Thursday, October 08, 2015

Fiscal Crisis at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

From an e-mail widely circulated among faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.  The author is anonymous, but our sources say the analysis resonates among the faculty of that institution.  Indeed, the UWM faculty is up in arms about what is happening.
Dear UWM Department Chairs,

At your discretion, please forward the message below to your departmental faculty and teaching staff. This message details the root causes of our institution’s current structural deficit.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to you anonymously to relay some of the analyses that have been assembled in recent months through activity of the Natural Sciences Executive committee. This committee was formed to respond to the rapidly deteriorating state of the College of L&S [Letters and Sciences] and UWM budgets. The analyses were undertaken using the campus and system databases of expenditures particularly those data available from the office of institutional research and from IPEDS [Integrated Post Secondary Data System] data. Despite any counter argument that may be offered in response to this message, these data are objective and as accurate and telling as any available. While it is common to be selective and promote notions that most benefit those who undertook the analysis, this did not occur in this instance. These are trends and numbers that describe the causes of the current dire financial state of this institution.

The overall assessment is that UWM is poorly administered and has no galvanizing vision. Our administrators control the lines of funding and have distributed funds in a rather haphazard manner, largely within their own ranks, in response to numerous individual and group solicitations. These numerous relative small affirmative fiscal decisions attempt to appease the solicitor(s) without incorporating long-term enrollment and funding revenue considerations into any strategy. This has resulted in a large expansion of positions and unit costs that have greatly exceeded UWM’s revenue streams. If such an expansion had not occurred a large fraction of the current 38 million dollar structural deficit would not have accrued. It is important to remember that this deficit is independent of recent state reductions in funding.

Some fraction of the data for this analysis is available from Professor Kyle Swanson’s website: [here]. We all owe Kyle a debt for his relentless acquisition and analysis that has exposed the true costs at UWM. Trends many of us have long suspected to exist now have thorough objective analyses behind them.

Some of the dominant trends or conclusions are as follows (in no particular order):

1) Academic units consistently get handed budget cuts, yet overall expenditures on salary increased by $17.2m (7.3%; +85.2 FTE [Full Time Equivalent]) from 2011 to 2015.

2) Instructional FTE has increased by 116 (2080 to 2196; 5.6%) despite a 9.1% decrease in in the number of credit hours offered. Teaching academic staff FTE has increased 14.7% (589 to 676 FTE), while faculty numbers have fallen from 836 to 808 FTE.

3) Limited Employees (administrator types) are multiplying, as there are 27 more FTE in Fall 2015 compared to Fall 2011. The overall pay pool increased by $3.7m, or 23.4%.

4) Faculty and support staff in academic units are routinely ignored for salary equity considerations or simply told that no monies for raises or merit are available. However, it is starkly obvious that if you want a career path at UWM, it is best by some considerable margin to be in the administration. Average pay within the administration has increased by 11.2% over the prior four years (numerous administrators have received 30% or greater increases over this period). It appears that being able to set the budgets is a primary corrupting influence.

This is indelible, our administrators should no longer be seen as the stewards of our institution’s budgets. Whether they realize it or not (and I suspect they do not) they have become the primary drain on our threadbare resources at the expense of our core functions.

5) If you examine only non-instructional UWM employees earning greater than $80K per year, salaries have increased on average by a staggering 9.5% per annum since 2011. In addition the university has added 45 FTE in this salary category in the last four years.

6) Total expenditures on non-academic activities have expanded greatly since the 2010 Goldwater report that suggested UWM had a lean administration. This seems to have been a call-to-arms in terms of non-academic expenditures. During the last 5 years UWM has increased the percentage support spending from ~30% of the budget to almost 38%. This accounts for the bulk of our current $38 M structural deficit.

7) Despite the proliferation of support (and to a lesser extent instructional) positions and the rapid growth rate of administrative salaries none of the core issues facing the university have abated. Our student retention numbers have not changed and our average time to graduation is vastly too long. The reason for this is that only at the interface can these trends be influenced, yet all of the efforts (PASS, advising, the bloat in Student Affairs etc) and expenditures designed to correct these trends have been centralized, out of the instructional departments .

The Remedy

The remedy proposed by the Chancellor is almost beyond comprehension and indicates the depth of the problems we face. Yet another massive unruly committee manned by the very individuals benefiting from the current budgetary debacle; 18 of the 24 members of this committee report either to the Provost or to Robin van Harpen. These are hardly the people likely to make the only decision that can save this institution: Support activities (ie administration) must be confined to an unchanging percentage of total revenues (30% is a suggested healthy number), such that the only way these costs can expand is when the University as a whole prospers.

Instead what we hear (admittedly as rumor) is that teaching support positions are the primary initial target of budgetary cuts. The individuals that teach a large fraction of our high enrollment service courses (at very low cost). That is, the instructors who enable our campus scholarly activities by keeping faculty teaching at a level conducive to research. Eliminating a significant fraction of these positions will see research on this campus come to a precipitous halt as faculty fill the ranks at the expense of their research programs.

