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“If you had a 17-year-old son or daughter, would you send your kids to an Ivy League school today?”

“If you had a 17-year-old son or daughter, would you send your kids to an Ivy League school today?”

That is the question I talked about on a special report by Mike Slater on The First TV: “That’s a troubling question that 2, 3, 5 years ago, nobody would’ve asked, you go for the degree, you go for the name on your resume. But it’s so toxic on these campuses that I don’t know if I would”

Earlier this week I taped a segment for a special report by Mike Slater on The First TV, Campus Chaos: America’s Radicalized Universities.

Among other things, Mike asked the question: Should parents send their kids to prestigious universities anymore?

Here’s the full 45 minute show, marked to start with my segment at 8:45.

Warning, I was having really bad hair and lighting day.

Transcript (auto-generated, may contain transcription errors)

Slater: William Jacobson is a fellow professor at the Ivy League Cornell University. He’s the founder of Legal Insurrection, the Equal Protection Project, and also Three wonderful websites. Professor, how are you, sir?

WAJ: Great. How are you,

Slater: Roger, here? If you had a 17-year-old son or daughter, would you send your kids to an Ivy League school today?

WAJ: Well, I have to tell you, I’d think very long and hard about it. I think I’d want to understand what their goals are, what our goals are for that child, and whether that’s a good fit.

And that’s a troubling question that 2, 3, 5 years ago, nobody would’ve asked, you go for the degree, you go for the name on your resume. But it’s so toxic on these campuses that I don’t know if I would, unless my son or daughter were super left wing and super woke in which case these might be good places. But if it’s just your average kid who wants to get ahead in life, I think that’s a real question.

Slater: It’s really amazing. because who would’ve ever thought that that would ever be true <laugh> That would ever be, that we would ever question, like if you got a free ticket to Harvard or whatever, how would you not take that? But I think we’re getting to the point where more and more people won’t, it may just not be worth the, I think there’s a lot of employers, we spoke earlier about some employers who are like, nah, the drama’s just not worth it. You never know what you’re gonna get with an Ivy League grad these days.

WAJ: It’s true. The brand was so strong. I mean, I went to Harvard Law School and I would’ve taken it, this is 40 years ago, over any other school just because of the brand. I don’t think we’re going to get that anymore.

I think Harvard’s brand is severely tarnished, whether it’s permanently tarnished remains to be seen. A lot of people are using the Bud Light analogy that it was a super strong brand who thought they were above everybody else and thought they couldn’t be touched and proved wrong. I don’t know if Harvard will end up being the Bud Light of the Ivy League, but its brand is definitely tarnished. And I think you’re right. A lot of employers, and I’ve heard this from a lot of people anecdotally in the law field, they don’t want to hire from Harvard and Yale and Stanford because they’re getting a certain attitude from the students that that’s not healthy.

Slater: Hmm. What do you say to the people listening now and they’re like, professor, Slater, like, I don’t, I don’t care. I’m not in college. My kids are outta college. It doesn’t matter to me. This is just a dumb Harvard problem. It all stays in the bubble. What do you say to that?

WAJ: Well, it does matter because these are the kids who go on to run the high tech businesses. They’re the ones who are the censors at Twitter and elsewhere. They’re the ones who go into government. They’re the ones who do a lot of things in life, including journalism, that impact us all. So you can’t take the attitude that what happens on campus stays on campus, because we know that’s not true. We’ve seen what’s happened with the attacks on conservatives via high tech and big tech, and that a lot of that comes from these students who are only four or five, six years out of Oberlin College. And they’re in a sense, running our lives. So we do need to care about it, whether you’ve got a kid going into college or not.

Slater: Yeah. And they’re going to medicine and all these professions that control everything about us, it’s horrible. Because we always thought I was mistaken. I thought they would grow out of it. Or, you know, they go into the real world and they get smacked in the face of the real world. But that just never happened. They never stopped. And now there’s these surveys out, there’s a recent one from Harvard. It was, 18 to 24 year olds and there was 79% of them think that white people are oppressors. And you’re like, wow, that’s a problem when you have that many people and will they grow out of that?

WAJ: I don’t know. But you know, we’ve been warning about this for many years long before people paid attention to it. And it starts now in kindergarten. The racialization of education really from kindergarten on up is really so destructive of our society. It’s setting people against each other. It’s reinstituting racism in our society, but with different targets. And that’s not healthy. this is not going to end well if we stay on this trajectory. But these students have never known anything else.

We all think this is just a higher ed problem. It’s not. It’s in K through 12. Now look at the stuff your kids are studying in school. Look at what they’re being taught. They’re being taught a different type of racism, and it’s the norm for them. They don’t know any differently after 14 or 15 years of schooling. So this is a problem. I don’t think it’s going away. We’ve really got ti fight it at every level of education.

Slater: Yeah. And education’s not the priority anymore. I think we have a tweet from Elon Musk here where he talked about how there’s been a demise in here…. So have you noticed that in your years in the Ivy League?

