More details emerged in a Washington Post story today about the controversial comments billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones made at an April symposium at the University of Virginia:
Paul Tudor Jones, the hedge fund billionaire, told an audience of University of Virginia students, alumni and others that it is difficult for mothers to be successful traders because connecting with a child is a focus “killer.” As long as women continue having children, he said, the industry is likely to be dominated by men.
“As soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it,” Jones said, motioning to his chest during an April symposium. He was talking about two women who worked with him at a stock brokerage in the late 1970s — two women who married, had children and, according to his account, no longer had the laser focus needed for the intense world of macro trading.
“Every single investment idea . . . every desire to understand what is going to make this go up or go down is going to be overwhelmed by the most beautiful experience . . . which a man will never share, about a mode of connection between that mother and that baby,” Jones said, according to a video of his remarks The Washington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. “And I’ve just seen it happen over and over.”
Feminists later attacked Jones, saying his comments were insensitive and would discourage women in the workplace.
Was Jones being sexist, or just realistic? What do you think?
The Washington Post reports that billionaire investor Paul Tudor came under fire last week after explaining to a group of students why fewer women than men choose to work in the financial industry.
Paul Tudor Jones II, a 1976 U-Va. graduate and billionaire Greenwich-based hedge fund manager, took a stab at answering. According to those who attended, Jones explained how traders must have extraordinary focus and commitment, working long hours and forgoing personal time. A lot of women opt out of such a high-intensity career, he said, especially once they have children.
Carl P. Zeithaml, dean of the U-Va. McIntire School of Commerce, said that he immediately received complaints from alumni and faculty members who were concerned and, in some cases, appalled by the substance and framing of Jones’s comments. It seemed to be the opposite of the message that Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is pushing as she visits college campuses and urges young women not to limit themselves.
Jones declined to comment through a spokesman. Zeithaml defended Jones, saying that while the investor’s comments might have been poorly worded, they were an observation of the industry, not an endorsement of it.
Dean Zeithaml later forwarded students a letter from a female graduate. The letter harshly criticized Jones and instructed students not to listen to him.
Why Jones’s simple attempt to explain why fewer women choose careers in finance should ever be interpreted as him telling women not to choose careers in finance is beyond us. And it’s just one more example of how political correctness has made simple stating of the facts taboo on college campuses. And it was lousy of Dean Zeithaml to treat Jones’s remarks as if they were sexist when it is clear to any sane person that they weren’t.
For many feminists, there can only be one explanation for why there are fewer women in any “prestige” industry–SEXISM. Suggesting that women’s choices or natural inclinations have anything to do with it will get you instantly branded as a mysterious. In the academic world, facts are often politically contingent. And there are some opinions that you just aren’t allowed to share. Just ask former Harvard president Larry Summers.
A parade of University of Virginia students filmed a YouTube video recently that praised a row of twinkling Christmas trees and other holiday fare adorning a row of front porches along the school’s famed Lawn dorms and pitched administrators to let the decorations stay -but alas- campus officials told students to pack it up.
The Cavalier Daily, the university’s student newspaper, reports that students took down the festive decor this week after threats from school officials, who cited safety hazards and strict housing regulations as the reason for their demands.
The Christmas trees, stockings, wreaths, Christmas cards and other decorations were put up in front of dormroom doors and archways after Thanksgiving, and several students in the YouTube video said they went out of their way to walk along the row of decorations, saying it made them feel happy and festive.
The dorms in question are part of the university’s famed “Lawn rooms.” The university’s website states “it is considered an honor … to live in one of the prestigious Lawn rooms. Located in Mr. Jefferson’s original buildings, these rooms are truly in the center of the university.”
With that, there’s a strict set of guidelines regarding Lawn dorms, overseen by the school’s Housing and Residence Life department. According to The Cavalier Daily, the department’s officials were concerned the trees and their twinkling lights posed a “safety hazard” and also broke the rules regarding what’s allowed to be posted outside the rooms.
The paper reported students “took the trees down earlier this week after housing threatened to charge residents for the trees’ removal if the residents didn’t remove them first.”
Students were upset about being forced to take down their trees, as well as the fact that campus housing officials didn’t even give students a chance to plead their case; meanwhile, a housing official said students could erect trees in an alcove elsewhere on campus, the Cavalier reports.
