Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Leading GOP Politicians Oppose Campus Due Process

In the Weekly Standard, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. describe how the overwhelming majority of GOP senators, governors, and congressmen have failed to support Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's revised regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments. The revisions undo much of the skewness in procedures concerning sexual harassment cases on campus.  

Among the abuses that have occurred, and that some GOP politicians appear to support, are, according to Johnson and Taylor: 

pervasive pro-accuser bias among academic officials; secret training of adjudicators to believe accusers even in the face of discrediting evidence; bans on meaningful cross-examination; concealment of exculpatory evidence; designation of a single bureaucrat as investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury; and numerous other due-process outrages. 

Johnson and Taylor contacted Republican members of the  Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee to gauge their views. Lamar Alexander and Bill Cassidy  favor DeVos's proposed changes. None of the other committee members responded to Johnson and Taylor's inquiry.  The Republican senators on the committee who did not respond are as follows:

Michael B. Enzi
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Johnny Isaakson
Senator Rand Paul
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Todd Young
Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator Paul Roberts
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Senator Tim Scott

It is unclear whether the failure of ten Republican senators to respond indicates opposition to the amendments, cowardice, or lack of time and resources.  

A House Republican who has supported the amendments is Virginia Foxx of North Carolina. In contrast, Thomas Kean Jr., a Republican in the New Jersey state senate, is proposing New Jersey regulations that will please left-wing extremists who oppose due process.  Kean aims to preempt federal due process requirements by substituting state-based rules. Republican Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire is also siding with the left.

Perhaps a broader survey of  elected Republicans' positions on education reform would be beneficial.  I have been wondering for many years as to why elected Republicans seem to behave in a self-defeating way.  They are unperturbed at universities' functioning ideologically; they have no qualms about funding ideologically imbued cultural studies, social science, and humanities courses that indoctrinate students to be anti-Republican Party activists; they are unconcerned about the failure of universities to validate the efficacy of funds spent with respect to both education and job placement.  
It appears that what is happening is that since left wingers dominate education lobbies and few Americans who are not part of the lobbies take an interest in education, Republicans respond primarily to left-wing demands.  

That is a self-defeating cynicism because the higher education institutions banish Republican professors and teach students to hate Republicans. It reminds me of the faux quotation from Lenin: The last Republican will be he who votes the dollar to the educationist who teaches the student who buys the rope that hangs him.

What may be needed is a focused lobbying organization that counteracts educationist lobbies that take $200 billion a year in public money out of the economy, much of it amounting to dead weight social loss.  They have overseen a 50-year stagnation in the real hourly wage, questionable job outcomes for the bottom half of the college population, education programs that indoctrinate rather than educate, and administrative bloat. 

Star of Andrew Cuomo's SUNY Sentenced to Three Years

 The Albany Times Union reports that Alain Kaloyeros, former head of the SUNY Center for Semiconductor Research and SUNY Polytechnic, has been sentenced to three years.  Kaloyeros was convicted of wire fraud related to bid rigging on an upstate revitalization project.

What are the links among large state universities, their left-wing ideology, and criminality?  First, left-wing ideology supports large state institutions, including universities, even though they are inefficient. Second, because they are inefficient, universities avoid careful accounting for outcomes.  Universities, much like industrial corporations, prefer secrecy.  It is easier to draw students to academic programs if the students mistakenly think that they will be able to find a job after completing the degree. The leftists who sponsor such programs make no effort to determine what the outcomes for their students are because doing so would lead to reduced demand, likely eliminating academic jobs.

Third, secrecy and lack of accountability beget criminality.  Kaloyeros was given financial authority, but he continued to behave like an ordinary professor.  Lying about research findings is not a felony; Kaloyeros was morally unable to transition from the world of academic research to the real world.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

It Is Time to Force a First Amendment Debate on the Democrats

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I have discovered in recent weeks that the left wing of the Democratic Party increasingly opposes the First Amendment.  Emily Ekins of the Cato Institute reports a 2017 survey that finds that, while 71% of Americans believe that political correctness has tended to cause Americans to silence important discussions, opinion is split along party lines:  52% of Democrats favor restrictions on the First Amendment.

The survey also finds that 65% of Americans believe that students who prevent speakers from speaking at universities should be disciplined and that 72% of Republicans and 60% of independents oppose government restrictions on the First Amendment.

It will be fruitful for Republicans to force a debate on the First Amendment, which will expose the increasing authoritarianism and extremism of the Democratic Party. Political correctness can be a wedge issue that pushes increasing support to Republicans, who are more mainstream on this issue.

For example, Republicans might propose a bill that withholds funding to universities that do not discipline students who disrupt public discussions, or they might propose one that ties federal funding of private universities to their complying with the First Amendment in personnel decision making.   Perhaps funding could be withheld from universities whose faculty members advocate abrogating the First Amendment.  Then, we might enjoy watching the Democrats complain that the bill violates the same First Amendment that they and their left-wing core wish to abrogate.

Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

Cc: The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Russell Senate Office Building
317 Delaware Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20510