In an effort to rally a collective sense of outrage, I would like to remind you all that there are only two groups of employees at UWM that en masse add to the bottom line, these are faculty and teaching academic staff. They are the only individuals able to bring money to the institution, yet this group has been ignored and I would argue maligned by current administrative actions. Instead of being seen as the institution’s primary resource we are regarded as a difficult group of subordinates. I will submit that the apparently unending expansion of non-academic functions is highly unlikely to solve our current budgetary state. We exist at the whim of high-cost, short-sighted administrators that are for the most part inept at grasping the state of the institution or understanding that its prime functions are, education and research.

Our future is being decided in open meetings held in the regent’s room on Wednesdays from 3-5 - I suggest we all attend.
Those of us who prefer the private sector to public near monopolies, and who are associated with a private sector institution (like Marquette) might be tempted to feel a bit of schadenfreude.

That would be very badly misguided.

The simple fact is that the pathologies that afflict UWM can be found at Marquette.  An excellent piece of investigative journalism from the Marquette Tribune in 2014 discussed the issue.

Marquette, an older, better established and moderately prestigious institution can perhaps better tolerate their ill effects, but they make Marquette much inferior to what it ought to be.

Some key passages from the letter above:
The overall assessment is that UWM is poorly administered and has no galvanizing vision. Our administrators control the lines of funding and have distributed funds in a rather haphazard manner, largely within their own ranks, in response to numerous individual and group solicitations.
And then:
Average pay within the administration has increased by 11.2% over the prior four years (numerous administrators have received 30% or greater increases over this period). It appears that being able to set the budgets is a primary corrupting influence.
If you examine only non-instructional UWM employees earning greater than $80K per year, salaries have increased on average by a staggering 9.5% per annum since 2011. In addition the university has added 45 FTE in this salary category in the last four years.
And then:
During the last 5 years UWM has increased the percentage support spending from ~30% of the budget to almost 38%. This accounts for the bulk of our current $38 M structural deficit.
In sum: administrative bloat. And a lack of concern for the people who do teaching and research.  De facto, this is a lack of concern for students. Common in all academia.  And certainly at UWM, and at Marquette.

Note that the assessment that in 2010 that UWM had a lean administration.  We doubt this was true in an absolute sense, but may well have been true in a relative sense (compared to the bloat at other institutions).  But then the bloat ramped up.

Who was Chancellor of UWM from 2011 until 2014?  Michael Lovell.

Note:   Professor Kyle Swanson has not responded to our requests for comment.


More information: one thing noted by Arts & Letters faculty at UWM is the plethora of “programs” that are often marginally viable, don’t serve the core mission of the institution, and drain away resources. This, unfortunately, is what one would expect from university administrators. There is a big incentive for them to have “initiatives” on their résumés. That sounds impressive, and by the time it becomes obvious that the initiatives did not work out so well, the administrator is probably gone, having moved on to another institution (probably to a more desirable position, due to the “initiatives” he or she had implemented).

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Obama and Doctors Without Borders

Feminist Harpies at Oxford (and on Facebook)

Surfing around The Spectator (U.K.) we happened on any article titled “Oxford’s new feminist hit squad.” It’s a group of bullies on Facebook whose reach extends into the Oxford student body, having the ability to marginalize those with even mildly politically incorrect attitudes.

The Spectator euphemistically calls the group “Country Living,” and it can indeed be found on Facebook.

It’s a closed group, but one need not be able to see the posts to see how intolerant the people running it are. From the group description:
Welcome to the Facebook group loosely affiliated with the Oxford University-based feminist zine (also online here! smile emoticon Anyone is free to join and contribute, but please take some time to read the guidelines first.

This is intended to be an intersectional, sex positive online space in which we can challenge patriarchy and share our experiences of oppression.

When commenting please bear in mind that in this space the voices of those who are typically marginalised and oppressed in wider society are prioritised. New members of the group, especially cis men: please take some time to read the posts and conversations here before participating.

This group is intended to be as safe a space as possible. Healthy debate is welcomed, but we do not want members of the group to feel threatened and/or marginalised and/or shouted down by people who do not have an understanding of oppression. No one is under any obligation to educate anyone else, especially if their experiences are being attacked or questioned. Just taking some time to read the threads is an educational experience in itself.

Please listen to accounts of lived experiences, reassess your view in light of responses from oppressed and/or marginalised people, and apologise if you offend/upset people with your views. If you are ignoring/talking over individuals with first hand experience of oppression, you will be warned about it. If you ignore that warning, you will be removed from the group. Derailing threads with #notallmen and so on is counterproductive and will result in a warning. Hateful and oppressive language will result in immediate removal from the group. Because this is a safe space, it’s also important that members don’t question the validity of an account of abuse and/or harassment.

