Dominic Lynch - Loyola University Chicago

Two Wisconsin watchdog groups report that taxpayers foot the bill for dozens of university students and faculty to attend a white privilege conference that included sessions on “The Pitfalls of Working with White People” and suggestions that President Bush took money away from New Orleans levees “because they protected black people.”

In sum, at least $50,000 from taxpayer-funded public universities in Wisconsin went to help fund the fifteenth annual White Privilege Conference held in Madison, Wis., in late March.

The data was obtained through public records act requests.

The MacIver Institute reports that the public University of Wisconsin-La Crosse spent $26,000 to send 23 faculty and 91 students to the event. Money was also used by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, which spent more than $16,000 to send 13 staff members and 13 students, the institute uncovered.

Investigative reporter Adam Tobias of the watchdog Wisconsin Reporter reports other university support includes $5,000 from UW-Madison and $3,000 from Madison Area Technical College.

In its ongoing investigation into the conference, the MacIver Institute has calculated total taxpayer expenses at $85,899 – and counting. In addition to public universities, other funding sources include the city of Madison, K-12 school districts and the state’s education department.

“MacIver is still waiting on responses from numerous other open records requests, so the total taxpayer cost for the conference is expected to increase even more,” the institute notes on its website.

Much of the money went toward registration fees, the MacIver Institute found. UW Eau Claire spent almost $6,000 on registration for its 26 attendees while UW La Crosse spent $16,000 to register the 114 people it sent. Both universities spent $2,000 for a co-sponsor fee.

The White Privilege Conference rotates host cities every year. Wisconsin hosted once before, in 2010, when the conference was held in La Crosse.

Topics include discussions on racism, but also homosexuality and gender issues.

In 2008, one point tossed around was “the fact that successful white males are more likely to be honored with their own holiday, while Black History Month is celebrated during February, the shortest month of the year,” according to the UW La Crosse’s student paper after the 2008 conference.

Other topics at the 2014 conference, as reported by Kyle Olson of Progressives Today, included claims that “white people do not experience racism,” “rape is not intrinsically bad,” that Tea Party members are racist, and that capitalism perpetuates white supremacy.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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The University of California Los Angeles has had its cover blown wide open.

According to UCLA Professor Tim Groseclose in his new book, “Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA,” the public university has conducted under the table affirmative action programs – despite the practice being illegal in California.

The public university did so in an effort to admit black students at a much higher rate than they would have been if the school had followed the letter of the law, his research found. Campus officials’ decisions had a detrimental effect on the acceptance rates of white and Asian students, according to the data he unearthed.

“I happened to be on the faculty oversight committee at UCLA and it was clear there was cheating going on,” Groseclose said in an interview with The College Fix. “I never would have written anything at all about admissions in college if I hadn’t been on this committee.”

The book details how UCLA admissions personnel used a “holistic” approach to their decisions. Groseclose said he believes that the holistic approach facilitated the ability of the admissions staff to grant under-the-table racial preferences.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez told Fox News that the school “will not address specific assertions made by Prof. Groseclose,” but said “UCLA believes its admissions process to be fair, transparent and consistent with state law.”

When the state’s voters in 1996 passed Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, it was the first successful ballot initiative to forbid the use of race, sex, and ethnicity in public employment decisions, including admission to state universities.

Several states have followed California’s lead, most notably Michigan, which banned the practice by a ballot initiative in 2006.

Groseclose said he believes that the affirmative action activity continued illegally at the urging and coercion of the state legislature and alumni groups.

“When UCLA had a drop in African-American admissions, there was a crisis on campus – there were protests at the chancellor’s office,” Groseclose said. “And the chancellor showed up at my committee – and this was remarkable, I never heard of this before – and he lobbied us to change the admissions system.”

“He said there were several constituencies of UCLA distressed at the low number of African-Americans,” Groseclose added. “He said at least two of those constituencies were black alumni groups and the other was the legislature in Sacramento. He certainly implied that our funding was going to be cut if we didn’t increase diversity.”

