Recently in Academia Category
Among the many problems with American academia today is a deficiency of perspective. To a deplorable degree, our young people are being fed an unbalanced academic diet of a single viewpoint. The result is a lower quality education.
David Bernstein at Volokh Conspiracy has this post on how blogs can expand the range of discourse. But a comment he makes in passing confirms what I have long suspected. The lack of diversity of viewpoint in academia is not only a result of which people choose academic careers versus going into the "real world." That is part of it, to be sure, but another part is active employment discrimination for the specific purpose of censoring Politically Incorrect viewpoints out of the academic discourse.
The faculties at elite law schools are able to define what was "mainstream" in constitutional law simply by who they hire to join them. And Yale, to take just one example, has not hired a conservative or libertarian professor to teach constitutional law in my lifetime. According to an informed source at the law school, this is not a coincidence, as some of Yale's constitutional law professors make it their business to block any right-of-center candidates.
...compel her to join in the effort to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for most drug and non-violent offenses. Not only are mandatory sentences in most instances unduly harsh, coercive, and inefficacious, but they allow for an arbitrary and discriminatory application that is essentially unreviewable by courts. The author distinguishes this argument against mandatory minimum penalties from the so-called "Smart on Crime" movement, by grounding a prosecutor's duty to promote sentencing reform in ethical reasoning as opposed to pragmatic or cost-savings considerations.
Future generations will look back at the first decade of the twenty-first century as a pivotal time when a huge economic barrier was erected to encumber the path to a legal career. The symbolic announcement of this barrier rang out when annual tuition crossed the $50,000 threshold, now exceeded at a dozen or so law schools. Including fees and living expenses, it costs well in excess of $200,000 to obtain a law degree at most of the nation's highly regarded law schools and at a number of non-elite ones as well. Law schools thus impose a formidable entry fee on anyone who wishes to follow what, until recently, has long served as a means of upward mobility and access to power in American society.
In [Tracy's] blog, which isn't affiliated with FAU, Tracy argues that the amount of damage captured on video cannot be reconciled with the homemade bombs that authorities say caused the damage.
More likely, the tenured professor says, what happened in Boston was a "mass casualty drill."
In an April 23 posting entitled "Witnessing Boston's Mass Casualty Event," Tracy contends that "photographic evidence of the event suggests the possibility of play actors getting into position after the detonation of what may in fact have been a smoke bomb or similarly benign explosive."
You can't make this up. You can't make it up, that is, unless someone is paying you to be a "professor."
...generally benevolent, especially when compared to the holy war fevers espoused by national leaders, the media, and a vengeful public after the 9/11 attacks that also embraced Islamophobic falsehoods. Maybe America has become more poised in relation to such extremist incidents, but maybe not. It is soon to tell, and the somewhat hysterical Boston dragnet for the remaining at large and alive suspect does suggest that the wounds of 9/11 are far from healed.
When it became known that Boudin was hiding in plain sight at Columbia, the New York Post interviewed the nephew of one of the police officers shot to death in Nanuet. He reminded readers of the consequences of that long-ago incident: "Nine children grew up without their dads because of her actions." None of this, course, has any effect on Columbia. Associate dean Marianne Yoshioka, who hired Boudin, rose to her defense. Kathy Boudin has been "an excellent teacher who gets incredible evaluations from her students each year," Yoshioka said. "Incredible" does seem the operative word.
One repeated concern the student researchers heard from numerous practitioners across the state is the challenge counties face in effectively supervising a new type of offender. As explained by second-year student Mariam Hinds, "Counties are dealing with a more criminally sophisticated and hardened caseload due to the fact that some realigned offenses are more serious than pre-Realignment offenses that would have been sentenced locally and some inmates being released back to the counties from prison on post-release community supervision have serious or violent criminal histories."
The Harvard Chapter of the Federalist Society is hosting a very important conference tomorrow on intellectual diversity in the legal academy.The conference agenda is here. I won't make it to Cambridge tomorrow, so I hope this comes out is some recorded form in the not-too-distant future.
Many people realize that legal academia "leans" to the left. But even alumni -- indeed, even major donors -- are often unaware of the extent of the imbalance. At Georgetown, for example, the ratio of liberals to conservatives/libertarians is roughly 116 to 3. At most top schools, the ratio is similar. One might quibble about definitions, but even on the broadest conception of "conservative" or "libertarian" or, let's just say, "right of the American center," most top law schools can count such professors on one hand. In public law, and particularly constitutional law, the disparity is even more extreme.
[T]he New York Post reports that Columbia University has honored Kathy Boudin -- the Weather Underground terrorist who spent 22 years in prison for the armored-car robbery that killed two police officers and a Brink's guard -- with an adjunct professorship at Columbia's School of Social Work. Columbia lists her as an assistant professor. Among her listed areas of expertise is "restorative justice." In 2003 Boudin was paroled for felony murder that resulted in a lot of kids being left without dads. I wonder if she has restored any justice to them.
Reaching out to veterans carries multiple advantages for law schools. There are public relations and marketing benefits to helping cover the cost of enrollment for veterans at a time when concerns about rising tuition are running high. The payments can also help schools recruit high-quality students they otherwise might have lost to public competitors without too much damage to the bottom line.