If anyone here feels unsafe or threatened on here, please tag one of the admins (Georgiana Jackson-Callen, Nicole Antoinette, Alyson Cruise or Shaina Yang) in the relevant post or message one of us — we will do everything we can to rectify the situation.

If you believe that material you are posting may be triggering, please use a trigger warning (you can find advice on how and when to use those here: For sensitive material that is not triggering, please provide a brief content note (you can find advice on those here: If you’re not sure whether something needs a content/trigger warning, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Helpful guides on privilege:,,

How to respond when you’re called out on something:

Privilege list:
The message to people who don’t agree with the extreme views here: shut up. This being a Facebook group, the administrators do have the power to shut up opinions they don’t like.  But they are working to extend that power over all of society.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan

From Fox News Watters’ World:

Let’s try an experiment. How about readers of this blog look at the video and post their reactions as comments.

Eventually, we will post our own reaction as an update.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Democrats Don’t Especially Like America

From the Gallup Organization, the results of a question that asked “How proud are you to be an America extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, or not proud at all?” Gallup then tabulated the percentages in each group who said “extremely proud.” The results are presented below:

Democrats are 21% less likely to feel “extremely proud” than are Republicans. Gallup did not provide tabulations for liberals and conservatives, but had they done so, the cleavage would doubtless have been wider.

So why are Democrats less patriotic? They would insist they are most sensitive to the social injustice that they consider an endemic part of American life. This is just a rationalization. What liberal Democrats don’t like about America is that they have less power than they think they should. Being elitists, they are resentful that ordinary Americans — people who oppose abortion, gay marriage, gun control and so on — contest with them for power, and on a much more equal basis than they would like.

The classic statement of this elitism came from Barack Obama, who said:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. . . . And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Yes, these bitter clingers have too much power.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Supposedly Racist Tweets at Claremont College Aren’t

A bunch of black students staged a “black lives matter die-in” at Claremont College, apparently taking over a public space and inconveniencing students who just wanted to get some food or get some studying done.

A fair number of students were unimpressed with the demonstration, and said so on Yik Yak.

How did the black students respond? By calling the tweets “racist” and making a video reading some of them.

Of course, there was nothing racist about the tweets unless you think that any dissent or failure to be supportive is racist. Check out the supposedly racist statements.

This, of course, exactly parallels tweets Marquette students posted in response to a “diversity” demonstration that blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. In that case also, a lot of Marquette students were unsympathetic, and said so on Yik Yak. Good for those Marquette students.

Note to leftist students: get out of your little politically correct bubble and face the fact that a lot of people disagree with you. And the vast majority of people who disagree with you are not racist, they just don’t buy your arguments.

The little world you live in, pampered and coddled by university bureaucrats and leftist faculty, isn’t the real world that exists off college campuses. Your college experience is teaching you things that don’t transfer well into the real world. The tweets responding to your antics are a dose of that real world, and if you stubbornly insist on demonizing the people who post them, you are marginalizing yourself.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Plight of the Campus Religious Believer

From the Intercollegiate Review:
If you’re an orthodox believer at a mainstream college, you don’t need me to tell you that you feel like an oddball, maybe even besieged. Your professors and most of your peers would treat your most deeply held beliefs with condescension and probably horror, if they knew about them.

So what should you do about it?

If you had asked my advice even a few years ago, I would have told you to be the turd in the ­liberals’ punchbowl. When I was an undergraduate in the 1980s, I did everything in my power to challenge leftist orthodoxies. I saw offending liberals as a key public service, which I dubbed “insensitivity training.” I relied on, and fought for, the principle of free speech.

That’s long gone on campuses now.

My advice today? Grit your teeth, do your reading, make some friends, get your degree, and then make like Lot fleeing Sodom: never look back.

Sounds depressing, right? Well, I do have some good news, as you’ll see.

Big Mother Is Watching You

Colleges are much less tolerant than they were even back when I was in school. Instead of welcoming free, vigorous debate designed to prepare people for adulthood, many campuses are turning the classroom into a “safe space” where infantilized pseudo-victims can wallow in their phantom pains for four long, pricey years before the college dumps them into the real world and sends the bill. The tenets of your faith, if you stood up for them, might count as “microaggressions,” “trigger words,” or even “harassment.” Citing free speech won’t get you far on most campuses nowadays.

If your creed is anything like mine, it is by any contemporary secular standard “homophobic,” “transphobic,” “patriarchal,” “sexually repressive,” and opposed to “abortion rights.” There is no way to airbrush any orthodox mono­theist religion, especially biblical or ecclesial Christianity, to make it acceptable to secular progressives. It would take full-on plastic surgery, and you saw what that did to the Episcopal Church, Bruce Jenner, and every Jesuit college.