The legislature was urging and even strongarming the university into breaking the law.

Despite these obvious signs of illegal activity, Groseclose claimed he could never access admissions data for himself, even after requesting it.

“When I asked for a thousand random admissions files, which I thought was a legitimate duty and undertaking of my committee, UCLA refused,” he said.

The reluctance to release the files sounded alarms, Groseclose said, and it raised his suspicions that the university was engaging in clearly illegal activity. He received the data only after filing a Public Records Act in California.

Groseclose published these findings and more in April. He is also the author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts The American Mind.”

An amendment to the California constitution was proposed in 2012 which would have allowed for the consideration of race, color, ethnicity, and national origin in admissions decisions for public universities. It passed the state Senate but was ultimately withdrawn from consideration after public opposition to the bill made its future politically unviable.

As The College Fix reported last winter, at UCLA “white students are actually severely ‘underrepresented’ compared to black students: the white percentage at UCLA is only 37.7 percent of the total percentage of white residents in the state, whereas the black percentage at UCLA is 57.6 percent of the total statewide percentage of black residents – a 20 point difference.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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OPINION 

Campuses’ war against American exceptionalism continues unabated

Today marks America’s 238th birthday. From our founding to the present the United States has been a global force for good. Since the Second World War, especially, the dominance of the United States has helped lift more people out of poverty and has instilled more democracies around the world than at any other point in history. We are the “indispensable nation,” as it was once famously said.

But given our track record – unmatched levels of national and personal wealth, promotion of freedom around the world, the greatest military in history, and the most effective public education system designed – why do some liberal academics want to dilute the importance, significance, and exceptionalism of the American experiment?

Aside from the anti-American rhetoric often promulgated by professors, today I speak to the notion of “global citizenship” that has become popular on campuses across the country.

On its face, the term is innocuous enough, but that’s the point, as Peter Wood of the National Scholars Association explained recently in a lengthy expose on the term. The concept of “global citizenship” fosters “a soft disdain for the American civic tradition” by discreetly undermining its values.

Campus Leftists have long ago turned their backs on the overt, obvious, and distasteful displays of American self-guilt (and when they do let it outit shows). The “values” that were once fought for by loud protests, sit-ins, and riots are now handed down in the form of “global studies” classes, anti-capitalist economics courses, and even the study of non-Western histories and languages to the detriment of Western values.

“Students are enticed to feel open-hearted, broad-minded, and gently virtuous,” Wood notes.

There’s nothing wrong with that per se. But as higher education observer Jay Schalin writes, this unsuspecting magnanimity seeks to “mask the push to implement intensely political academic practices.”

The point is that students are taught to be “above” the West and Western culture – living in it but not of it – and in turn come to disdain or otherwise feel apathetic about it. The truly global citizen transcends the limits of the nation-state in general and the West in particular.

As Wood points out, the term “global citizen” cannot literally be true: to be a citizen of something means not being a citizen of something else. But the term holds appeal, especially to those students who aspire “to connect to the larger world beyond their hometowns.”

And why not? A student from Small Town, U.S.A at Every College, America is apt to be exposed to a lot of things for the first time, not least of which is traveling in a meaningful sense (study abroad programs have been around for decades and are as popular now as ever), as well as a sense of collective responsibility (often called “privilege”) that only universities seem to be able, and willing, to impart. “Global citizenship” plays on this exposure and these discoveries by playing down the importance and overwhelming goodness that is the United States in favor of non-Western and even anti-Western values.

In the end, as Wood concludes, campus Leftists seek to inculcate students to “reject the idea that the United States is good and that college graduates should strive to be statesmen who advance its principles.” On the contrary, the United States is either evil or insignificant and as a “global citizen,” graduates should “do the right thing” – however “right” is defined.

