By Thomas K. Lindsay
Alarmed over the near-daily commotion—protests, censorship, violence, and downright lunacy—roiling American campuses, some would like to get the lowdown on what’s really going on. To do so, simply ask a college president or provost. They will tell you the whole truth, warts and all—with only one qualification: To hear the straight dope, you must wait until they become former senior administrators.
The latest tell-all-from-the-departed comes from former Stanford provost, John Etchemendy. In an address to the Stanford Board of Trustees (reprinted in part in the February 21st Stanford News), Etchemendy warns, “Universities are under attack, both from outside and from within.”
To his credit, Etchemendy is “actually more worried about the threat from within”—the “growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress.” Instead, he worries over “a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for.” He has in mind the “the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines” (think: Gender Studies—and just about every major that ends in “Studies”); the “demands to disinvite speakers” and outlaw “offensive” groups; and the “constant calls” for schools to “take political stands.”
The result: “We fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves.” CONTINUE READING HERE