As someone who delighted in debating professors and students in and out of the classroom, it pains me to recommend a “covert-ops” approach. But the battlefield has shifted, and you are now deep behind enemy lines.
And what to do about this?
So keep your head down, and keep your faith. That last part can be difficult when peers and professors attack your religious beliefs as “retrograde” or “reactionary.” But you can do it. You can do it even if your campus ministry soft-pedals any supernatural aspect of your religion, privileging instead some social justice activism. If that’s the case, go find a local church and pray with the grown-ups at a faithful congregation. You may spot fellow students there. Befriend them.

You can also find like-minded students in organizations like the ISI-affiliated group on campus, Young Americans for Liberty, College Republicans, or your campus pro-life club. Maybe even a Greek organization, if those haven’t been banned from your campus. Their meetings could be a “safe space” for you.
It’s not quite as bad as this essay makes out, although anti-religious (or at least anti-Christian) intolerance can be pretty bad.


Some institutions are better than others. A useful (but perhaps a bit dated) ranking of schools by religious commitment can be found here.

Sometimes the students are not as biased as the professors. At Marquette, for example, students apparently split about equally in voting for Republican Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke.

Some majors are better than others. Expect a lot of leftist indoctrination in the humanities, the social sciences (except economics and perhaps political science), communications and education. Other majors are better, although you will have to take some courses in those most biased departments.

Plot out your path carefully. You will indeed be in enemy territory.

Labels: , , ,

The Academic Left’s Hatred of Israel

From Real Clear Politics an essay about the academic left and its hatred of the state of Israel.
What has happened on campus, aside from the well-documented suppression of pro-Israel views, is the formation of a durable coalition opposed not only to Benjamin Netanyahu and specific Israeli policies but to Israel itself. The coalition is composed of the two fundamental groups on all elite campuses: the self-professed “victims” and the self-flagellating “guilty.” One of the main purposes of orientation week is to sort students into one of these two groups and to educate them in their assigned roles.

The guilty are all students from comfortable backgrounds, except those from approved minorities. These middle-class students are, by definition, “oppressors.” They can expiate their sins by pleading guilty and showing they want to remedy the mess their families have made of America and the world. Their own special movement is environmentalism and “safety” on campus, which goes beyond the legitimate goal of ensuring all students’ physical security to include suppressing views they don’t like. Those views, they say, make them “feel unsafe.” Deans of students, who care not a whit about free speech, happily rush in to protect them. But the main way middle-class students can wash away their sins is to back the movement-du-jour of the “victims’ groups.”

There is no shortage of opportunities. There are all sorts of self-designated victims on campus, each vying for the coveted position as “the most terribly oppressed by America.” Among international students, the undisputed winners are the Palestinians (and Muslim students in general). They are glad to have others’ support as long as no one challenges their status as the No. 1 international victims group.
But why does the left hate Israel? The author (Charles Lipson) goes on to explain:
The left hates Israel’s military strength and its willingness to use it for the same reasons it hates American power. As right-thinking cosmopolitans, they would never approve such brutality. Obama captured this perspective in a Freudian slip. “Whether we like it or not,” he explained, “we remain a dominant military superpower.” The left doesn’t like it. They don’t like it in America, and they don’t like it in Israel. As for Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea brandishing military threats, well, let’s not think about that. The threats may vanish from their minds, but they still threaten everybody else with working synapses.

Not only is Israel powerful, the left (like the Muslim world) sees Israel as a remnant of Europe’s crimes: imperialism and the Holocaust. University faculties are preoccupied with imperialism and post-colonial legacies, which they blame for many of the world’s ills. They see Israel through that lens, as a colony of white settlers in an Arab-Muslim region. They blithely ignore the Jewish people’s age-old connection to the land, its continuous presence there, and its central religious significance. And they ignore how many Israelis were driven out of Arab countries, which have become virulently anti-Semitic.

The combination of Israel’s religious heritage, its nationalism, its prosperity, and its unapologetic self-defense combine virtually everything loathed by secular, cosmopolitan intellectuals. That’s why Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech offered such a tepid “defense” of Israel’s right to exist. Israel was needed, he said, because Jews needed somewhere to go after the Holocaust. That is the view of the average professor of French literature: Israel is the bastard child of Europe’s crimes.
This kind of mentality is common at Marquette, reflected (for example) in the “Israeli Apartheid Week” sponsored by several offices at Marquette.

A few years ago, Manresa sponsored a conference on “peacemaking” which included a panel titled “Jews of Conscience: Voices for Justice and Peace, Hope and Obligation.” What sort of Jews supposedly had a “conscience?” Those who oppose Israel. The people on the panel compared Israel to Nazi Germany, and justified Palestinian terrorism.

Then there was a virulent 2005 Arab Heritage Celebration, which rather than celebrating the cultural heritage of Arabs, attacked Israel.

“Catholic” Marquette, in other words, is no better than the average secular university. Indeed, Marquette is the average secular university.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Actually Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

From Commentary Magazine, some data on how to actually reduce the number of campus sexual assaults.
Any successful approach to reducing sexual assault on campus will require the reconsideration of these very notions. We have completed a study of more than 1,300 colleges and universities and have found that far fewer accusations of sexual assault are levied at the schools that ban alcohol and prohibit opposite-sex overnight guests in residence halls. Our findings suggest that students are not so much victims of a “rape culture” as they are victims of faulty institutional policies that contribute to a higher risk of sexual assault.
Not surprisingly, religious schools and single sex schools also have lower levels of sexual assault.

