies teacher who (according to a student) used her course as a vehicle for a ‘personal vendetta against the state of Israel, against Zionism, against Israelis and against Jews.’ ”  They write: “Subjecting a captive classroom audience to a one-sided political harangue is poor pedagogy, and so is stacking the deck in reading assignments.”

But anecdotes are easy to find.  The real question is whether, on a systemic level, there exists some sort of problem that has impacted the quality of education more than years of lack of prioritization of funding by the state legislature and the voters.

‘The report cites a national study suggesting that a majority of teachers in the U.S. believe it is important to teach students to effect social change. “But is that sort of politicization pervasive at UC?” the LA Times asks, but the study never conclusively answers.

Instead, they cite the overwhelming discrepancy between Democrats and Republicans in social science departments.  Writes the Times, “Imbalances like that are eye-opening, but they don’t prove that professors are pressing their politics on their students or are incapable of exploring other points of view.”  Part of the problem is a self-selective process that leads to career choices, but again, this hardly proves the point that they are making.

Writes the LA Times, “In fact, the report is short of proof of any kind that UC suffers from a ‘cancer of politicization.’ Anecdotes abound, but quantification is elusive.”

In fact, it is this lack of quantification that leads me to believe that this report really commits the same sort of errors that they accuse professors of doing.

The LA Times adds, “Anticipating assertions that most teachers conduct their classes responsibly and without politicization, the report notes that ‘the word “most” is consistent with the existence of a huge problem. If even 10% of classrooms are corrupted, that would be horrendous, and yet the word “most” would allow far more than that.’ “

But as the Times points out, even the 10% figure lacks quantification and backing.  The report instead asserts, without much more than scattered anecdotal evidence, that indoctrination is “so widespread, and so open, that it is now clear that politicization is acceptable both to faculty and administration.”

Furthermore, the Times hammers the report for failing to “justify its apocalyptic title by documenting a link between politicization and declining standards.”

At best it speculates, “If graduates cannot even write short declarative sentences competently, that is not surprising when writing courses neglect writing and focus instead on radical politics.”

It is an interesting point, but one of the shocking things I discovered as a teaching assistant was how little writing skills students had coming into college.  Entry level students at UC Davis struggled to write even a basic and bare-boned five point essay.  As a teaching assistant I had to spend hours with students to turn their papers into at least structurally correct papers.

From my standpoint, that should not be the job of a college.  That is the job of K-12 to teach.

Concludes the LA Times, “Anyone who has been to college knows that a minority of professors, liberal and conservative, succumb to the occupational hazard of inflicting their political (and other) views on their students without allowing any dissent.”

They add, “When that occurs, at UC or elsewhere, administrators need to remind faculty of the importance of open and uninhibited discussion. But the California Assn. of Scholars insists that more must be done to address the ‘crisis.’ It suggests that the Regents require ‘annual campus reports of progress in returning the campus to intellectual health, making it clear that administrations that have not achieved substantial progress will be replaced.’ Before instituting such an intrusive policy, the Regents should demand more proof of a problem than is contained in this report.”

The problem with these kinds of reports, other than their lack of intellectual and research-oriented rigor, is that they get thrown into the political discourse as though they are fact.

When that happens, hyperbole becomes talking point and perspective gets lost.

That is what happened this week when Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum decided to rip the California educational system without doing his own research.

In a campaign stop in Wisconsin he told the audience, “I was just reading something last night from the State of California that … seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.”

Now, wouldn’t you think he would check his facts before making the claim publicly?  Just from a political standpoint, it is embarrassing to make mistakes when you know bloggers and reporters are microscoping every last sentence.

But apparently not.  It does not take much to disprove this kind of inflammatory rhetoric.  Rachel Maddow, a commentator, simply read the UC Davis course calendar which named course such as “History of the United States,” “The Gilded Age and Progressive Era” and “War, Prosperity and Depression, 1917-1945.”

Naturally UC Davis officials go a kick out of that.

“We were thrilled that a national TV audience was able to see the breadth of our course offerings in a very important subject,” UC Davis spokesman Barry Shiller told the Sacramento Bee.

