June 7, 2015

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Harvard used to restrict Jews, now it’s Asians. Kate Bachelder with a WSJ OpEd – Harvard’s Chinese Exclusion Act.

… First, a few facts. Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and the share of college-age Asian-Americans climbed to 5.1% in 2011 from 3% in 1990. Yet according to independent research cited in the complaint, members of this 5% make up roughly 30% of National Merit semifinalists, a distinction earned by high-school students based on PSAT scores. Asian-American students seem to win a similar share of the Education Department’s Presidential Scholar awards, “one of the nation’s highest honors for high-school students,” as the website puts it. By any standard, Asian-Americans have made remarkable gains since 1950. They constituted 0.2% of the U.S. population then, due in part to the legacy of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Harvard admissions do not reflect these changes or gains. The percentage of Asian-American students has held remarkably steady since the 1990s. This spring, 21% of the students admitted to Harvard were Asian-American; in 1993 it was about 20%. Harvard selects students based on criteria it calls “holistic,” taking into consideration subjective qualities such as, according to the university’s website, “interests,” “character” and “growth.”

Yet look how Harvard stacks up against schools that explicitly don’t consider ethnicity in admissions. At the California Institute of Technology, the share of Asian-American students hit 42.5% in 2013—double Harvard’s and a big jump from Caltech’s 26% in 1993. At the University of California-Berkeley it is more than 30%; the state’s voters banned the state schools from using racial preferences in a 1996 referendum. The trend is also observable at elite high schools with race-neutral admissions: New York City’s HunterCollegeHigh School was 49% Asian-American in 2013. …



Continuing with higher ed, Michael Barone says colleges and universities have grown bloated and dysfunctional.

American colleges and universities, long thought to be the glory of the nation, are in more than a little trouble. I’ve written before of their shameful practices — the racial quotas and preferences at selective schools (Harvard is being sued by Asian-American organizations), the kangaroo courts that try students accused of rape and sexual assault without legal representation or presumption of innocence, and speech codes that make campuses the least rather than the most free venues in American society.

In following these policies, the burgeoning phalanxes of university and college administrators must systematically lie, insisting against all the evidence that they are racially nondiscriminatory, devoted to due process and upholders of free speech. The resulting intellectual corruption would have been understood by George Orwell. …

… A glut of Ph.D.s and an ever-increasing army of administrators have produced downward pressure on faculty pay. Universities increasingly hire Ph.D.s as underpaid adjuncts, with low wages and no job security.

The last half-century has seen a huge increase in the percentage of Americans who go to college and a huge increase in government aid to them. The assumption was that if college is good for some, it’s good for everyone. But not everyone is suited for college: witness the increasing ranks of debt-laden nongraduates.

And the huge tranches of government money have been largely mopped up by the ever-increasing cadres of administrators. Do students get their money’s worth from the masses of counselors, facilitators, liaisons and coordinators their student loans pay for? Or would they be better off paying for such services only as needed, as most other adults do? …



Editors of NY Daily News opine on campus thought crimes. 

Madness has been unleashed on college campuses — not by drunken frat boys but by the White House.

A wildly mishandled Obama administration campaign to combat student sexual assaults has morphed under a federal gender-equality law into a nightmarish weapon against free speech and academic freedom.

The statute, called Title IX, obligates colleges to act on sexually related complaints to protect students from a hostile environment. But enforcement now encompasses any member of a college community deemed by an accuser to have prompted discomfort in connection with his or her sex.

As NorthwesternUniversity film professor Laura Kipnis discovered, that includes writing or saying the wrong thing. Defying a gag order, she has gone public with a hair-raising account of being accused under Title IX after writing an article about Northwestern’s recent ban on sexual relations between faculty and students. …



Huffington Post has more campus hijinks. 