Stated so simply, one might raise a bunch of caveats and methodological objections. But the authors of the article (Bradford Richardson and Jon A. Shields) are well-trained social scientists who understand the objections and have dealt with them well.

By all means read the whole thing.

Of course, the people who are most vocal about campus sexual assault are also the most adamant about absolute sexual freedom. That there might be a conflict between these two values will take a long time to penetrate their minds. Until then, they will double down on things like teal ribbons and telling male students they are all guilty of rape since they are part of a rape culture and stripping due process protections from males accused of sexual assault. Those things serve their ideological biases and bureaucratic interests.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Universities as “Safe Spaces:” Fluffy-Bunny Totalitarianism

Yes, the politically correct campus left considers anything “unsafe” if any ideas are expressed with which they disagree. Or if it violates the sense of proper expression of the most politically correct.

How much of this is there at Marquette? It’s pretty common in the most politically correct quarters. A candidate for the current Academic Senate ran on a platform of making Marquette a “safe space” for women and minorities and LGBT people. Happily, this candidate did not win.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Campus “Hate Crime” that Wasn’t a Hate Crime

On Monday, Townhall’s news editor, Katie Pavlich, went to the University of Delaware to give a speech about the Second Amendment. University of Delaware’s student group–Students for the Second Amendment–had invited Pavlich to speak about the issue, which was open to the public at the cost of three dollars. Yet, Pavlich criticized the Black Lives Matter (BLM) for their atrocious “pigs in a blanket” chant - and the overall movement - as one that promotes violence against police officers. Well, surprise; that didn’t bode over well with some folks on the left and a protest was organized during her visit to U-Del.

There was a heavy security presence at the event, and it ended without any major incidents. Yet, reports of nooses being hung in some trees on campus one day after Pavlich gave her speech got everyone freaking out about hate crimes. There was only one problem: these weren’t nooses, thus no hate crime:
University of Delaware police say what was originally believed to be “nooses” hanging from a tree on campus were actually leftover lantern decorations.

Officials say a hate crime investigation ended when it was determined the items were paper lantern decorations leftover from an event that was held on campus on September 16.

The items that were left in the tree were part of a decoration from a paper lantern that was used during an event held on The Green that was a UD-sanctioned event,” University of Delaware Police Chief Patrick Ogden said Wednesday morning.

It was determined that the paper lantern decorations were removed from the tree, but the strings were never taken down, leading to them being mistaken for nooses.
OK, so it was all over then, right?

Well . . . no.
The issue should have ended right then and there, but nope–not a chance. We need to meet and discuss this non-hate crime for reasons that escape logic. On Wednesday, the acting president of the University of Delaware, Nancy Targett, encouraged students to meet her at The Green for a dialogue about what happened.

Can we at least agree that we should be happy that these aren’t nooses? Could we come to that consensus? Of course, if such an incident had occurred, it does deserve the wrath of disgust and anger over what is a blatantly racist act. This incident didn’t carry any of that–and having some un-serious discussion about events that are the figments of some people’s imagination isn’t helping anyone, it’s enabling one’s disconnect with reality.
Campus bureaucrats can’t resist pandering to racial (and gender and sexual) grievance mongers, and it doesn’t seem to matter at all if the people claiming a grievance are entirely out to lunch.

Typically, these folks need to be scolded rather than pandered to. In this case, Targett needs to be asking “why did you say that wire hangers were nooses when they didn’t look at all like that.  What were you thinking?”

This reminds us of what Marquette diversity official William Welburn told a small group of students who objected to the removal of a mural honoring cop killer and terrorist Assata Shakur.
“I believe very strongly that we are not going to have processes like this again, especially when it comes to issues of how this campus handles diversity and inclusion,” Welburn said. “Whatever we do moving forward, we have to think about women, women of color, African-American women specifically because of this incident. We have to think about the damage.”
What Welburn should have asked the students was “Did you really think it was a good idea to honor a terrorist and a cop killer? Why in the world did you want that?”

But campus bureaucrats can’t possibly imagine that the grievance mongers might need to be confronted, challenged to defend their ideas, and learn that lots of people out in the real world don’t agree with them.

The coddling of the activists is simply a failure to educate.

Nooses? Here are the “nooses.” What sort of people could see a hate crime here?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Feminist Harpy Defends Censorship at Oxford Union

Of course, these sorts of attitudes are not limited to the U.K. This sort of attitude should remind one of some things that have happened at Marquette.

You can watch all the debaters, starting with the first, at this link.