In fact, the Bee reports that American history is taught in nine of the ten campus, and only UC San Francisco, which is a medical school only, does not have such classes.

In fact, all undergraduate programs require American History as a required course for an undergraduate degree.

It is unfortunate that this has to be the discussion, rather than the real problems facing college students, including rising costs of tuition, increasing onerous student loan debts and decreasing numbers of course offered.

And the irony here is amazing.  So here you have students clashing with the police at these college campuses that are supposedly co-opted by political correctness.  You have a UC Board of Regents, mostly appointed by Republican governors, who oversee this bastion of liberalism.

The whole thing makes no sense. But it does fit the political agenda of a few and then it gets repeated with very little thought given.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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33 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: Scholars Focus on the Wrong UC Crisis”

  1. medwoman

    “That is what happened this week when Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum decided to rip the California educational system without doing his own research.

    In a campaign stop in Wisconsin he told the audience, “I was just reading something last night from the State of California that … seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.”

    These kinds of statements which I believe hold within them the hope that the listeners, in this case potential voters, will accept on face value the word of an authority figure, in this case a presidential candidate, without demanding any kind of evidence for the veracity of the claim, are truly alarming.

    We have seen this kind of comment to what seems to me an unprecedented degree during this primary season. We have seen Michelle Bachmann claim that HPV vaccine causes mental retardation on the basis of a single conversation with a mother. We have seen Rick Santorum claim that birth control pills “do not work” ( ignoring the fact that they are associated with a 3-5% chance of pregnancy as compared to a 15-20% with condom use, or the 80% chance of pregnancy unprotected) and that they are “harmful” ( completely ignoring their health benefits for many women, and the fact that the same can be said for the side effects of any medication including aspirin which can lead to life threatening hemorrhage or Tylenol which can lead to liver failure). We have seen Mitt Romney claim that Obama’s State of the Union Address did not make a single mention of the deficit, while in fact there were a number of references to the deficit in that address.

    We have also seen distortions from the media ( likely deliberate in my opinion) in the Martin/Zimmerman tragedy as reported here by David.

    Conservatives, please feel free to chime in with your examples of unsubstantiated claims from the left. It is the practice of making a strong statement without any substantiating objective data beyond anecdote that I am criticizing here, not the politics of the individual involved.
    I also am not referring to statements made on a post or a blog. Venting and purely anecdotal based opinions are anticipated here. They should not be a part of deciding policy which in my opinion should be a rational exercise in decision making based on demonstrated fact.
    Creating a “crisis” by drumming up an emotional response to a political position one does not favor, does not, in my opinion have any place in
    policy decisions for public education or any other public venture.

  2. E Roberts Musser

    I would argue the real problem at UCD in particular is the failure of the university to enforce its own principles of community. In the April 5 Cal Aggie, the Chief of Medicine at UCD, David Siegel complains about anti-semitic remarks made about him specifically (he was referred to as “sh_tstein”) on an official UCD facebook page of the Students for Justice in Palestine. He brought his complaints to the UCD administration, who chose to do nothing. The explanation was as follows:
    “[I] have thoroughly reviewed it in the context of the UC Stds of Conduct for Students. While the comments posted on the Facebook page are understandably offensive, the actions of the students that posted them do not violate any of the standards. Additionally, such speech is protected under the First Amendment, and although the comments are not consistent with the campus’ Principles of Community, those principles do not constitute a policy.”

    David Seigel rightly points out: “I am deeply troubled by these findings. If they do not violate UC Stds of Conduct for Students, then there is a serious problem. UCD administrators should not shrink from their responsibilities. When faculty are the target of racist and threatening behavior from students, university administrators should not hide behind misguided notions of “First Amendment” rights. If analogous comments had been made about any other minority or LGBT individuals, [the] findings certainly would have been different. It appears that …the UCD administration [does] not take hate speech and threats seriously when directed against Jews. An intolerable precedent has been set.”