Bowdoin College, for example, leads the field of promoting global citizenship, as well as catching criticism for it. The National Association of Scholars studied Bowdoin’s curriculum and found that American history courses are not required for history majors and American literature courses are not required for English majors.

Furthermore, regardless of major, there is no foreign language requirement for graduation. But students are required “to take one course each in the areas of ‘Exploring Social Differences’ and ‘International Perspectives.’ There is no such requirement for anything dealing with America’s founding principles, commonalities, or culture.”

Most other universities have similar protocols – nearly 30 of the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts colleges do not require students take a survey course in U.S. history.

The ones that do require a history class mandate ones that are arcane and narrow in scope.

The University of North Carolina, for instance, requires only one history course, a mandate that can be met by taking such esoteric classes as “Courts and Courtly Culture in 16th and 17th Century Spain” and “Shalom Y’all: The Jewish Experience in the American South.”

What’s more, a 2013 survey by The College Fix of 31 public and private universities across the nation found that the subject of capitalism, America’s free market system, is often either maligned, ignored, or taught from a perspective other than objective economics. It’s not uncommon for professors to tout the alleged blessings of Marxism while giving short shrift to capitalism, epitomizing the notions of global citizenship.

Innocuous though it may sound, in practice “global citizenship” is harmful to American and Western values at home and abroad. At the least, the notion is suspect. At the most it is imminently detrimental to the United States, our values, and our future.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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A lawsuit has been filed against the University of Connecticut on behalf of a mixed-race graduate student who claims she was essentially lied to by campus officials, who told her they’d given her a merit-based scholarship, when instead they’d given her a diversity-based one.

The Center for Individual Rights is representing grad student Pamela Swanigan, who claims that her budding career has been tarnished by the misrepresentation, as diversity or multicultural-based scholarships are viewed by potential employers as far less prestigious than merit-based ones.

“My goal is to ensure that students are treated as individuals regardless of race and regardless of other efforts to promote racial diversity,” states Swanigan, whose father is black and whose mother is white. “I wanted – and still want – to compete on the basis of my academic abilities just like any other student.”

The University of Connecticut declined to comment to The College Fix regarding the litigation.

The lawsuit, filed June 3 in federal court, accuses the university of racial discrimination and claims its administrators defrauded Swanigan by luring her to enroll at the university under false pretenses.

“Although the school told Swanigan she had received a merit-based scholarship, in fact and without her knowledge, it had swapped her award for one in a less prestigious and largely segregated scholarship program intended to increase ‘diversity,’” representatives of CIR state.Swanigan

A university cannot treat students differently on account of race, Terence Pell, President of the Center for Individual Rights, said in an interview with The College Fix.

“The courts have never said that universities can promote diversity after admission with scholarships like this,” he said.

CIR alleges in its lawsuit that “in an acceptance letter to Swanigan, the Director of Graduate Studies offered her a merit-based scholarship called the ‘Vice Provost’s Award for Excellence’… It turned out that no such program as the ‘Vice Provost’s Award for Excellence’ existed at the time she applied.”

She agreed in 2009 to attend UConn under the belief she had received the “Vice Provost’s Award for Excellence” financial scholarship, when in fact she was secretly awarded the Multicultural Scholars Program financial scholarship, the lawsuit contends.

In 2011, when Swanigan asked administrators whether she could finish earning her degree out of state and retain the unknowingly fictional “Vice Provost’s Award for Excellence,” she learned it was a fake scholarship and she had actually been receiving the diversity one instead.

“Swanigan was shocked and dismayed to discover that the only award she had been receiving since enrolling in UConn was the ‘Multicultural Scholars Program’ award,” the lawsuit states, adding that complaints to campus officials over the distinction were to no avail.

As a result, CIR is suing UConn to retroactively award the merit scholarship – and the money that comes with it – to Swanigan, as well as any punitive compensation.

