Enrollment at The Evergreen State College reported to drop 50%

It’s now been about sixteen months since all the fracas happened at The Evergreen State College (TESC) in Washington State, beginning with biology professor Bret Weinstein refusing to leave campus on the “Day of Absence,” and the students calling him (and his wife, biology professor Heather Heying) racists, despite the pair’s history of anti-racist work.

The students then took TESC President George Bridges hostage, surrounding him, humiliating him (though, evincing a bizarre version of Stockholm Syndrome, he seemed to go along with his humiliation), and even making him ask to go to the bathroom and accompanying him on his micturations. Some students, incensed beyond all reason, took to roaming the campus, goonlike, with baseball bats.

Further reporting on TESC, some of it on this site (see selection of pieces here), showed what a toxic university it was: the very epitome of Authoritarian Leftism—a place where no dissent was permitted.

Weinstein and Heying eventually left TESC after the college gave them a $500,000 settlement. In July of this year, the former police chief of TESC, Stacy Brown, filed a tort claim against the College for subjecting her to a hostile work environment and failing to protect her from gender-based discrimination.

The upshot? Anticipated enrollment of new students began to decline. In May, I noted that projections suggested it might drop as much as 20% for this year’s entering class, a projection that forced the College to cut $6 million from its budget.

But it’s way worse than that. An update at Heterodox Academy (HA) by Mike Paros, another TESC biology professor, and one sympathetic to Weinstein and Heying, suggests enrollment may be much lower than expected:

This fall, we expect less than 300 freshmen to attend Evergreen, a fifty percent drop from two years ago.  It is the only four year institution in the state of Washington that has seen a decrease in applications, and is currently publicly funded for 4200 students, far greater than this year’s anticipated total attending class of 2800.

TESC disputes these figures, but not the big drop in enrollment. HA adds this:

Editors note: A representative for The Evergreen State college has reached out with an update on anticipated enrollments. They expect around 350 freshmen to attend in the fall. Also, they expect 3000- 3100 total full-time enrolled students in 2018 (out of the 4,200 they are funded for). While both of these numbers do represent significant decreases as compared to before the 2017 unrest, they are marginally less bleak than Dr. Paros’ estimates, which were based on earlier information. These are still just estimates, however. The official enrollments for Fall 2018 will not be determined until after the 10th day of enrollment.

Marginally less bleak, but bleak nonetheless. Note that TESC accepts fully 95% of its applicants, so this reflects not an increase in selectivity, but a decrease in applications.

And I have to confess to a bit of Schadenfreude here: any college as authoritarian and—let’s face it—as unhinged as TESC is not a place a sane parent would want to send their kids. Moreover, TESC has not attempted to rectify its problems. As Paros writes,

Advocacy and activism rather than the pursuit of truth and knowledge is being promoted as a way of recruiting desperately needed new students (In 2011 Evergreen changed its official mission statement to read:  “Evergreen supports and benefits from a local and global commitment to social justice”).  Bringing in new faculty or guest speakers with conservative or centrist political perspectives is considered risky and out of the question at the moment.  Fear and self-censorship is pervasive among Evergreen faculty, especially under the existing budget crisis.  An “independent” External Review Panel exonerated the president and administrators while blaming Evergreen’s woes on Bret Weinstein and ‘alt-right’ agitators prompted one journalist to ask, “Who Will the Evergreen Mob Target Next?

Paros will also be teaching a now module at TESC, one that I suggested last November would doom him, though I’m glad to report it hasn’t:

On a personal note, I am doing well despite a past public condemnation of the current president’s handling of student protesters and former colleague Weinstein.  As the only remaining Evergreen professor who is a member of HxA, I have found refuge with like-minded academics that share a wariness of like-minded academics.

In fact, although I am a professor of biology and environmental sciences, I was moved to develop a program called “A Liberal Education in the College Bubble,” which I will be teaching this fall. It embodies the spirit of HxA [Heterodox Academy] while utilizing readings, tools, and techniques developed by our members and the newly developed OpenMind platform.  And I’m pleased to report that the class is full, despite catastrophic drops in enrollment that has resulted in massive layoffs of Evergreen faculty and staff.

Paros, while still at TESC, is surely a pariah to many students and colleagues, and I applaud him for his bravery and independence.

In the meantime, go to the article, where Paros asks faculty members at other schools to help him with a survey about whether things like the Evergreen fracas may, as some have suggested, be due to a generational difference in parenting styles.

In the meantime, TESC is getting what it deserves under the “leadership” of President George “Invertebrate” Bridges, who refused to use the campus police to quell the disturbances at TESC, or even to protect Weinstein and Heying. I wouldn’t be upset if the damn place went under, except that there are still decent and committed people like Mike Paros working there.

h/t: cesar


  1. yazikus
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    In the sixth paragraph, you’ve got a tiny typo with Paros’ name- written as ‘Paris’ and in the last paragraph, I think you mean to refer to Heying rather than ‘Hastings’.

