Commentary: Justice and Equity in Modern Education

A few days ago, in examining Harvard’s problems and the ghost of its deposed and disgraced former president Claudine Gay, this column wrote: “Education is supposed to be about reading, writing, and arithmetic—even at the college level. Once upon a time, and not that long ago, students at college read the classics to gain knowledge, learned to write stylish prose, and, for those scientifically minded, studied mathematics and became scientists.”

A critic wrote in—as readers are encouraged to do:

This is a window onto a big topic. It’s true that education is about the three Rs. But it is also true that there must be a purpose to learning those Rs. There’s actually nothing formally, and technically, wrong with “Educating students who will create . . . a more just and equitable world.” The real question is, What are justice & equity? They would like it to mean taking our stuff and giving it to other people, after keeping their share. But, to paraphrase the Grinch, Justice, perhaps, means a little bit more . . . . In any case, without a sense of purpose, or with a misdirected sense of purpose, the University will never right itself. And as this is the largest questing of Meaning, it is really a religious question that, having turned their backs on religion, they are utterly incapable of engaging, let alone answering.

Read More

Anti-Israel Protests Cost Colleges Millions in Property Damage While Major Donors Back Out

Police controlling anti-Israel campus protest

Anti-Israel encampments and vandalism have targeted dozens of U.S. college campuses, costing millions of dollars in estimated damages as prominent donors pledge to no longer support the schools.

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, closed down its campus on Saturday “due to ongoing occupation of Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall, as well as continued challenges with individuals breaking laws in the area surrounding the buildings and the quad,” the northern California public university said. Classes were moved online and students who live on campus are allowed to remain in their residence halls and in dining facilities, but they are not allowed on any other parts of campus.

Read More

Harvard Reverses Course, Brings Back Standardized Testing

Harvard announced Thursday that it will bring back standardized testing requirements for the admission process.

The Ivy League school first dropped the testing policy in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and later announced in 2021 that it would extend the test-optional policy for four additional years, according to the Harvard Crimson. Hopi Hoekstra, Edgerley Family dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, announced that the requirement would return “starting with next year’s admissions cycle” and claimed that the reinstatement would bring “important information back into the admissions process.”

Read More

Harvard Sociologist Defended Against Plagiarism Accusations: ‘Bogus Claims’

Harvard Assistant Professor of Sociology Christina Cross

Colleagues are coming to the defense of a Harvard University sociologist who was recently accused of plagiarism, arguing the claims are bogus and part of a larger attack on black female scholars in higher education.

Award-winning Harvard University Professor Christina Cross is under fire over allegations of plagiarism in a complaint first reported in mid-March by conservative education activist Christopher Rufo in City Journal.

Read More

Yet Another Harvard University Official Accused of Plagiarism

Shirley Greene

An administrator of the Harvard Extension School (HES) was accused of plagiarism in an anonymous complaint sent to the school Friday, according to The Harvard Crimson.

Shirley Greene, an HES administrator who handles Title IX compliance, was accused of 42 instances of plagiarism in her 2008 dissertation, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Crimson. The allegations mark the latest plagiarism scandal to hit the university after a string of allegations against high-ranking university faculty members, including former Harvard President Claudine Gay.

Read More

Bill Ackman on Washington Post Hit Piece: ‘The Public Has Been Again Misled’

Bill Ackman, the highly successful investor and Harvard graduate whose criticism of Claudine Gay’s history of plagiarism led to her resignation as President of Harvard University, published a lengthy tweet on his X account Saturday evening responding to an article about him published by The Washington Post earlier in the day, “How a liberal billionaire became America’s leading anti-DEI crusader.”

Read More

Federal Judge Says West Point Can Continue Using Race in Admissions

West Point

A federal judge allowed the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Wednesday to continue considering race as a factor in its admissions process.

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the same group whose lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina prompted the Supreme Court to overturn affirmative action in June, sued West Point in September. U.S. District Judge Philip Halpern, a Trump appointee, declined to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the military school’s use of race, noting in his 27-page ruling that it is currently “mid-admissions cycle.”

Read More

Media and Left-Wing Activists Ignore Claudine Gay’s Plagiarism of Carol Swain, Say Harvard President’s Ousting Is About Racism

Claudine Gay

In the wake of Harvard University’s firing of former President Claudine Gay, the mainstream news media and far-left online activists reacted by accusing their political opponents of racism, despite the fact that Gay’s ouster was preceded by public anti-semitism and plagiarism of political scientist Dr. Carol Swain.