The speaker in this video, one Kate Brooks, has claimed that these comments don’t represent her real views. You can decide. We have to note that Brook’s expressed views are highly congruent with common politically correct attitudes in academia.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Crime and Racism

Heather MacDonald, writing in National Review, discusses the standard liberal response to the Charleston, South Carolina massacre:
The Roof massacre was also portrayed as part of a pattern of white violence against blacks. Blacks live with the “daily threat of terror,” according to Patricia Williams Lessane, the director of the Avery Institute for Afro-American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. Such “terror,” Lessane wrote in the New York Times, “does not exist within a vacuum. It looms within the growing prison-industrial state, against the backdrop of school-reform debates, our slow movement toward gun reform and the political maneuvers by Republicans to make it increasingly more difficult for poor people and minorities to vote. The reality that our civil rights are under attack is just as heavy as our fear for our lives.” Bryan Stevenson, a black lawyer and activist, told the New York Times that the Charleston bloodbath is just the latest example, however extreme, of the way “black men and boys are treated by the police, by schools, and by the state.”
But the reality of race and crime is radically different. MacDonald provides data on crime, broken down by the race of the victim and the race of the offender, and the story is one of blacks victimizing whites, not whites victimizing blacks.

Both blacks and whites are mostly victimized by people of their own race, but there are many more black on white crimes than white on black crimes. According to MacDonald:
In fact, white violence against blacks is dwarfed by black on white violence. In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites (excluding homicide), and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence (excluding homicide) against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author. Blacks, in other words, committed 85 percent of the non-homicide interracial crimes of violence between blacks and whites, even though they are less than 13 percent of the population. Both the absolute number of incidents and the rate of black-on-white violence are therefore magnitudes higher than white-on-black violence. There is no white race war going on.
So blacks commit 5.64 times as many interracial violent crimes as whites, but white population was 4.74 times that of black population in 2013.

Which means that a random black person is about 26.7 times as likely to commit a violent crime against a member of the white race as a random white person is to commit an violent crime against a black person.

One might ask why the above statistics exclude homicide. The answer is simple: this data are based on a victimization survey, and victims of homicide are not around to answer questions about their victimization.

Data on homicide exists, however.

It shows that blacks commit over twice as many homicides against whites as whites commit against blacks (2.23 times as many, to be exact). Since there are 6.01 times as many whites as blacks in the population (we are not classifying Hispanics, who can be any race, separately here, to be consistent with the homicide data), this means that a random black person is over 12 times as likely to murder a white as a random white person is to murder a black.

This is the reality that the politically correct don’t want to talk about. Which is why when a bunch of leftist Marquette students demonstrated and blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue, one of their demands was that Marquette’s Public Safety Alerts conceal the race of the suspect.

The Bigger Reality

But there is a bigger reality, shown in these statistics. The vast majority of crimes against white people are committed by other white people, and the vast majority of crimes against black people are committed by black people.

Which means that when the race hustlers who complain about “over policing” in the inner city, they are clearly (if implicitly) siding with the thugs who victimize black people, and not the innocent black victims.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Campus Leftists Still Whining Over Removal of Terrorist Cop Killer Mural

From the Marquette Wire, an account of a meeting between some leftist students and the new Provost, Dan Myers. A key topic was the decision of the University to paint over a mural, in the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, honoring black militant terrorist and cop killer Assata Shakur.
Some students expressed frustration over a university decision in May to remove a mural in the GSRC that featured FBI Fugitive Assata Shakur. Formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, Shakur is on a FBI most wanted list for escaping prison and fleeing to Cuba after she was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973.

“It would have been nice to have some time to go and take a picture and have some dialogue before they just took it down,” said Nailah Johnson, a senior in the College of Health Sciences.

Some attendees said the decision was one of institutionalized racism. They expressed being hurt when little information or explanation was provided before and after the decision was made.

Johnson strongly and tearfully advocated for an apology from administration responsible for the decision, in addition to a space on campus to recreate what the mural symbolized. It was painted with help from Marquette’s Mu Beta chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and included quotes from “Assata: An Autobiography.”

In response to Johnson’s testimony, Myers said “I want to change things. I came here to change things. I am really committed to this.”
And further:
Bartlow’s former supervisor and William Welburn, associate provost for diversity and inclusion, was involved in the decision to remove her from the university.

“I believe very strongly that we are not going to have processes like this again, especially when it comes to issues of how this campus handles diversity and inclusion,” Welburn said. “Whatever we do moving forward, we have to think about women, women of color, African-American women specifically because of this incident. We have to think about the damage.”
These are bizarre responses. So not being willing to honor a terrorist cop killer is “institutionalized racism?” In what sort of alternative universe do these people live?

And how do we interpret Myers comment that “I want to change things”? Does Myers think Marquette is not politically correct enough? Or is he pandering to the campus grievance mongers?

Worse is Welburn’s comment. Does he believe that Marquette should always give “women of color” anything they want, no matter how absurd, or downright immoral?

