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Harvard law professors say elite schools are getting exactly what they deserve from Republicans

Harvard President Drew Faust can’t really be surprised that congressional Republicans are pushing a tax on massive university endowments, the reclassification of “tuition waivers” for grad students as taxable income and eliminating the interest deduction on student loans.

Elite universities such as Harvard basically tell conservatives they are “ignorant, unworthy or corrupt” while demanding a “continuance of largesse” from taxpayers in the form of research funding and student loan subsidies, two Harvard Law professors write in The Washington Post.

It’s not just that Harvard faculty overwhelmingly give to Democratic candidates and Harvard Law is farther left than the average law school faculty, who are themselves “more progressive than the legal profession,” write Jack Goldsmith and Adrian Vermeule:

[T]he distinctive progressive ideology of elite universities is relentlessly critical of, to the point of being intolerant of, traditions and moral values widely seen as legitimate in the outside world. …

Harvard is actually somewhat better on these issues than many universities — it hasn’t had anti-conservative mobs, and it has been relatively respectful of conservative speakers. But even at Harvard, the pervasive progressive orthodoxy chills conservatives’ speech in the classroom and hallways.

They go after far-left New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who is unsurprisingly also an emeritus professor at Princeton, for saying “learning is incompatible with modern conservative ideology”:

Krugman’s statement was a mere tweet. But in our experience it reflects an attitude that is widespread at elite universities. …

This sounds suspiciously like special pleading by an intellectual elite that wants to indulge in social criticism at the expense of the criticized, in both figurative and literal senses.

Administrators like Gilpin should have expected that “these attitudes and behaviors prove unappealing to a Congress and executive branch that are largely in the control of conservatives”:

We hope that Harvard and other elite universities will reflect on their part in these developments.

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