WAJ: I think it’s a little hard to generalize. I think if you asked most professors, they would say they have seen a generalized decline. Of course in my own teaching, I have very small classes, so you can’t really judge that. But I do hear that from a lot of professors that they just don’t feel the quality of student, and it’s not just at Cornell, it’s elsewhere, is what it was a few years ago. The test scores may be the same, but there seems to be something missing. Perhaps it’s a critical thinking. It’s a questioning. It’s challenging of authority, the students seem to just go along with the prevailing ideology right now. Again, that’s a generalization, but it’s a generalization that I’ve heard many times from many professors at many different schools.

Slater: What’s the problem with grade inflation? Saw a report the other day is like 80% of Yale classes are A’s or A minuses. Who cares? Why does that matter? What does that do to the student that they then take with them for the rest of their life?

WAJ: Well, it matters if you believe that those sort of assessments should have meaning, for example, in the hiring process. Are they a measure of anything? And I think the answer is nowadays, given the statistics you cited, and I’ve seen that elsewhere, I’m not sure grades are really a measure of anything anymore. And that’s a problem because how do outsiders, how do employers, how do others, judge whether someone has done well in school or not?

And I think the answer from the social justice folks on campuses is you shouldn’t be judging people. The mere fact that they’re graduating from our school should be enough for you and you should use factors other than merit, other than talent, to hire people. So that’s a factor. This is just an endless and relentless tearing down of meritocracy, an endless tearing down of competition as if competition is a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing, it’s something that allows the people who are competent and who have personal qualities and knowledge to accel. One student doing well in a course is not demeaning another student in the course. It’s just a way of measuring things.

But we can’t measure things anymore because somebody’s going to do better than somebody else, and that’s going to make them feel bad. And the most important thing in higher education now is that nobody feel bad.

Slater: Yeah. Amazing. Sothat’s sort of speaking in the graduation side. What about the getting in side? What does it take to get into an Ivy League school today?

WAJ: Well, I don’t sit on any admissions committees. I’ve never been in that process, but I think we’re all generally familiar that it’s a lot more than grades and SATs now. It’s ethnicity, it’s race, it’s other things. That’s what the whole Harvard case that went to the Supreme Court exposed, that depending on your race and ethnicity you may be getting favored. And it’s not the way we used to think about it where white candidates were favored, they’re actually disfavored now. The most disfavored are Asian candidates, candidates of Asian background, statistically that’s true. The Harvard case proved that beyond any doubt. So it’s a whole lot more now. It’s really race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, all sorts of other things that have nothing to do with academics and your likelihood of succeeding in an academic environment.

Slater: I understand. Real quick, about 30 seconds, we shared a quote from James Hill. He is a professor of philosophy, I believe, at DePaul University. He went as far to say that our higher education institutions are a national security threat. And there was that article in the Wall Street Journal about how all the problems in America can be traced back to the root of them that were born out of our academia. Those are pretty strong words. How do you characterize the state of higher education today?

WAJ: I’ve said this for a while. I’ve been giving speeches about this for three plus years, that the racialization of education is a threat to our nation. It is a threat to the cohesiveness of the nation. It’s a threat to the success of the nation. It’s pitting students against each other, pitting students against professors, pitting students against their parents, and pitting them against their country. This is a national security threat. What is happening in higher education And also K through 12.

Slater: Professor William Jacobson, start at the website Legal Insurrection, make it a part of your daily routine. Professor, wonderful to talk to you as always, sir.



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Or grandchildren, grandpa war bucks will not pay for any woke school. I am leaning towards Hillsdale for BA, and then we will look at other options.

One of the few positive developments is SCOTUS banning college affirmative action admissions.

Down South we have had a few Ivy League folks, they aren’t worth a damn. See no sense in the artificial construct of these hyped institutions. LSU was my college and they did right, plus they have the best football.

Morning Sunshine | December 22, 2023 at 10:41 pm

said it before, but I had a roommate on a study abroad in Florence in spring of ’96; we were both juniors, her from Yale. She quoted another friend with us there “I do not care about my grades – the only A I need is the one that spells Y-A-L-E” and her behavior in Florence proved it.

-side note, it had not occurred to me until now, but this friend was black; now I wonder how much of affirmative action was involved here. And it SICKENS me that this is now the conversation we are having. Was this girl an AA student or did she earn her place on merit?

The Gentle Grizzly | December 22, 2023 at 11:23 pm

““If you had a 17-year-old son or daughter, would you send your kids to an Ivy League school today?”

No. And I would also teach them to not split infinitives.


If I had a 17-yr-old child, that child would:

1. Have a job.

2. Be at A1 or A2 level in another language.

That child would be planning to live and work and/or go to school overseas in their second language…. because the goal is to be Level C1/C2 in at least one foreign language.

Thss as a child would have understood since elementary school that people won’t give you money unless you have something to offer — i.e., you’ll never be employed unless you are employable.