Were the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha hurt? If we take the official statement from the national sorority seriously, they should have been embarrassed. According to a spokeswoman:
“The chapter worked with the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to determine a theme and imagery for the mural,” the statement said. “The chapter, along with other university staff and students, painted a mural that featured an image and quote by Assata Shakur to promote student thinking about their educations and history. Unfortunately Ms. Shakur’s entire history and background was not fully researched. If that process had occurred, she would not have been featured in the mural.”
But the campus leftists don’t buy this. They keep insisting that the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha intended to honor a cop killer, and thus were “damaged” when their attempt fell through.

If this is true, they should be shamed for condoning (and celebrating) the actions of a murderer and terrorist.

But moral clarity is not something about which politically correct campus bureaucrats have any clue. Their impulse is to pander to any politically correct victim group.

But members of those groups are ill served by the pandering. When they leave the hot-house atmosphere of a college campus they (with the exception of a handful who find employment as life-long race hustlers) will find themselves in a world where leftist activism is controversial, and where being able to produce for an employer (or perhaps be an employer) pays off, and their experience whining to pandering campus officials has very limited value.


A photo of the meeting from the Marquette Tribune website shows only very sparse attendance at the meeting described in this article. There is nothing wrong, of course, with Marquette officials listening to a small group of students, or even an individual student. But the “student voice” clearly has not endorsed the mural, nor objected to it being taken down.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 14, 2015

Faked Hate Crimes on College Campuses

Two sources that are not new, but continue to have relevance whenever somebody claims to have been victim of a “hate crime” on a college campus. First, from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, No. 22 (Winter, 1998-1999), p. 52:
In the 1990s hoaxes disguised as hate crimes have become common. JBHE’s sister publication The Race Relations Reporter has documented about a dozen such racial hoaxes over the past several years. Hate crimes have been staged at several college campuses. But in these cases the motive for the hoaxes has not been financial gain. Rather, the hate crime hoax is usually conceived as an effort to energize black student activism or to press the administration to move more quickly on black students’ concerns. Here are some examples of hate crime hoaxes that have occurred on college campuses in recent years.
The article also includes a short list of racial hoaxes.

Then there is John Leo, writing in U.S. News & World Report:
Like Tawana Brawley’s hoax, some recent fake hate crimes seem intended to cover personal embarrassment. . . . But more of the college hoaxes seem to reflect an acted-out commitment to a cause, not just personal difficulties. One factor is that colleges now stress the need for each identity group to express its “voice” or “narrative,” without much scruple about whether the narratives are literally true. (Postmodern theory says there is no such thing as truth anyway.) After the Brawley hoax, an article in the Nation magazine argued that it “doesn’t matter” whether Brawley was lying, since the pattern of whites abusing blacks is true.
This, of course, has not changed since the 1990s. What the literal, empirical truth is matters less than what serves a politically correct agenda.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, September 11, 2015

The 9/11 Anniversary

The nicest, most eloquent of the 9/11 songs. Of course, we don’t mind other more truculent responses. But Alan Jackson is a class act.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Marquette Climate Survey: Debunking Bogus Sexual Assault Hype

It’s just out (in the form of an Executive Summary): Marquette’s much touted “Climate Survey.” Given that it was mounted by an LGBT activist, we expected it to be rather politically correct, and claim that the climate on the Marquette campus is really horrid for each and every politically correct victim group.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

Which is not to say that we don’t have some quibbles with parts of it, for example the low participation rate (only 31% for undergraduate students) and the fact that the report sometimes offers generalizations based on very few respondents.

One key part involves the issue of “sexual violence” on campus. An outright hysteria has surrounded this issue during the last few years, fueled by feminist activists, a mainstream media that is both liberal and ignorant of social science, and the Obama Administration. Vastly, absurdly inflated figures about the number of college women who have been victimized have been uncritically accepted.

The report starts out citing a bogus White House document:
In 2014, Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault indicated that sexual assault is a significant issue for colleges and universities nationwide, affecting the physical health, mental health, and academic success of students. The report highlights that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. One section of the Marquette University survey requested information regarding sexual assault.
But it then goes on to note:
4% (n = 186) of respondents indicated that they had experienced unwanted sexual contact while at Marquette University.
Of course, for the demographic to whom this is stereotypically applicable, the incidence is a bit higher:
A higher percentage of Women respondents (6%, n = 164) than Men respondents (1%, n = 19) reported having experienced unwanted sexual contact.
This, of course, is radically below the “one in five” figure widely touted. Further, “unwanted sexual contact” is a broad category including a lot of things far short of forcible rape.

Oddly, the report doesn’t reveal what percentage of women who experienced unwanted sexual contact reported it to authorities or university officials. But it does reveal:
Respondents were offered the opportunity to elaborate on why they did not report unwanted sexual contact. Sixty-eight respondents provided written responses. Common themes included: (1) Not that serious, 60 respondents indicated that they did not report the unwanted sexual contact because for them it was not that serious.
There are a lot of things a guy could do that are “out of bounds,” but it’s hard to believe that actual rape would not be considered “serious.” And remember, this is 60 out of 68 women who volunteered a reason for not reporting to authorities.  It’s not 60 out of a larger number who failed to report the incident to authorities.

