Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quickies: No University Is An Island

     (With apologies to John Donne.)

     From the redoubtable Ashe Schow comes a report of a new and heartening initiative:

     The National District Attorneys Association has come out in favor of the Safe Campus Act, a bill that would increase due process for students accused of sexual assault.

     Currently, colleges and universities are handling such accusations, and allowing accusers to decide whether the criminal or quasi-judicial campus court system handle the complaint. The Safe Campus Act would also prevent colleges and universities from adjudicating an allegation of sexual assault if an accuser refuses to report to the police.

     Michael Ramos, the district attorney of San Bernardino County in California and the NDAA's president-elect, told the Wall Street Journal that "You have to take away the whole perception that academic institutions are on their own separate island." [Emphasis added by FWP]

     I added the emphasis for a reason that’s often on my mind: the political ecology of the American university. The freedom from consequences afforded a tenured professor on an American university campus is what makes it possible for Leftism to flourish there. Indeed, the Left has so completely captured “higher education” in America that below the graduate-studies level, virtually no education takes place...and virtually nothing is ever done about it.

     An environment that can shield itself from pressures and developments outside it – a “separate island” in D.A. Michael Ramos’s phrasing – will attract species that would find that environment congenial to it. Once the species finds its optimal environment – i.e., the one for which it’s optimally adapted – it gradually comes to dominate that ecology, in particular making it inhospitable for competing species and, to some extent at least, to predator species as well. For the Left, insulation against adverse consequences is the paramount necessity. That is exactly why it’s managed to establish dominance in bureaucracy, media, and education, and have thwarted all attempts at penetration by the Right.

     Of course, not everything about treating the universities as “separate islands” is negative. The idea of impenetrably walling them off has occurred to me favorably before this. With the rise of the “rape culture” propaganda crusade, it seems more desirable than ever. Should the walls be insufficient to deaden the complaints and demands from within, we could always fill them with water.

1 comment:

Reg T said...

Perhaps we need to return to the time when colleges separated men from women. It's possible that some actual education might occur without the negative dynamics of male-female interactions on campus. Of course, it would still be worthless unless the teaching staff were filtered to remove the Left from the equation.

It could be done, by hiring only those with real-world experience in the fields they teach. That would quite simply rule out the Left.