  3. medwoman

    Elaine

    “I am deeply troubled by these findings. If they do not violate UC Stds of Conduct for Students, then there is a serious problem.”

    While I agree with Dr. Seigel that this is a serious issue and that if this kind of egregious religious, cultural,or racial kind of name calling does not violate the UC code of conduct for students, then it should, and the code needs revision. And, I agree with you that the university should be standing by established principles of community.

    I do think there is a much broader concern at play here and that is the issue of supposedly promoting objectivity, while not choosing to use objective standards oneself to promote one’s position. I am seeing an erosion in all aspects of our public conversation in objective consideration of facts and ideas and an increasing reliance on undermining the value of objective evidence based problem solving in favor of appeals to authority that I find alarming. I find it equally alarming whether it comes from the left in the form of ” trust me because of my political philosophy of
    Socialism orcommunism” or whether it comes from the right in the form of ” trust me because of my religious belief or ‘family values’ or my entrepreneurial success”. This reliance on authority undermines the value of thinking for oneself after careful consideration of the evidence which is surely the principle responsible for what many Americans would consider our success.

  4. E Roberts Musser

    [quote] I am seeing an erosion in all aspects of our public conversation in objective consideration of facts and ideas and an increasing reliance on undermining the value of objective evidence based problem solving in favor of appeals to authority that I find alarming.[/quote]

    Agreed. But I also find troubling the idea that even basic tenets of decency would not be enforced either…

  5. J.R.

    This report is indeed anecdotal. It is not a research study with conclusive statistical proof.

    Apparently there are organizations that do not follow the strict standards of the Vanguard in only making claims when there is incontrovertible proof backing them up.

  6. J.R.

    For those who want to read the report for themselves, it can be found at

    [url]http://www.nas.org/images/documents/A_Crisis_of_Competence.pdf[/url]

    I found it eye opening and deeply disturbing.

  7. JustSaying

    By the time folks get to college, they tend to be able to think for themselves. The recognize radicalism, laziness and incompetence–as well as greatness–in their instructors and professors. They share their evaluations. Word gets around.

    I do sympathize with students who are led astray by professors who may be fine teachers, but who convince students to act in ways for which the neither the professors nor their followers adequately the consider potential consequences. Those charged in the bank blocade are examples.

    Accurately judging that they temporarily had some level of extraordinary power because of the recent pepper spray uproar, the blockaders over-played their hand.

    Surprised to actually be charged with the crimes they openly and purposely committed, the professors now try to convince their temporarily assembled and criminally charged flock that no one could have anticipated the supposedly unfair and unreasonable action by university and county officials.

    Now, the professors are stuck trying to sell the idea that charging someone AFTER they commit a crime somehow is unConstitutional or cheating. The concept’s quite a silly one, but they’ve even coined a new term, “retroactive prosecution,” in hopes the ignorant will think it’s some discredited legal theory.

    Even though a number of media outlets are advancing the retroactivity accusations and trying to suggest unfounded notions of the university/county’s motives in acting, the blockaders’ PR efforts eventually will fail. That time will come when it’s decided whether or not they’re guilty of breaking the law.

    All I ask is that professors who want to convert their students to some cause–that in turn might advance their own pet objectives–provide full disclosure to their charges about the dangers of the venture and that they’re smart enough and educated enough to know what their getting into themselves.

    In this case, they got out-maneuvered by the university due to their lack of foresight. Maybe those who want to lead a revolution on campus should first recruit a few political scientists (or just some basic historians) before the charge off to close down another business.

  8. roger bockrath

    The only information I can find on the NAS web site about who funds their activities is,
    [i]”NAS is funded by grants from foundations, gifts from individuals, and membership dues. We also draw some support from federal research grants. NAS is a non-profit organization, and gifts we receive are tax-deductible.”[/i] I want to know what foundations and which individuals.

    I am a firm believer in “Follow the Money” whenever I question the results of a “study”. “He who pays the piper chooses the tune” would seem to be the watchword when judging an organization that claims to be all about academic freedom, when their “study” concludes that politics activism is the ruination of the U.C. system.