“Harvard president’s resignation highlights new conservative weapon against colleges: plagiarism,” said a headline from Associated Press. 

Read More

Embattled Harvard University Scrubs Multiple Web Pages About ‘Identity Recognitions,’ Pronouns

Outside of Harvard Law School

Harvard University scrubbed several web pages from the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) department’s website, according to the web archive.

Two web pages, titled “Heritage Months and Identity Recognitions” and “Gender Identity and Pronouns at Harvard,” appear to have been deleted, according to the archives. Both links now route directly to the Diversity and Inclusion homepage.

Read More

Harvard Board Says President Claudine Gay Will Remain Despite Calls for Her Ouster

The Harvard board on Tuesday said Claudine Gay would remain as president of the university despite calls for her ousting following her answers about antisemitism before Congress last week as well as allegations she plagiarized parts of her Ph.D. thesis. “As members of the Harvard Corporation, we today reaffirm our support for President Gay’s continued leadership of Harvard University,” the board, known as the Harvard Corporation, said in a statement signed by all members except for Gay. “Our extensive deliberations affirm our confidence that President Gay is the right leader to help our community heal and to address the very serious societal issues we are facing.”

Read More

Over 70 Representatives Call for Removal of Elite University Presidents Following Disastrous Hearing

Over 70 members of Congress called for the removal of the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Friday following their testimony at a Tuesday hearing, which caused widespread outrage.

Harvard President Claudine Gay, Penn President Elizabeth Magill and MIT President Sally Kornbluth refused to say during the hearing if calls for genocide were violations of their campuses’ codes of conduct, and Gay and Magill later backtracked on their statements following widespread backlash. The letter, spearheaded by Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, calls on the boards of the universities to “immediately remove each of these presidents” from their positions.

Read More

House Panel Opens Probe into Ivy League Schools Following Anti-Semitism Hearing

The House Education and Workforce Committee is opening an investigation into Harvard University, MIT, University of Pennsylvania and other schools, following a recent congressional hearing about antisemitism on college campuses. 

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik R-N.Y., called the testimony of the universities’ presidents “morally bankrupt.” Democrats and Republicans have condemned the universities’ presidents’ responses to questions about how their respective schools combat hate speech and antisemitism on campus. 

Read More

Commentary: Let the Donor Revolution Begin

The donor revolts at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and elsewhere are the long-overdue wake up calls that their faculty and administrators needed. The overwhelming majority of politically progressive faculty and administrators have long guarded their right to advance their cherished political causes inside and outside the classroom, while punishment has awaited those who challenge the shibboleths. Instead of the free exchange of ideas and the intellectual capaciousness that ultimately advance social justice, it is now clearer than ever that it is not social justice they have fostered but mindless ideology and hate.

Read More

Elite Universities That Defended Free Speech for Hamas Supporters Have Long Record of Canceling Conservatives

Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) released statements defending students’ pro-Hamas speech after campus protests, but in the past have muzzled conservatives for speech and online statements.

Harvard University President Claudine Gay and UPenn President Elizabeth Magill both said their respective universities support “free expression” in statements made after pro-Palestinian rallies at the colleges following Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel. In the past, however, conservative speakers and professors at the universities have frequently been shouted down, and some have been canceled for online statements.

Read More

Alan Dershowitz Commentary: Harvard Must Condemn Pro-Hamas Students

Outside of Harvard Law School

There’s an ongoing debate on university campuses about whether and how to respond to students who support, defend or even praise what Hamas terrorists deliberately did to innocent Israeli children, the elderly and other civilians.

On the one hand, there are free-speech and academic-freedom considerations.

Read More

Biden Admin Opens Federal Investigation into Harvard University over Legacy Admissions

Biden’s Department of Education (DOE) officially opened an investigation Monday into Harvard to determine whether or not the university’s use of legacy admissions violate the Civil Rights Act, according to a letter from the DOE.

The DOE’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) opened the investigation to determine whether or not Harvard discriminates on the basis of race by having donor and legacy admissions preferences after a complaint was filed on behalf of several activist organizations including The Chica Project, the African Community Economic Development of New England and the Greater Boston Latino Network, according to a letter from the DOE to Lawyers for Civil Rights. The complaint follows on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down race-based affirmative action admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

Read More

Defiant Harvard Vows to Continue to Use Race in Admissions Decisions

Harvard University said it plans to continue to use race as a factor in admissions in the wake of the 6-3 Supreme Court decision last week that ruled affirmative action enrollment decisions are unconstitutional.

