There is only so long higher ed can continue biting the hand that feeds it.
At Legal Insurrection we have focused on higher education as much, if not more (I’m not taking the time to count 8 years of posts), than any other subject.
We even had a website for several years, College Insurrection, focused on higher ed. Now we have consolidated our higher ed coverage at Legal Insurrection.
You can click on the College Insurrection Tag to see some (not all) of our posts. Try also our Free Speech and Academic Freedom tags, as well as specific tags for colleges and universities like Bowdoin College, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell, CUNY, Evergreen State College, Hamilton College, Harvard, Harvard Law, Oberlin, UC-Davis, UCLA, and Vassar College. If you are in a mood to throw up in your mouth a little, also scroll through our BDS tag, much of which concerns higher ed.
You get the point. Our dashboard tells me that we have published 24,288 posts. I’m going to guesstimate that 2-3,000 of them concern higher ed in some manner.
To put it bluntly, higher ed is profoundly broken both at the educational and political level. Even if most of the parts are not broken, there are enough broken parts to create a hostile campus environment for non-liberal students, and for just about anyone who varies from the progressive party line. Freedom of speech on campus is under severe attack from “microaggression” and “safe space” theory, as well as more traditional forms of political correctness.
At the same time, the Obama administration dictated a legal environment in which higher ed institutions were forced to create the equivalents of kangaroo courts to prosecute and persecute young men accused of some form of sexual misconduct.
When we started College Insurrection in 2012, there weren’t many websites covering these issues and exposing what was happening. Over time the coverage grew, and social media has allowed the absurdity of what is happening to gain widespread exposure.
So, the Pew Research findings below don’t surprise me. Those findings show a steep drop in how Republicans view the positive impact that higher education has on society.
… While a majority of the public (55%) continues to say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, Republicans express increasingly negative views.
A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years….
The survey finds that Republicans’ attitudes about the effect of colleges and universities have changed dramatically over a relatively short period of time.
As recently as two years ago, most Republicans and Republican leaners held a positive view of the role of colleges and universities. In September 2015, 54% of Republicans said colleges and universities had a positive impact on the way things were going in the country; 37% rated their impact negatively.
By 2016, Republicans’ ratings of colleges and universities were mixed (43% positive, 45% negative). Today, for the first time on a question asked since 2010, a majority (58%) of Republicans say colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, while 36% say they have a positive effect.
Among Republicans, there is an ideological gap in views of the impact of colleges and universities and other institutions: Nearly two-thirds of conservative Republicans (65%) say colleges are having a negative impact, compared with just 43% of moderate and liberal Republicans.
Liberal professors and administrators should be worried, particularly at public colleges and universities that depend on state legislature funding. Because Republicans control much of the nation’s state legislatures and Governorships:
Already there are many anecdotal reports of cuts and proposed cuts, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences, where much of the craziness is bred. There is only so long higher ed can continue biting the hand that feeds it.
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