Tag: Higher Education

Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA


shutterstock_120009895As the Ricochet editors have been kind enough to note, my new book — the title of which is the headline of this post — was released earlier this week. In it, I describe some of the things I witnessed as a member of UCLA’s faculty oversight committee on admissions — and I also blow the whistle on some illegal activity. Specifically, the fact that UCLA, in violation of California’s Proposition 209, is granting racial preferences to African-Americans and discriminating against Asians.

On Wednesday, Larry Elder devoted two segments of his radio show to the book and an interview with me. Larry wrote the forward for the book and also discussed it in his most recent column:

… [P]erhaps more interesting than the data and statistical analyses is Groseclose’s documentation of the suspicious ways that UCLA faculty and senior officials reacted when he asked for the data. They seemed to know that UCLA was breaking the law, and they resorted to desperate measures to prevent Groseclose and others from seeing the proof. Once Groseclose began to press them, he says, their responses became more and more fanciful. For instance, they claimed that “privacy” was the reason they couldn’t give him the data. But then Groseclose suggested that they redact all names and personal identifiers from the applications. They still refused. Further, if they were so concerned with privacy, why did they give the data to the “independent researcher”?

Tim Groseclose Blows the Whistle on UCLA


A year and a half ago, UCLA professor  and Ricochet contributor Tim Groseclose told our members that he was convinced that the university was circumventing California’s Proposition 209, a state ballot initiative that prohibits the use of race in university admissions. In that post, he explained how he had been systematically denied access to admissions data that he had hoped to study (despite being a member of the admissions oversight committee — from which he resigned over the dispute) and how the university had steadfastly spun the issue despite mounting evidence that it was violating state law.

During the intervening time, Professor Groseclose has been at work on a book chronicling the scandal, Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA, which has just been released. Ricochet members should pick up a copy (via the link, which runs through Ricochet’s Amazon portal and throws us some change) and tune in to Fox & Friends tomorrow at 7:45 AM Eastern, when Tim will be appearing to promote the book. 

Tufts to Department of Education: “Finding Has No Basis in Law”


Be sure to read FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley’s excellent piece today at WGBH.com on the ongoing battle over how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual harassment and assault. As I reported yesterday, the White House unveiled its first official task force report (PDF), to both acclaim and criticism. Overshadowed by the White House announcement, however, is the news that Tufts University is pushing back against its treatment by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. As Shibley explains:

One of the first questions many people ask on this issue is, “Why are colleges holding rape trials anyway?” Good question. They do so because they are required to under Title IX, the 1972 federal law banning sex discrimination in educational programs. But don’t bother looking at the text of Title IX, which makes no mention of rape hearings at all. The requirement instead comes from mountains of federal regulations and piecemeal statutes that hold colleges to standards that are nearly impossible to meet or even comprehend.

Campus Tells Hawaii Students They Cannot Hand Out Copies of the Constitution; Students Sue — Greg Lukianoff


Less than four months after a student in California was told that he could not hand out copies of the Constitution—on Constitution Day (September 17), no less—two students at the University of Hawaii at Hilo were told by a campus official that they could not hand out copies of the Constitution  to their fellow students at UH Hilo’s student organization fair in January.

When one of the students protested that they were acting within their rights, the official replied, “It’s not about your rights in this case, it’s about the University policy that you can’t approach people.”

Adventures in Gender-Neutral Bathrooms


These are interesting times for people trying to work out their identities on college campuses. If, for instance, you feel neither male nor female, or in the lingo of the times, if you are “gender non-conforming,” “transsexual,” or “gender questioning,” then you may feel the need to have a bathroom specially designated as gender-neutral. That way you do not feel oppressed by the gender labels that society tends to force upon people. It’s a bigger issue than you’d think, as I note over at The College Fix:

What sort of person actually needs (or thinks he needs) such elaborate accommodations wherever he goes? Take, for instance, Ignacio Rivera, a recent guest speaker at the University of Wisconsin who describes himself as “a ‘Two-Spirit, Black-Boricua Taíno, queer performance artist, activist, filmmaker, lecturer and sex educator who prefers the gender neutral pronoun ‘they.’”

Brandeis, Hirsi Ali, and the Echo Chamber Generation


Last week, I wrote, once again, about “disinvitation season” on campus, the time of year when students and faculty join together to demand some voices not be heard on their campuses.

Shortly after that, however, the biggest controversy this season erupted at Brandeis University when the university decided to revoke the honorary degree it was planning to give to feminist and atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. 

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Replies to Brandeis University – Peter Robinson


From a statement that appeared late yesterday:

Yesterday Brandeis University decided to withdraw an honorary degree they were to confer upon me next month during their Commencement exercises. I wish to dissociate myself from the university’s statement, which implies that I was in any way consulted about this decision. On the contrary, I was completely shocked when President Frederick Lawrence called me—just a few hours before issuing a public statement—to say that such a decision had been made.

First-in-the-Nation Law in Virginia Bans Unconstitutional Campus ‘Free Speech Zones’


On Friday, April 3, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a first-of-its-kind bill that effectively designates all outdoor areas on Virginia public campuses as public forums. This has the practical effect of not allowing campus speech to be quarantined into ‘free speech zones.’ I wrote a column announcing the news over at The Huffington Post:

Students in Virginia might be surprised to know that the open areas on campus were not already public forums, but the Virginia state legislature has made it official. The bill, authored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly unanimously. My organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), urged the passage of the bill, and FIRE’s own Joe Cohn testified on behalf of the legislation in hearings in both legislative houses.

The Libertarian Podcast: Is Unionization the Future of College Football?


In this week’s installment of The Libertarian podcast from the Hoover Institution, Professor Epstein and I discussed the recent NLRB decision allowing unionization for college football players at Northwestern University.

Is it legitimate for college athletes to claim “employee” status? Can college sports survive the implications of this ruling? Is it an injustice for these students not to be paid? And would higher education be better off being decoupled from athletics, especially those that are functionally semi-pro? Those are some of the questions we explore in this episode:

PSA: Don’t Let Your Children Be Art Majors at Murray State — Troy Senik


Over the past few years, as anxiety about the value proposition of college has spread, there have been increasing calls for transparency in higher education, such as the 2012 proposal by Senators Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden to make data about employment and earnings for graduates available to the public.

While that proposal is still floating around Congress, the folks at the Atlantic have done some of the spadework, releasing data earlier today on the most and least lucrative colleges and majors. Here’s what they found.

Protip from Dartmouth Student to UCSB and Stanford: Run Over Free Speech with Your Car — Greg Lukianoff


Being offended is what happens when you have your deepest beliefs challenged. And if you make it through four years of college without having your deepest beliefs challenged, you should demand your money back.

I have been saying that in speeches on campus for more than a decade. Even though the line often gets a laugh, the idea that students have a “right not to be offended” seems more entrenched on campus than ever.