A June 29 memo to the Harvard community from President Lawrence Bacow and more than a dozen deans and provosts cited a line in the ruling that states colleges and universities may consider in admissions decisions “an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise.”

Read More

New Documentary Exposes Ivy League Privilege and the Students it Shuts Out

“Exclusion U,” a feature documentary released this year, details how Ivy League universities accumulate billions of dollars as they restrict class sizes, turn away qualified students, and favor the children of the rich.

“Ivy League endowments are worth $193 billion dollars, but they only educate 0.3 percent of U.S. undergrads,” the film’s narrator stated. “That’s less than 63,000 students.”

Read More

Harvard University Denied Tax Cut After Lobbying to Senate Democrats

Harvard University’s request for an endowment tax cut was denied despite frequent lobbying to Senate Democrats for its inclusion in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 with tax increases on corporations and energy firms but did not include plans to lower the endowment tax, which is tax paid on income from individual donors to colleges, according to the bill.  Senior Executive Director of Federal Relations at Harvard University Suzanne Day sent an email in July urging Democratic Senators to eliminate the tax in the upcoming bill.

Read More

Harvard to Shell Out $100 Million to ‘Redress’ Its ‘Legacies with Slavery’

Harvard University will allocate $100 million to study and address its history with slavery, according to a Tuesday announcement from the university’s president.

The university released a report from the Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery and announced a $100 million fund to implement the report’s recommendations, according to an announcement from President Larry Bacow. The report listed numerous recommendations including how Harvard “can redress” its “legacies with slavery” through teaching, research and service.

Read More

Top Harvard Professor Found Guilty of Lying About Payments from China

A prominent Harvard professor was found guilty Tuesday of lying about his ties to China, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Charles Lieber, a scientist in Harvard University’s chemistry and engineering departments, was found guilty on six counts of lying related to his work at the Wuhan University of Technology, the WSJ reported.

Lieber was first arrested by federal authorities in January 2020 and charged with making false statements regarding his participation in the Thousand Talents Plan, a Chinese recruitment program that aims to foster foreign academic talent. The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Lieber was paid by the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) “$50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT.”

Read More

Founder of Zuckerberg’s Election Group Took China-Funded Fellowship at Harvard Think Tank

The founder of the controversial, Mark Zuckerberg-backed election group Center for Tech and Civic Life was a fellow at a Harvard University think tank which receives funding from Chinese Communist Party-linked firms.

The CTCL was founded in 2012 by Tiana Epps-Johnson, a 2015-16 Technology and Democracy Fellow at Kennedy School of Government’s Ash Center, which is partly funded by several Chinese Communist Party-affiliated enterprises, according to the National Pulse.

Read More

Harvard Trained the People Overseeing China’s Genocide Camps

Two officials who oversee detention camps accused of committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China, previously received fellowships from Harvard University, according to research by an Australian think-tank, The Financial Times reported.

Between 2010 and 2011, Yao Ning studied as an Asia fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation while pursuing a doctorate degree, according to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), the Times reported.

Read More

Harvard’s Endowment Ballooned by $11 Billion As It Fought off Student Class-Action Lawsuit over Tuition Costs

Outside of Harvard Law School

Harvard University announced Thursday that its endowment grew by $11.3 billion to a record $53.2 billion during the fiscal year ending in June, a year-over-year increase of 33.6%.

The announcement comes after Harvard, which runs the nation’s largest private university endowment, defeated a lawsuit from students who took umbrage with the school’s decision to not offer partial tuition refunds when it moved to online-only classes during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fiscal year 2021 was an extraordinary year. Public and private markets both continued their strong performance, which allowed the endowment to not only increase its distribution to the University, but also continue to grow during this critical time when pandemic-related financial pressures challenge all of higher education,” Harvard Management Company Chief Executive N.P. Narvekar said in a report Thursday.

Read More

Harvard Selects an Atheist for Chief University Chaplain

Harvard University has selected a man who does not believe in God to be the school’s chief chaplain.

Chief Chaplain Greg Epstein is the author of “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.” He also serves as Harvard’s Humanist Chaplain, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) humanist chaplain, and as Convener for Ethical Life at the MIT Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life.

Read More