Six weeks ago, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro wrote a fine op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he offered a ringing endorsement of academic freedom. As he observed, a university must have “a compelling reason to punish anyone — student, faculty member, staff member — for expressing his or her views, regardless of how repugnant you might find those views.” Indeed, he added, “freedom of speech doesn’t amount to much unless it is tested,” and if freedom of speech isn’t aggressively protected “on college campuses, where self-expression is so deeply valued, why expect it to matter elsewhere?”

It is therefore both surprising and disappointing that NorthwesternUniversity recently found itself embroiled in two embarrassing violations of the core principles of academic freedom. Sadly, a university that should be a national leader in promoting and protecting these values allowed itself to lose sight of its very reason for being. …



Kimberley Strassel wonders why the IRS can’t take a look at the Clinton shakedown foundation. 

The scandal of the century at the IRS was that agency’s secret targeting of conservative nonprofits. Perhaps a close second is the scandal of what the IRS hasn’t been investigating: the Clinton Foundation.

The media’s focus is on Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and whether she took official actions to benefit her family’s global charity. But the mistake is starting from the premise that the Clinton Foundation is a “charity.” What’s clear by now is that this family enterprise was set up as a global shakedown operation, designed to finance and nurture the Clintons’ continued political ambitions. It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed.

That much is made obvious by looking at the foundation’s employment rolls. Most charities are staffed by folks who have spent a lifetime in nonprofits, writing grants or doing overseas field work. The Clinton Foundation is staffed by political operatives. It has been basically a parking lot for Clinton campaign workers—a comfy place to draw a big check as they geared up for Hillary’s presidential run.

The revolving door is spinning quickly these days. There’s Dennis Cheng, a finance director for Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 bid, who went to the Clinton Foundation as its chief development officer. There he built a giant donor file, which he earlier this year took with him to head up fundraising for the Clinton 2016 campaign. There’s Katie Dowd, who raised $100 million as Mrs. Clinton’s new media director in 2008, then went to a Clinton PAC, then to the State Department, then to the foundation as a “tech adviser.” She’s now at Clinton 2016 as digital director.

Some operatives don’t even bother feigning separation. Longtime aide Cheryl Mills served as general counsel to Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign, then worked at State. She then joined the board of directors of the foundation and remains on it still, even as she works on Clinton 2016. Nick Merrill, an aide to Mrs. Clinton at State, has continued on as her press liaison. Last year his name popped up on a news release as a contact person for the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Merrill will be a campaign spokesman for Clinton 2016. …



Great post from Free Beacon on the comedians who suck up to the president and the clintons.

… Stephen Colbert had on Hillary Clinton for a supposedly humorous name-dropping segment about her memoir Hard Choices last June that was so obsequious even the Washington Post called it “embarrassing.” In the end, he told viewers to visit the show’s website to purchase copies. Colbert, in his super-edgy fake conservative persona, also allowed Obama to take over hosting his show last December at GeorgeWashingtonUniversity.

Colbert’s a top-level satirist, and he’s still letting the two top Democrats in the country use his show for their own interests? Gag.

NBC comedian Seth Meyers, in “A Closer Look” segment on Late Night in April, took it upon himself to identify the perceived biases of Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer, while failing to reveal that he’d hosted the Clinton Global Citizen Awards last year. Ironically, Meyer felt Schweizer’s conservative leanings and former work as a George W. Bush speechwriter helped debunk the findings of his book on pay-for-play allegations against Hillary Clinton at the State Department, findings that were followed up on by decidedly non-conservative outlets like the New York Times and ABC.

It added up to a decidedly weak attempt to be like John Oliver. …



Kevin Williamson on the proposed liberal gulag.

… Sheldon Whitehouse is a sitting United States senator, writing in the Washington Post, arguing for racketeering charges against those who hold heterodox opinions on global warming. 

How about we ask the candidates what they think about this? Does Mrs. Clinton support the proposal to lock people up as mafiosi for seeking to publicize their views on political issues? Does Senator Sanders? Senator Warren? 

Follow-up question: Which other unpopular political views should we be locking people in cages over?