And so the questions about college or choice of college
…….. these questions answer themselves.

My 17-year-old child would have watched MONEYBALL with me every few years.

(And probly GROUNDHOG DAY as well)

It doesn’t seem to to be any better in any other of the Cultural Marxist Seminaries either.

Absolutely not. I would consider Claremont McKenna , Hillsdale or a small college like Chaminade.

Not today and not 40 years ago.

Minnesota professor calls to ‘decolonize’ and ‘dismantle’ the US: ‘Go as hard as possible’

UMN professor declares US is ‘the greatest predator empire that has ever existed’

The reputations of the Poison Ivies have been impervious to tarnishment almost from the beginning. For example, in the 1690s, around 50 years after Harvard was established, the then President of Harvard and his son were highly instrumental in convicting several New Englanders in a court of law of witchcraft. Witchcraft being a capital offense, they were all executed.

The namesake and early donor to Yale, Elihu Yale, made his fortune as a slave trader. He did some mild pirating and buccaneering as a side gig.

More recently, anybody who has done even a shallow dive into the workings of the numerous Soviet spies and spy networks that infested the FDR and early Truman administrations knows MANY of those spies had ties to the Poison Ivies, especially Harvard and Columbia. Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, Lauchlin Currie held high level positions that helped shape policy in FDR’s administration. We have White to thank for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and Hiss was instrumental in establishing the United Nations. We also know with certainty from the Venona decrypts that all three of those men were communist Soviet spies. And all had ties to Harvard. It did not tarnish Harvard’s reputation one bit. (So I ask myself who REALLY won the Cold War if traitors were key in establishing institutions like the UN and IMF that shape the world today?)

Harvard graduated the serial killer Ted Kaczynski and mass murderer Amy Bishop. As well as the pervert masquerading as sex researcher, Alfred Kinsey. It employed LSD nutjob Timothy Leary.

Domestic terrorist Kathy Boudin was convicted of murder for her role in the Brinks armored car heist that left a security guard dead. She spent a couple of decades in prison. Upon her release, Columbia decided that in a country of 330 million people, Boudin would make a great professor to shape the minds of the country’s future “leaders”. Herbert Marcuse, who was often called, “Father of the New Left” because he encouraged students to reject the traditions of Western Civilization, was a key figure in the counter-culture movement. He was employed by the OSS (precursor to the CIA), as well as teaching students at Harvard and Columbia.

I could go on, and on, and on.

Point being, given the long and well established history of the Ivies poisoning the minds of future leaders, it saddens me that I doubt this current episode will hurt their reputation in the slightest.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Groty. | December 23, 2023 at 8:04 am

    “Harvard graduated the serial killer Ted Kaczynski”

    Ted Kaczynski was a genius teen who went to Harvard and was intentionally driven over the edge as part of a CIA project. As far as I know none of the people involved in that were held accountable.

    chrisboltssr in reply to Groty. | December 23, 2023 at 10:00 am

    You should go on and on, because people need to be made aware about the immorality, depravity and rot that sits and the center of these Poison Ivy schools.

t might be said now that I have the best of both worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree. John F. Kennedy

Not today. One of my kids went to Cornell and graduate school at Columbia. Sorry I gave both of them one dime.

nope nope nope.. I had one that went to the U of messed with his mind too.

The parents of children likely to gain admittance are younger, Godless materialists who care only about acquiring the brand. You may claim the brand is diminished (and it is), but unfortunately it will remain the brass ring for the foreseeable future.

I have a 17-year old daughter, and I specifically said she is not allowed anywhere near any of the Poison Ivy Leaguee schools (shoutout to Groty for the term). My wife got upset and said I should trust my daughter and I said f that. These schools are producing dumbed down idiots who are even worse than the Jacobins or the Stalinists. Hell, even the Jacobins amd Stalinists would stand against these demonic fleshwearers.

My STEM-whiz 17-year old son scratched MIT and Cornell off his list.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Uncledave. | December 23, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    If he is a whiz and is working hard to broaden his skills,. he will not need a degree. Musk hires based on skills, so did I. I also found that best grades did not = competence. Some people have innate aptitude, those who lack that are useless regardless of degrees.

Saw a picture this morning of a bumper sticker, “My Kid Did Not Go to Harvard”.
Also seeing reference to Harvard getting “Bud Lighted” 😂

My kids are thankfully not Harvard nor Ivy League material 🙂

The Duke d’Escargot | December 24, 2023 at 9:53 am

Would I send my child to an Ivy?

(A) If we had the means to pay for it:


My child would attend In-State University, presumably its Honors College tract.

And I’d let my child know that I’ve set aside the money saved — probably more than $100,000 — as a graduation incentive/gift.

(B) If we did not have the means to pay for it:

No way.
Absolutely no way.
It’s not worth it, even without the toxic influence today of countries who hate us.


Who would want to work at an Ivy these days?

What a weird experience it would be to have to correct any of these young people who are paying huge amounts of money Yuck Yech No ,thank you.