    I was amused to see David write, [i]”It is an interesting point, but one of the shocking things I discovered as a teaching assistant was how little writing skills students had coming into college. Entry level students at UC Davis struggled to write even a basic and bare-boned five point essay. As a teaching assistant I had to spend hours with students to turn their papers into at least structurally correct papers.”[/i]

    Talk about “the pot calling the kettle black”! Some times I have to read David’s paragraphs three or four times before I can decipher what it is he is trying to communicate. In his defense I acknowledge that a story that probably takes him an hour to knock out would most likely take me half a day. Keep going David. If you will struggle to write intelligible pieces I will struggle to figure out what you are talking about!

  9. J.R.

    roger bockrath

    It appears that you are searching for reasons to discredit the National Association of Scholars so that you don’t have to engage with their ideas. Why not criticize the arguments in their study, after you read it, rather than just dismissing the organization because you haven’t managed to find out who funds them. Being exposed to a diversity of viewpoints is good for everyone. You won’t understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own viewpoints if you don’t open up to consider those that differ.

  10. medwoman

    JR

    I got no further that page 8 before I also found it eye opening and deeply disturbing, but perhaps for different reasons than yours.

    “Academia is a “kind of repository of the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and cultural achievements of our society;” it preserves, studies, and builds upon that knowledge and those achievements. Academics are therefore naturally animated by a profound respect for the legacy of our past, and for the storehouse of knowledge and wisdom that it offers us. Their job is in part to pass it on to the next generation, while building on and modifying it.”

    To me, this a tremendous and dangerous misreading of the nature of academia. The assertion here is that it’s purpose is as “a “kind of repository of the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and cultural achievements of our society”. To me this is an extremely narrow view of the role of academia. Academia for me embodies not only an understanding and appreciation for our own culture, but the contributions of all cultures, all peoples, and the relationship of people to the natural world through the sciences. Academia should not be viewed as a defender and glorifier of our past but as an analytical training ground for the assessment, deeper understanding of, and ability to compare and contrast various systems of belief be they religious, scientific, economic, or philosophic.

    I fully intend to read the entire report. Especially since finding a statement of such concern to me so early on.

  11. roger bockrath

    JR writes,
    [i]”It appears that you are searching for reasons to discredit the National Association of Scholars so that you don’t have to engage with their ideas. Why not criticize the arguments in their study, after you read it, rather than just dismissing the organization because you haven’t managed to find out who funds them.”[/i]

    Forgive my cynicism but any “national” organization, with under 6000 total membership has to have some pretty big “donors” to be producing “studies” for a client like University of California. If the national mother organization has less than 6000 members I wonder how many dues paying members the California subsidiary has and where the mola comes from to produce their study. This organization seems to me to be more like a conservative think tank. Does anybody have any information to the contrary?

  12. J.R.

    [quote]This organization seems to me to be more like a conservative think tank[/quote]

    I’m not sure if it’s a conservative think tank, but what if it is?

    [quote]I fully intend to read the entire report. Especially since finding a statement of such concern to me so early on[/quote]

    We may not interpret what they say the same way, but I admire your willingness to look at what they wrote and engage the ideas. If you can point out errors in their report, or misguided statements, then that would do far more to discredit them then making vague allegations about possible nefarious sources of support.

  13. medwoman

    JR

    Page 9 ” First, when governments use the resources of the state to help keep themselves in power, they are
    not in the fullest sense freely elected, and democracy is injured. When we see countries in which governments use their control of the media or of what is taught in their educational systems to maintain themselves in power, we easily recognize an undemocratic system of government”

    It would seem to me ironic that the authors seem to be excluding questioning the merits of democracy itself from their claim to support freedom of thought. If we start out with the premise of “not injuring democracy” is that not in and of itself thought limiting ?

  14. medwoman

    JR

    Page 10

    “It is safe to say that the legislature could never be asked
    to appropriate funds to promote one political party or philosophy at the expense of another without
    an immediate public outcry. “

    I do not think this is a safe statement at all. Military recruiters operate on campuses. One might argue that they are using national, not state funds, but it comes from public monies all the same and they are using state supported facilities., As I am a pacifist, this certainly seems to me like ” at the expense of one philosophy over another.”

