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Yale and Missouri

The two big stories in higher education right now involve Missouri and Yale. But, since this is EphBlog, we need a Williams connection before opining. So, start with this tweet from crypto-conservative Professor Nate Kornell:

yale2

The linked article provides a good overview of the controversy at Yale. Judging by his tweets and retweets, I would say that Kornell is a critic of student complaints. Which raises the question: Did he support (publicly or privately) the Taco Six?

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I have my doubts. It is easy to criticize students at another school for overreacting to a memo about Halloween costumes. It is much harder (?) to support students at your own school who are being attacked by your own administration for their choices in Halloween costume.

There is an even better Eph connection to the Yale administration that I will leave as a reader puzzle . . .

I can’t find a better Eph connection to events at Missouri than this.

With the U. of Missouri football team firing the president and chairman of the board, it looks like Mizzou will get an administration worthy of its football team, which is 1-5 in conference play and has wracked up quite a record in recent years for sexual assault and domestic violence charges.

A recurrent theme here at iSteve is how conservative millionaires give a lot more to college football than to advancing their ideas. For example, Mizzou is notoriously bad at fundraising compared to powerhouses like the U. of Alabama . . .

On the other other hand, Manhattan-born Paul Singer uses his giving on Presidential candidates (it was front-page news when he endorsed Marco Rubio), fundraiser for the Manhattan Institute, push for gay marriage, Israel, and more immigration (for America, not Israel). You can buy a lot of think tank staffers for the cost of first rate offensive coordinator.

Indeed. Can anyone provide a better link to events at Missouri than an offhand reference to Investment Committee member Paul Singer P ’96 ’00?

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#1 Comment By Steven Miller On November 9, 2015 @ 10:20 pm

To further the connection, I’m a professor in the Math/Stat department here at Williams, and graduated from Yale in the 90’s. I see this as, again, another example of uncivil dialogue (see http://ephblog.com/2015/10/30/uncomfortable-posting/). I urge people to read the letter from the Assistant Master at Silliman, and watch the videos.

https://www.thefire.org/email-from-erika-christakis-dressing-yourselves-email-to-silliman-college-yale-students-on-halloween-costumes/

Good article on the situation at Yale in The Atlantic:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/

#2 Comment By Nate Kornell On November 10, 2015 @ 5:50 am

This is Nate Kornell. To me, the taco six seemed less clear cut than Yale. I didn’t assume the taco six were intentionally being offensive but I can see how they were perceived as being offensive nonetheless. The student reaction afterward sounds like it got pretty ugly, which is very unfortunate, but I stay away from yik-yak.

My one point of clarity about the taco six is that I didn’t think the administration should have taken a side. And it bothered me that the administration’s messages to the college were the opposite of transparent (did they punish anyone? hard to tell.).

As for being a “crypto-conservative” I think of myself as a liberal who believes in freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Heck, I voted for Nader. And I’m sympathetic to the students who are pissed off at Yale, I just don’t like what they’re doing with their anger.

#3 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On November 10, 2015 @ 7:18 am

Professor Kornell: Thanks for the comment!

I didn’t assume the taco six were intentionally being offensive but I can see how they were perceived as being offensive nonetheless.

I didn’t assume that Christakis was being “intentionally being offensive but I can see how they were perceived as being offensive nonetheless.” See how easy that it! Either you believe in freedom of speech for members of an academic community or you don’t. There is no “assume.”

My one point of clarity about the taco six is that I didn’t think the administration should have taken a side.

Did you say that at the time? Speak to Dean Bolton? Write an op-ed in the Record? If so, great! If not . . . then “clarity” is not the right word in this context . . .

And it bothered me that the administration’s messages to the college were the opposite of transparent (did they punish anyone? hard to tell.).

You are a tenured member of the Williams faculty. Why don’t you do something about this? Why don’t you find out what happened? Why don’t you find out what would happen the next time? If you won’t stand up for the free speech rights of Williams students then who will?

As for being a “crypto-conservative” I think of myself as a liberal who believes in freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

I jest. But, a strong belief in freedom of speech, plus a belief in the reality of IQ (including its genetic basis), puts you on the far right of the Williams faculty, doesn’t it?

#4 Comment By dcat On November 10, 2015 @ 2:25 pm

Yes, because “free speech” is a hallmark of the right. Except at the Republican National Convention, where “Free Speech Zones” are the preferred approach. Let’s erase this myth full stop — the right is absolutely as willing to harass or otherwise crack down on speech, including in academia, where they like –indeed, the few examples of academics actually losing jobs comes from when they have made far left assertions and conservative outrage led to loss of either positions (Ward Churchill) or offers (Steven Salaita). No side is covered with virtue on this matter, but as pretty much a free speech absolutist, I also refuse to let the right claim that they are the only ones who care about free speech. (And we won’t even get into right-wing whining every time someone dares criticize the police, or the mock outrage anytime big tough conservatives get their fee fees hurt otherwise, which includes whining about the “liberal” media.)

dcat