I feel like people are finally starting to take the Right's assault on academic freedom. That's very gratifying. If you're a journalist looking to fill some column inches, here are some stories I'd love to see getting more attention:
A North Dakota bill (close now to passage) would prohibit universities that partner with abortion providers from accessing key state grants and would penalize them under a popular funding formula.

The bill is widely understood to be targeting Professor Molly Secor-Turner, a North Dakota State sex ed scholar who uses Planned Parenthood for help distributing her research instruments to members of the community.
Second, the coach of the men's basketball team at East Tennessee State University, resigned last week. You remember this team. It's the one whose players were chastised by the entire state senate GOP for taking a knee during the National Anthem.

Why did the coach resign? Was it just an incredible coincidence, or was he forced out due to political or alumni pressure? ETSU is a public institution, so maybe this is a job for someone who knows how to file a public records request?
Third, a new study of three universities finds widespread dorm segregation, with black and low income students confined to older, more broken down buildings. Some students derisively refer to these buildings as “the trenches, the hood, the ghetto.”

Is this campus identarianism run amok? I'm not sure, but it's certainly the kind of episode that would receive widespread attention, were the racial dynamics somehow reversed. Which says something about the discourse, I think...
Fourth, @EmmaJanePettit has been doing yeoman's work over at @chronicle on the goings-on in Idaho. These two articles are must-reads. Something incredibly dangerous is happening in that state. We should be talking about it.


This is the same state, btw, that forced the suspension last month of 52 university courses because of something (we don't know what) that someone (we don't know who) was offended over (we don't know why). FIFTY-TWO. Seems like a big deal.

Oh and they're also doing this.

Oh and what the hell, might as well toss this one onto the pile. FSU just spiked a planned course for reasons almost certainly involving conservative outrage. Here's Campus Reform's coverage. They're positively gleeful.

Personally, I think these are all important stories. I hope you agree.

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More from @JeffreyASachs

8 Apr
I see that many people are already responding to this comment with suggestions from the poli sci literature, but I'd be a poor student indeed of @jtlevy if I didn't highlight some work from the epistemic turn in deliberative democracy.
First, Helene Landemore's "Democratic Reason". Rule by a philosopher king might sound nice, but there are all kinds of barriers and drawbacks. Landemore makes the case for inclusive decision-making and majority rule over rule by experts.

If you don't want to get the book, this working paper more or less sums up the argument.


She's also been interviewed by @ezraklein


and profiled in the New Yorker
Read 7 tweets
7 Apr
I don't really have anything to add to this thread. Despite what they say, it's obvious that legislators would use this survey to inform how they budget decisions, allocating different levels of support to schools or universities based on their politics.
There's a similar bill in Iowa. The sponsor is admirably straightforward about how he envisions it being used.

Seems bad!
Read 5 tweets
6 Apr
Not to get too snotty about it, but one of the reasons that my own views on campus politics is so different from others working that beat is because my twitter timeline isn't exclusively filled with Lefties Run Amok. It's also filled with things like this.
Can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I have half a dozen google alerts set up for buzzwords like "professor fired" or "course cancelled". Every day at 10:00am, I get a list of 20-30 incidents. Of those, roughly eighty percent involve allegations of sexual misconduct.
I guess what I'm saying is that depending on where you're sitting or how you get your news, things on campus can look very, very different.
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
This proposed ban on "divisive concepts" in Louisiana is by far the most sweeping bill to date. Everything is included. Public AND private, K-12 AND higher ed. It's all targeted for censorship.

With one exception: charter schools. Here you can really see the synergy between the anti-CRT/Woke crowd and the charter school movement. It's an increasingly common partnership.
As for the "divisive concepts" themselves, they're largely the same as the other bills floating around (and before that, Trump's EO), but there are few interesting additions I haven't come across before.
Read 6 tweets
4 Apr
A group of Jewish students at Butler have written a letter on Angela Davis's deplatforming. Crucially, they insist that no Jewish student played any role in the decision to postpone the event. Not sure how they can know that, but it's what they say.

HOWEVER, they do seem to imply that they, the authors, complained to the student government about its decision to co-sponsor and fund the event. Since those complaints could easily have been the cause of the postponement, I'm not sure how their initial claim makes sense.
So there are still some outstanding questions about what happened.

The rest of the letter is a kind of special pleading we often see when national media targets students for snowflakery. "I'm being mocked online, I'm being bombarded with verbal abuse, this is hate speech," etc.
Read 6 tweets
1 Apr
I’m going to actually agree with @mattyglesias here. Not necessarily about the HoC debate, which I don’t know much about, but his point about how an unwillingness to discuss certain issues in progressive places will often hurt the Left. That’s obviously right.
That’s one reason why while I talk a lot a about rightwing threats to free speech, I reject the idea that it is therefore the “real” threat. Regardless of the merits, that framing just serves as an excuse for the Left to ignore its own problems. It’s an alibi, not an analysis.
It’s also why I was somewhat uncomfortable with @OsitaNwanevu’s response to Yglesias yesterday about how only the GOP is trying to pass laws banning campus speech, not Dems. That is a) not true, eg many state-level Dems have supported anti-BDS bills; and b) risks excusing how...
Read 4 tweets

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