    Paros is delightful and I wish him the best. Do you have a link to his survey?

    • Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Fixed, thanks. The Heterodox Academy has all the information about the survey, including links to its website.

      • chrism
        Posted September 15, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        Line 10, the word should be ‘micturitions’ rather than ‘micturations’. A matter of increasing importance to those of us with older prostate privilege.

  2. Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    That college needs to lose its accredidation

  3. ploubere
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to gloat over a public school failing so badly due to the very people who should be promoting liberal arts education. It reinforces the conservative right’s claim that higher education is just leftist indoctrination. That’s a tragedy.

    • Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      I agree – the fallout on the people not involved sucks.

    • Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and I feel sorry for the staff and some faculty who lost their jobs over the downsizing.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    … even making him ask to go to the bathroom and accompanying him on his micturations …

    How do you know he didn’t havta go number two?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      ‘Cause he was scared shitless?

  5. Posted September 14, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Perhaps what we are seeing is diversity in action — diversity among colleges and universities. Evergreen has consciously placed itself prominently in the SJW market niche and, at least by its motto, is advertising that fact. There are obviously schools that serve specific interest groups, religious schools for example, so perhaps the Social Justice University category is just now coming into its own. Don’t know about the accreditation though.

  6. rickflick
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    George Will wrote (WaPo) about the SJW issue, lamenting it’s sadness, but he seemed clueless about the narrowness of the problem, it’s heros and villians, and how it’s almost exclusively a humanities/social studies/postmodern issue at a few universities.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Sometimes when ol’ George ties his bow tie too tight, it constricts the blood flow to his brain (though he’s certainly been a stalwart never-Trumper, I’ll give him his due there).

  7. Jon Gallant
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Around 40 years ago, I visited Evergreen a couple of times to give a seminar for Biology students, and to visit faculty friends. At that time, I was very much impressed by the enthusiasm AND the sophistication of their undergrad science students. Evergreen’s long, tragic decline is perhaps largely due (as Brett Weinstein reported in one talk) to its infestation by acolytes of post-modernist humbug. As the same thing occurs, to one degree or another, at many other academic institutions, we have to conclude that the Academy itself has participated in the debasement of its own currency.

    • mikeyc
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I’ve worked in labs with several TESC grads; they were excellent scientists and not at all like the students we’ve seen from that school. It seems the disease is concentrated in, and spread by, those in the humanities.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted September 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Ditto. My first awareness of Evergreen was of the quality of its undergraduate research opportunities. Tragic that it has a cowardly administration.

  8. Gareth Price
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    ….TESC is not a place a sane parent would want to send their kids.

    Jerry – I remember you said something similar in a previous post about TESC. So a genuine question: is this a figure of speech or do American parents tend to decide where they will send their children to university as opposed to the children choosing where they will go?

    • Posted September 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s a mixture, I think, depending on income and other things. Remember, often parents are paying for college and so could have a say. Parents often visit universities with their kids for a pre-application look-see.

      I think that many parents would refuse to pay for their kids to go to TESC, though of course I’m just speculating here.

      As for me, I wanted to go to Princeton (I was an F. Scott Fitzgerald fan), but my parents told me we couldn’t afford it. So I went to William and Mary instead, and wound up being very glad I did.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, well, Jimmy Gatz never got to go to Oxford like he wanted, either, but had to muddle along at some podunk college in the Midwest (IIRC), so you were way ahead of him there. 🙂

  9. Posted September 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Field report:
    Implosion thwarted by it’s own stupefaction. Collateral damage is to be expected. SJW’s on the ground, approch with caution.
    Nevermind the Bollocks. END.

  10. Richard Sanderson
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Oh, what a shame for Evergreen. Lol.

    I remember that so-called “humanists” and “skeptics” such as the fraud Thomas Smith (Skeptipod) and the Che Guevara fanboi Peter Ferguson (Humanisticus), who now spend their time chumming with antisemites and racist thugs, thought the Evergreen debacle was some sort of “hoax”.

  11. kyuss
    Posted September 14, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    A shining example of Get Woke, Go Broke.

  12. Posted September 15, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Would like to see surveys to find whether it’s kids not wanting to go there, or if its parents who won’t let them go there. Might be a generational difference.

  13. Vince Ryan
    Posted September 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    TESC has trod a path much like the one the once respected Antioch College in Ohio did. (Rod Serling, Twilight Zone host and creator, graduated from Antioch in the 1940’s on the GI Bill.)

    Both colleges had at one time high academic standards. As the post modern critique of rationality grew, both Antioch and Evergreen State College shrank.

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