Category Archives: universities behaving badly

Truman State rejects student clubs for no good reason, violating First Amendment

I once visited Truman State University (it’s in Kirksville, Missouri—Truman’s state) as a guest of Taner Edis, physicist, atheist, and anti-creationist. It was a pleasant visit, and Taner surely couldn’t have played a role in the latest shenanigans at This school, recounted in the article from FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) that […]

The “grievance studies” hoax: a forum at the Chronicle of Higher Education

The “grievance studies” hoax conducted by Helen Pluckrose, Peter Boghossian, and James Lindsay is now so well known that it has its own Wikipedia page. I’m sure most of you know some details: the trio wrote and submitted 20 papers to journals dealing with what they call academic “grievance studies”: cultural, queer, race, gender, fat, and sexuality studies. At […]

Book claiming that Israel deliberately maims Palestinian civilians as a form of punishment wins award in women’s studies

According to the Algemeiner (yes, a Jewish site), a book by Jasbir Puar, Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, has won one of the two 2018 Alison Piepmeier Book Prizes awarded by the National Womens Studes Association (NWSA).  According to the Association, the prize is “for a groundbreaking monograph […]

American University cancels “Unsafe Space” Title IX discussion on dubious grounds

I’ve written before about the Spiked website’s “Unsafe Space” tour, which is going around to various colleges discussing controversial issues. This is no Milo Yiannopoulos “Rile ‘Em Up” tour; rather, it has people like Wendy Kaminer, Jonathan Haidt, Nadine Strossen (past head of the ACLU), Steve Pinker, Laura Kipnis, Bret Weinstein, and Sarah Haider discussing […]

Harvard behaves badly—twice

I’ll try to make this post short, as I’m resting in my hotel in Warsaw and want to catch up on the news from London. But I couldn’t resist, thanks to several readers (special h/t to Scott), calling attention to two questionable acts that my Ph.D. alma mater has committed. The first involves the New […]

University of Oregon’s draconian free-speech policy

In his column at the Washington Post, Eugene Volokh reports on an incident at the University of Oregon (UO) that was previously covered only by right-wing websites. What happened is that a UO tenured professor of law, Nancy Schurtz, had a Halloween party at her home, and dressed in blackface and a white doctor’s coat—but […]

U. Mass. Amherst creates “scream meter” to measure levels of offensiveness of Halloween costumes

This is how far it’s gone. As Business Insider and Campus Reform report, the Halloween Costume Police have gotten out of hand, and of course it’s at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where they simply cannot let people be adults and make their own decisions. Both articles appear to be the same, so I’ll […]

The University of Florida warns its students about their Halloween costumes.

It’s almost Halloween, and you know what that means: the University Costume Police are getting ready to tell us all how we can and cannot dress. Here, from the Gator Times, is a notice from the University of Florida telling students they’d bloody well think hard about what they’re going to wear on Halloween, and […]

Regressive Iowa professor decries school mascot as too solemn!

This is Herky the Hawk, the “athletic mascot” of the University of Iowa (UI). A journalism professor conceived of Herky in 1948, and, 11 years later, he took to the field as a mascot! He’s been the symbol of Iowa ever since. However, two years ago they replaced the old Herky (below) with the current version, above. Old […]

Film screening cancelled at Syracuse merely because professor feared pushback from BDS supporters

We’ve all seen plenty of examples of speeches at universities disrupted by offended students, speech invitations withdrawn because of student protests, and honorary degrees rescinded because of political offense (viz., Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis). But this is the first case I know of where a presentation was cancelled out of fear that it might offend students. And […]