“This is about more than one applicant’s experience at UConn,” Pell stated. “… A scholarship awarded on the basis of race inevitably stigmatizes talented minority applicants, who come to be recognized for their race rather than their considerable academic achievements.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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American University statistician tells The Fix: Belief in climate catastrophe ‘simply not logical’

If one would have asked statistician Caleb Rossiter a decade ago about global warming, he says he would have given the same answer that President Barack Obama offered at a recent commencement address.

“He castigated people who don’t believe in climate catastrophe as some sort of major fools,” Rossiter says of the president’s speech, adding he would have agreed with the president – back then.

But Rossiter would give a different answer today.

“I am simply someone who became convinced that the claims of certainty about the cause of the warming and the effect of the warming were tremendously and irresponsibly overblown,” he said in an exclusive interview Tuesday with The College Fix. “I am not someone who says there wasn’t warming and it doesn’t have an effect, I just cannot figure out why so many people believe that it is a catastrophic threat to our society and to Africa.”

For this belief – based in a decade’s worth of statistical research and analysis on climate change data – Rossiter was recently terminated as an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive Washington D.C. think tank.

Rossiter wrote an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Sacrificing Africa for Climate Change,” in which he called notions of climate catastrophe “unproved science,” and shortly thereafter received word from the institute that his position was terminated.

“Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of US policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours,” their note to Rossiter stated.

Rossiter will continue to offer courses on math, history, politics and statistical analysis at American University, he just landed a deal to write a book on his experiences teaching inside high poverty high schools in D.C., and he recently returned from the Sudan, where he spent time as a Fulbright fellow.

And he will continue to teach college students that the data behind “catastrophic climate change” does not stand up to scrutiny – after all, it’s how he came to hold such opinions himself.

About a decade ago, Rossiter assigned his international statistics students a paper that asked them to analyze some topic of international affairs using statistics. When one female student turned in a paper on humans’ role in global warming, he gave her an F.

“She came to see me and said, ‘But Doc, it’s not fair, I am just repeating exactly what they said,” he recalled. “And I said, ‘That’s impossible, because the evidence you cited here is just wishful thinking, there is no real data.’”

“So I sat down with her and we looked over the article, which is one of the classic ones in climate change in which they developed a computer model that tries to say how much of the half a degree rise in temperature can you attribute to natural variation or the Arctic oscillation, or whatever the hell is going on up in the north there when the seas gets warmer and colder over long periods, things sort of like El Niño- or is it human [caused]?”

“I had to raise her grade because she certainly had cited the evidence they had given, but I just couldn’t give her much of a grade because she should have been able to see – as most people should be able to see – that the computer models were just guessing and sort of notional, and just kind of playing around to get a good fit, but didn’t have much scientific basis.”

“So I became quite interested in this phenomenon,” he added. “So many of my colleagues and so much of educated America and liberal newspapers and all just believe that mathematicians have set up models that should make us very certain that the recent half-degree uptick from 1980 to 2000 was human caused – when in fact they were just playing with the models. I use models a lot, and these were pretty weak.”

From then on, Rossiter specifically assigned students papers to look at global warming and climate change issues, and over the years graded hundreds of papers on the topic. The results from this further solidified his belief that the global warming crisis is one that’s man-made.

“So there is really two big statistical questions: what caused the little warming, and what effect did the warming have on these other climate variables?” he said. “I am a pretty decent statistician, I have taught for many, many years. The data that support the headlines are very, very weak, very, very notional, and simply not logical.”

“You couldn’t have this many terrible effects from a half a degree rise in global temperature. It’s probable that there are some, but it gets a little boring because it’s always weak data, because that is the nature of a tremendously complex system.”

Over the years, he’s broken a few students’ hearts when they learn of this truth.

“I have had students who are very strongly pro-the global warming movement in my classes, of course, because most young people have heard this already,” he said. “And when I have them actually do the study, and take apart an IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change] claim, sometimes they break into tears, and they say ‘I can’t believe this is the only class I’ve ever been in in which anyone has ever told me there is even an issue.’”