The trees, before their removal, had been placed along the Lawn’s “Bachelor’s Row,” which represents a wide array of religious affiliations, including Christians, agnostics and Jews, Lawn resident and senior Brad Whitwell told The Cavalier Daily.
Student responses to the trees’ removal have been largely negative, the student newspaper reports, with one student telling the Cavalier: “It’s just killing the vibe of Christmas.”
The YouTube video students posted prior to the Christmas tree eviction was titled “Bachelor’s Row Holiday Spirit.” As the video begins, the camera pans along the row of twinkling decorations as Bing Crosby’s “It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas” rolls in the background.
The video then cuts to a series of student interviews in which they defend the display as they stand before it.
“The holiday cheer … is wonderful,” one student clad in a suit and tie gushed in the video. “To hear they’re in danger is absolutely horrifying.”
Quipped another: “They are absolutely fabulous. It brightens up the whole Lawn. As a UVa student who walks around here at night, it totally makes my day. It should absolutely stay.”
Click here to read The Cavalier Daily’s full article.
Thanksgiving is based on notions of peace, friendship, and the spirit of giving, but of course college students and professors often look at it as the perfect time to bash settlers and bemoan perceived colonial imperialism.
The latest example of that comes from the University of Virginia, where its American Indian Student Union wanted to remind people through an “anti-Thanksgiving potluck” just how evil the White Man really was, is … uh, we’re not sure what the correct tense is on that one.
“UVA’s American Indian Student Union … says people have a skewed idea of the history of native tribes and their association with Thanksgiving.
The anti-Thanksgiving potluck will be a chance to discuss Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective.
… In addition to the anti-Thanksgiving potluck, the student organization will also be hosting a screening of “The Only Good Indian.” … The movie looks at the past practices of Native Americans being forced to adopt white American society.
The group says it doesn’t want to make anyone feel guilty about celebrating Thanksgiving; its goal is just to help people see the holiday from a different perspective.”
The University of Virginia has announced that it will be joining the Coursera consortium, a massive, open-source, online course platform founded by two Stanford professors. The move follows aggressive steps into the online space by several other prestigious universities in the last year, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT. The UVA governing board cited fear that the university was falling behind cutting edge advances in education as its primary reason for dismissing university president Theresa Sullivan. (After considerable protest among faculty, students and alumni, Sullivan was reinstated.)
U-Va. Rector Helen Dragas, who leads the governing Board of Visitors, thought university leaders had ignored the Internet at their peril, like the music industry and media companies before them. In the months preceding her attempt to oust Sullivan, Dragas had read various articles about a coming online “tsunami” that would upend higher education, e-mailing one to a board colleague under the heading “why we can’t afford to wait.”
…Officials from U-Va.’s Darden School of Business first contacted Coursera in April, after learning that the Silicon Valley start-up had attracted venture capital and was expanding from Stanford to other top-tier universities, according to Milton Adams, the university’s vice provost for academic programs. A Darden delegation visited Coursera in early June, a few days before Sullivan resigned.
In the ensuing debate, Dragas singled out an apparent lack of online vision at U-Va., which, she reasoned, seemed to have “no centralized approach” for online education.
That critique gave new urgency to the Coursera partnership. Last week, university officials contacted Daphne Koller, co-founder of the initiative, and negotiations accelerated. U-Va. signed a contract over the weekend. Its participation will require no financial investment from U-Va., except for staff time, and yield no revenue for the university.
The University of Virginia Board of Visitors approved a regulation banning guns on campus Friday.
The university had previously banned weapons, fireworks and explosives on the school’s property — but according to Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, that policy did not extend to concealed carry permit holders. Cuccinelli wrote in July:
“Because the University adopted a policy rather than a regulation, it has not ‘otherwise prohibited by law’ persons with a concealed carry permit from possessing a handgun, and, therefore, the policies may not be used to prohibit persons with such a permit from carrying a concealed firearm into the buildings covered by the policy.”
George Mason University’s gun law prohibits guns inside campus buildings, but does not ban concealed carry on the outside campus. GMU’s law was challenged but upheld earlier this year in the Virginia Supreme Court.