  15. medwoman

    Page 11

    “Political activism will tend to promote shallow, superficial thinking that falls short of the analytical depth that we expect of the college-educated mind. The habits of thought that it promotes are in every respect the exact opposite of those we expect a college education to develop.”

    Unquestioning acceptance of the status quo will tend to promote all the same outcomes.

  16. medwoman

    “Strong political commitments that dominate the classroom will stunt intellectual curiosity, and that can only mean that they will also stunt the analytical power that is a crucial goal of college education.”

    Strong political commitments that dominate in our culture have the same effect. Grades K-12 rarely allow for any challenge of the concept that democracy and western culture as a whole is the norm when in fact, it is not for much of the world. One could reasonably argue that living in the United States, the college classroom might be the students only opportunity to thoughtfully question the dominant system.

  17. medwoman

    “political activism tends toward brief slogans (“stop the war!”)

    Another couple of examples came to mind for me :
    “Support our troops”
    “Mission accomplished”
    The first put forward with no analytical thought process involved about whether or not their mission is worthy of their efforts and their lives.
    The second with complete analytic disregard for the potential unintended consequences of achieving ones mission and how those consequences would be dealt with.
    When our national leadership acts in this fashion, can we expect different tactics from the opposition?

    And please note, I am not advocating this as an operative principle from either side.

  18. medwoman

    “But political activists tend to have a very different attitude to alternatives to their own convictions:
    they must be defeated. They do not deserve sympathetic consideration, for they are at best wrong, at worst evil. A genuinely academic thinker must be able to believe for a moment that his own preferred explanation is wrong, so that he can look very hard at the case for other explanations, but that is almost a psychological impossibility for the political or social activist.”

    A statement equally true of extremists on either side of the political spectrum. I get the feeling from the tone of the “study” thus far, that the authors perceive the term “political activist” to apply only to those on the left end of the political spectrum. Would they for instance see a pacifist at a war protest as an “activist” but a military recruiter not as an ” activist” although both are clearly promotional of their own point of view.

  19. medwoman

    “they don’t look at the past and see accumulated knowledge and wisdom, but instead a story of bigotry, inequality, and racial and sexual prejudice that needs to be swept aside. “

    I believe that only by willingness to consider both the accumulated wisdom, but also the shortcomings of all human endeavors does one gain an objective view of our past and the implications that may have for our present state and possible desirable paths forward.

    Using medicine as an example, we would not dream of extolling the wonders of the discovery of penicillin without also conveying the importance of remembering the tragedy of thalidomide ( a pharmaceutical cause of major birth defects). To consider the major medical triumph without keeping ever in mind the dangers would in the future put us at grave risk as it has in the past. Objective inquiry requires considering the merits of all sides.

  20. medwoman

    Page 17

    “Misuse of the classroom by, for example, allowing it to be used for political indoctrination…constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.”
    We should note again that these statements cannot be construed narrowly to refer only to advocacy on behalf of candidates or ballot issues in elections. The Kerr directive refers much more broadly to the “political, religious, and other controversial issues of the day.” It is just as clear that the phrase “political indoctrination” has a much broader reference than mere lobbying for votes in a particular election.

    I think that one could reasonably argue that in this case, misuse of the university as a public institution did not originate with the “political activists” but rather with the blatant use of university property in the form of student identification being used to promote a given commercial interest. Again, if the university leadership uses the tactics of mass advertising in promoting their agenda of privatization of a public institution, can we expect less partisan behavior from the instructors ?