“I always enjoy that but, I would enjoy it the other way, too,” he said. “I always really push them to evaluate, dig down and learn the arguments of the other side- that is part of education.”

Yet it is Rossiter’s former colleagues at IPS and similar think tanks who refuse to debate him.

“I found at the Institute for Policy Studies no willingness to sit down and talk through the areas in which our analyses diverged,” he said. “For years, I would ask their climate staff, who were not particularly scientific or statistical, they are social activists, to come to my classes and debate me, to talk it out with me in front of the IPS board.”

There is a reason they won’t, he adds.

“I think they believe … that you give legitimacy to the ‘denialists’ if you debate them,” Rossiter adds. “I think that’s a terrible idea. … At IPS, like many other places, people don’t want to debate it because they have this funny statement that, and Mr. Obama repeats it every time he opens his mouth, ‘the debate is over.’ I have never heard a more remarkable statement in my life about anything.”

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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Professor David Brat is largely described as a smart and sexy – yet scatterbrained – educator by students who have taken his classes at Randolph-Macon College.

That according to comments about Brat and his job performance on the popular “Rate My Professors” website – which college students often use when choosing classes.

Brat’s RateMyProfessors page boasts mostly positive reviews, with adjectives such as “charming,” “hot,” “eye candy” and “solid” tossed around.

Several students pointed out he could be scatterbrained, but were willing to overlook that because he infused intelligence and humor into his lectures, with a few saying his good looks were quite disarming.

Professor Brat’s “average” score was a 3.4 out of 5 taking into account factors like helpfulness, clarity, and textbook use. He was also rated as 3 chili peppers out of 4 as a “hotness” rating.

“He’s so charming and really knows how to incorporate real world examples to keep the class exciting and (relatable),” one student wrote. “He change(s) assignments a lot and sometimes it’s unclear what he wants you to do. Plus he’s total eye candy!!”

“At least he’s hot!!” stated another, who added nothing else to their comments.DavidBrat

“Brat changes assignments all the time, but he is so charming, you forget to be mad at him,” a third explained.

“Not a great teacher. Great guy, but almost too smart to teach,” offered a fourth.

One student summed up their experience with Professor Brat by simply saying: “SOLID.”

“Dr. Brat is unparalleled in his knowledge, guidance with learning, caring about his students, and his ethics,” added another voice.

Someone even declared Professor Brat was “one of the best teachers I have had.”

But as Brat has already been weighed and measured by his former students, America continues to size up the scholar – a near household-name after his primary upset of Eric Cantor in Virginia’s 7th Congressional district Tuesday.

Brat is a professor at a small, private Virginian college named Randolph-Macon.

The professor’s faculty page provides an interesting list of courses: Business Ethics, Principles of Micro Economics, and Public Finance.

But the class that stands out is “Economic Justice” – a term often used by liberal academics to decry capitalism and advocate for socialistic entitlement programs.

The course is described as examining “the major conceptions of economic justice primarily in the western world. Major ethical schools of thought include the Socratic/Platonic/Aristotelian, the Judeo-Christian, and the Enlightenment school of Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Marx.”

The course also covers Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, and Milton Friedman- a healthy survey of economic thought.

In an interview with Randolph-Macon’s school paper The Yellow Jacket earlier this year, Brat explained how he felt prepared to face Cantor in the primary:

“The general motivation is all on the fiscal and economic side,” Brat said. “I’ve been teaching for 18 years and I’m on the governor’s economic board for the last 6 years. I’m on the board of accountancy as of this year. I’ve always tried to combine economics and ethics. I went to seminary, Princeton seminary, before I did my Ph.D. in Economics, and ever since I’ve loved economic policy.”

Brat beat Cantor in the June 10 primary, 56 percent to Cantor’s 44. Brat will face fellow Randolph-Macon professor Jack Trammell in the general elections in November.

College Fix contributor Dominic Lynch is a student at Loyola University Chicago.

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