Universities (and the media, and the Obama Administration) need to quit lying about the incidence of campus sexual violence. Social Justice Warriors who pride themselves on being opposed to sexual violence and use bogus statistics to bolster their case deserve to lose credibility as the truth slowly seeps into public consciousness. The implosion of the University of Virginia tall tale of “Jackie,” and the exposure of “Mattress Girl” at Columbia, have put the sexual violence hustlers on the defensive. That’s a good thing.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Bobby Jindal Blasts Donald Trump

While most other Republican candidates have been pussy-footing around, apparently afraid of alienating Trump supporters, Bobby Jindal has finally decided to take on Trump.

It’s not something that the professional politicians or their handlers seem to recognize, but telling the flat honest truth can sometimes be the best politics. Jindal, who really has no chance at the nomination, is the candidate who is willing to test that.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Sexual Hysteria on Campus: Absurdly Broad Definition of “Sexual Assault”

A new survey of Rutgers University students reinforces the idea that one in four college women will be victims of sexual assault... but only if you don’t look at the study too closely. Zoom in and you’ll find the same problems that plague so much research about sex crimes on college campuses, from defining violence to include rude comments to failing to differentiate between an unwanted kiss and forcible rape.

The Rutgers survey—conducted by the school’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children at the request of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the Department of Justice—was carried out last academic year at the state school’s New Brunswick campus, attended by about 42,000 students. Around 10,800 students completed the online survey; the majority were undergraduates (80 percent) and women (64 percent).

Rutgers used definitions of sexual violence and sexual assault based on material from the White House task force. “‘Sexual assault’ and ‘sexual violence’ refer to a range of behaviors that are unwanted by the recipient,” notes a school summary of survey findings, “and include remarks about physical appearance, persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient, threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behavior, as well as unwanted touching and unwanted oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration.”

Survey respondents were presented with that definition, then asked whether they had experienced sexual violence prior to starting school at Rutgers. Nineteen percent of all respondents and 24 percent of undergraduate women said they had.
That’s right. “Remarks about physical appearance” could constitute “sexual assault.” So could “persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient.” The latter are a form of harassment, and somebody in authority might need to tell the dork who does it to back off, but it’s absurd to call it violence.

Surveys like this are virtually always conducted by people with an agenda. Often, they are feminists who want to promote a narrative of men as evil oppressors. But often they come from campus bureaucrats who want an excuse for more programs and initiatives to justify more staff, a larger budget, and more power.

And of course, the two groups overlap.

Further, participation in these studies is typically entirely voluntary, and in this study fewer than 30 percent of the student population took the survey. Thus there may be a skew toward those who have been sexually assaulted (or have some grievance about some sexual encounter).

Things like this may explain why the very best survey of victimization, the National Crime Victimization Survey, shows a radically lower level of campus sexual assault, and campus rape. It mostly limits the definition of “sexual assault” to things that people in the real world (outside college campuses) consider an assault, and the response rate is quite high (88%).

This survey shows the rate of sexual assault among college women as 4.3 victimizations per thousand.

Yes, per thousand. That is the rate for six months, so for a college career, one might need to multiply it by eight. But it’s a little more complicated since college women are apparently less likely to be assaulted in the summer (when they are likely away from the party atmosphere of campus). On the other hand, some women take five years to graduate. But there is no way to get anywhere near the scary statistics the rape activists use.
Click on image to enlarge

Where actual rape is concerned, the rate is two per thousand, and the rate for attempted rape is 1.5 per thousand (see Table 1 here).

Further, rather than there being a rape crisis, the rate of campus sexual assault has been declining.

So what we have here is yet another case of college campuses being a Wonderland were hard empirical facts don’t matter, and the proper politically correct attitudes are all that counts.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, September 04, 2015

Green Energy: Subsidies for Affluent Liberal Yuppies

A new paper from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, on the “The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.” “Distributional effects” is just a way of saying “from whom is government taking money, and to whom is it giving it.” The bottom line:
Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.
One example, the Chevy Volt: According to autoblog (writing in 2011):
In order for the Chevy Volt to really be a success, the car needs to be affordable for the masses.

But for now, the car is mostly the province of the wealthy. General Motors, which makes the Volt, said Monday that the average income of Volt buyers is a whopping $175,000 a year. That rarefied space is usually reserved for buyers of German luxury cars.

“The Volt appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic,” says Bill Visnic, senior editor for “It’s rare. It’s hard to get one. ... It’s the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can’t have one.”
Median family income in 2011 was $50,502.

So the liberal Yuppies have it really good. They get to feel very self-righteous, and do so largely with the money of people at whom they look down their noses.

Labels: , , , , ,