  21. E Roberts Musser

    To medwoman: I stopped reading your criticisms after a while, bc it seemed as if you were reading through a different set of glasses than I am. I did not take much of what was said so literally, nor in such a negative light…

    Let’s take an example:
    [quote]Page 9 ” First, when governments use the resources of the state to help keep themselves in power, they are
    not in the fullest sense freely elected, and democracy is injured. When we see countries in which governments use their control of the media or of what is taught in their educational systems to maintain themselves in power, we easily recognize an undemocratic system of government”

    It would seem to me ironic that the authors seem to be excluding questioning the merits of democracy itself from their claim to support freedom of thought. If we start out with the premise of “not injuring democracy” is that not in and of itself thought limiting ?[/quote]

    I read this to mean: When gov’ts use taxpayer dollars, the media or the educational system to keep themselves in power, that is harmful to a democratic form of gov’t.

  22. E Roberts Musser

    I always find it fascinating when two people can view the same event or read the exact same thing, and come away with a totally different view of what happened/what was said…

  23. roger bockrath

    JR writes,[i]
    I’m not sure if it’s a conservative think tank, but what if it is?…If you can point out errors in their report, or misguided statements, then that would do far more to discredit them then making vague allegations about possible nefarious sources of support.” [/i]

    I,m sorry if you interpreted my statement about no substantive information on the NAS website concerning who pays for their studies. It’s just that there is so much drivel in the media these days,presented as legitimate research driven “facts”, that turns out to be little more than a P.R. campaign, devised to further the viewpoint of the whomever paid for it.

    With U.C. in the spotlight for all the student dissent over outrageous tuition and outrageous pay packages for administrators, forgive me if I am a bit cynical about a report that discourages political dissent, being delivered by what appears to me to be a conservative think tank, being paid by who knows who to deliver their conclusions.

    I would find the NAS , and the results of their study, more credible if I were given a link on their web site where I could learn conclusively where their money comes from and who payed for the U.C. study. To me, that is the minimum requirement for credibility.

  24. roger bockrath

    My second paragraph should have read,
    I,m sorry if you interpreted my statement about no substantive information on the NAS website concerning who pays for their studies as, “[i]vague allegations about possible nefarious sources of support.” [/i]

  25. Don Shor

    I read the whole thing. It’s a polemic, not a study. Many parts of it are true and have been for quite a while (if it’s news to anyone that sociology departments are predominantly very leftist, you haven’t been paying attention for decades). It is a mashup of anecdotal cases, unpublished (ie. not peer-reviewed) studies, some valid polling data, and a lot of unsubtantiated conclusions. The use of footnotes is bizarre in many cases, and seems to serve only to make it look more official.
    Their list of recommendations for the regents is pointless, as it will certainly not be acted on. So it mainly serves as an essay to circulate among conservatives to reinforce their existing perceptions about universities and give them more reasons to oppose taxes for higher learning.

  26. medwoman

    Elaine

    Agree with you completely about the ability to draw completely different conclusions from exactly the same material.

    Don

    I also agree with your succinctly put comments about the nature of this piece.

    And my apologies to anyone who actually waded through my criticisms. I felt the need to address concrete points of disagreement as requested
    By JR a d got a bit carried away.

  27. J.R.

    meds

    4:34 AM? No wonder I can’t keeo up with your posts.

    I appreciate your being specific. I think your points have some validity, though you interpret the language of the report differently than I would. Still, I agree you make some reasonable arguments that certain criticisms, opinions and statements in this report could be better stated, or detract from the other points. That does not take away from the overall thrust of the report however. Is there nothing in it that you found surprising or worrying? Did you really read the entire report and find nothing about what it says is happening at UC that disturbs you?

  28. GreenandGolden

    The report misses what is probably the most serious bias among the UC faculty. Half of our students are women, only a small fraction of our faculty are women. This bias meets every woman every day when she walks into class. It is interesting that the number of female graduate students is increasing much more rapidly than the number of female faculty.Forgive my lateness on this issue. I was teaching.

  29. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]So it mainly serves as an essay to circulate among conservatives to reinforce their existing perceptions about universities and give them more reasons to oppose taxes for higher learning. [/quote]

    This is how all “conservatives” think? I think not…

  30. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]From my sentence, where did you get the notion that it was implying that “all conservatives think” anything?[/quote]

    It wasn’t your sentence, it was Don Shor’s! LOL

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