TCF’s Outrageously Dumb Campus Moments of the Week (Feb. 3)

by Robby Soave - Assistant Editor on February 3, 2012

The College Fix presents a roundup of the top scandals, screw-ups, and stupid decisions involving college campuses. This week, one university lied about its SAT scores, and another initiated a war against intoxicated students saying dumb things. But first…

3). President Obama condemned skyrocketing tuition rates, and threatened to cut federal funding to universities that continue to jack up prices. Now, even though TCF is typically critical of the president’s liberalism, demanding that universities lower tuition is not dumb. A skeptic could observe that the threat is a calculated one–here comes the election, time to re-inspire students to vote Democrat!–and that the president is unlikely to actually do anything about tuition. But still, tuition rates are unaffordable at many public universities, and addressing that fact is a worthwhile task for the federal government, which writes checks for millions of dollars to the higher education sector.

The “dumb moment” here is the reaction of countless college bureaucrats, who responded to Obama’s demand for lower tuition by essentially saying, “But if you cut our funding, how will we pay our bloated administrative class of employees? Not fair!” If public education has any purpose, it is to provide affordable public education to qualified students. Their needs should be met before universities deal out massive salary increases to overcompensated bureaucrats–which is exactly what the University of Colorado did this year.

2). Speaking of incompetent higher ed bureaucrats, here is a doozy of a story. An administrator at Claremont McKenna College in southern California has been charged with inflating students’ SAT scores in official reports. The falsified data was a factor in U.S. World and News Report’s annual college rankings–rankings that placed Claremont in the ninth highest spot.

Subsequent reporting revealed that the inflation might have been an attempt to compensate for lower scores among admitted students, which in turn resulted from Claremont’s misguided affirmative action policies.

1). How does a university top such woeful incompetence? By whipping up moral panic, of course! At Northwestern University, the campus went crazy after a minority student was insulted by a group of drunken girls who said to her: “What, no hablas ingles?” (What, you don’t speak English?)

Rallies were held. Columns were written condemning widespread, entrenched racism at Northwestern. Most creepily of all, some students formed a group aimed at ending segregation (?) on campus, and they named it The Collective.

The university expressed concern about the incident and is investigating.

What the outraged parties fail to understand is that college shouldn’t be a place where people can go and live without ever being offended (that place is called Kindergarten). In fact, if you make it through 4+ years of college without encountering hostility–be it principled or petty– your education has failed you.

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*This column has been updated to reflect the fact that incident #1 took place at Northwestern University. The university in question was initially misidentified.

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