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Form 990 History

The leadership of Williams was modestly paid back in 1977.

Forty one years later, things are different.

Purpose of this post, updated once a year, is to maintain our history of the Form 990s issued by Williams. (Thanks to John Wilson ’64 for leading the charge on these efforts.)

Form 990 is an IRS requirement filed by all US non-profits. It is a confusing document that has changed significantly over the years. See here for background reading. Williams only provides versions going back to 2009. Future historians will thank us for archiving older versions: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. In fact, because Williams occasionally hides things that it once made public, let’s go ahead and save the more recent filings: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The College archives include earlier versions. At some point, we need to scan them. In the meantime, the wonderful Sylvia Brown provided one page (pdf) of the 1977 submission, from which the above screen shot is taken.

Inflation from 1977 to 2018 was a little over 400%. Professor salaries have kept pace. Administrator salaries have exploded.

I will ask the same question I asked Morty Schapiro in 2004.

Grant for the moment that Morty’s $400,000 annual package is fair and appropriate. But, certainly at some point, the President’s salary would be too high. How high is too high? At what point should I, as an alum asked to donate time and money, start to worry that the College is paying its President too much? If I am at this same event five years from now, would there be any problem with the President’s salary being $500k or $800k or $2 million?

If a complete mediocrity like Falk, the worst Williams president since World War II, is being paid $750,000 all-in, where does this trend end?

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Williams Alumni Travel

  I recently received a brochure outlining some upcoming Williams Alumni trips.  I’ve always been intrigued by these trips, as they always look fun.  The web page lays out the basic contours:

Since 1981, alumni and friends have embarked on outstanding travel-study opportunities led by Williams faculty. Our trips are adventurous, engaging, and most importantly, provide a wonderful way to continue your lifelong learning through the College. We hope you will consider joining us on an upcoming journey.

While I love traveling and have found that many of these trips look pretty interesting, I’ve never pulled the trigger and booked one.  The biggest reason for this is that the trips always seemed pretty expensive, relative to other options.  I don’t know whether that is because the trips are particularly luxurious, or whether the number on non-paying travelers (i.e. hosts and guides) is higher than on other, non-Williams tours, or whether the College makes money off of these trips.  Regardless, they seem very popular, with quite a few of the upcoming trips being sold out.

Has anyone in EphBlog-world been on one of these trips?  Did you like it?  Would you go on another one?

I’ve also wondered how/why the College got into this activity.  Based on the website and the number of trips, it seems to be a pretty big operation.

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Transgender Athletes in NESCAC?

How long before a Williams female athlete competes against a transgender athlete? How long before a transgender female competes for Williams? Not too long, I bet.

A transgender woman who competed as a man as recently as last year won an NCAA women’s track national championship on Saturday.

Franklin Pierce University senior Cece Telfer beat the eight-woman field in the Division II women’s 400-meter hurdles by more than a second, with a personal collegiate-best time of 57.53.

Telfer competed against Middlebury runners in 2018. But, back then, she was a man. Does that count or not? Honest question! (Apologies if I am not using pronouns in the appropriate manner.) So, to my knowledge, no transgender female has competed for a NESCAC team and no female NESCAC athlete has competed against a transgender female.

Contrary examples welcome!

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All Things Eph…

I am one of the authors who volunteered to participate in DDF’s experiment. I was motivated by the idea of making Eph Blog a better place by subtraction. My goal is to post things that are interesting and informative. Also, I enjoy the comment threads when there is a respectful exchange of differing views. Therefore, I will also try to post things that will spark those kind of threads.

A little background on myself: Multiple members of my family also attended Williams and I have already attended my 25th reunion. I loved my time at Williams even though I did not take full advantage of everything it had to offer.

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The Chin

Nothing more fun than when the President tweets at an Eph:

Tom Friedman is an Eph parent and honorary degree recipient.

This is an opportunity to argue about politics, if you are so inclined . . .

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New EphBlog Format

Got opinions on the new EphBlog format? Let us know in the comments.

1) Basic motivation is that half our readers come to us on mobile phones and the previous format — now more than a decade old — was ill-suited for such viewing. (I had to turn my phone sideways and, with my fingers, expand out the center column. I assume others had similar problems. If not, tell us!)

2) Main thing is to remove all clutter and allow scarce screen space to be filled with text from the most recent posts. This means one column.

3) We are using Twenty Nineteen, a widely used WordPress theme.

4) We hope to fix two things quickly: a) place our traditional cover photo at the top of the page and b) provide a box or menu of some kind on the upper right which would show, perhaps after a click, the most recent comments. For now, you can see all Recent Comments (and other material like Related Posts) by clicking on a post and scrolling to the bottom of it.

5) Suggestions are welcome, both general and technical.

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“PEN America Applauds ‘Well-Formulated’ Guidelines on Campus Free Speech…” (pen.org)

https://pen.org/press-release/new-well-formulated-campus-free-speech-policy-by-williams-college/

PEN America responded favorably to the committee report at Williams in the press release linked above:

“This is a well-formulated document which offers solid recommendations for future policies and their implementation. We are gratified that our work proved useful to the Committee and hope that these new Williams guidelines provide a solid foundation for the firm defense of free speech and open discourse in the years to come.”

The press release emphasized the importance of prioritizing inclusion along with free speech:

“…we read its report to affirm an unshakeable dedication to precepts of academic freedom and protection for speech, while going beyond that to reflect how these values can be robustly defended in the context of the College’s principled commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion.”

Importantly, PEN America pointed out that it can be beneficial for colleges to form their own policies rather than adopting the policies of other institutions, such as the Chicago Statement:

“We have also recognized the need for institutions to develop their own policies through deliberations that engage students, faculty, administrators, and staff and yield results that enjoy a sense of ownership across the campus community. Williams has modeled such an approach.”

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What Williams classes have stayed with you since graduation?

While cleaning out some old files, I recently came across a copy of my Williams transcript.  Looking at it produced some surprises, and my older son was not very impressed with my grades.  (My arguments about grade inflation did not impress him either.)

One of the items on the transcript was a political science class I took as senior with Prof. Michael MacDonald called Settler Societies. The class was a comparison of the similarities and differences between the conflicts which were then present in Israel, South Africa, and Northern Ireland.  One of my clearest takeaways from the class was how intractable each of the conflicts appeared, and how it seemed as though there was no way for any of them to be “resolved” short of full scale civil war.  Much to my surprise, within 10 years, both the situations in South Africa and Northern Ireland had fundamentally shifted (“solved” is probably not exactly accurate), despite there being no obvious way forward at the time I took the class.  It appears that the class has now morphed into a senior seminar called Identity Politics: Conflicts in Bosnia, Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland, & South Africa“.  Here is the course description:

Identities have been either the stakes, or the guise taken by other kinds of conflicts, in Bosnia, Israel-Palestine, Northern Ireland, and South Africa for centuries. They have led to, or expressed, political divisions, clashing loyalties, and persistent and sometimes consuming violence. They also have produced attempts by both internal and external actors to resolve the issues. This research seminar will engage the origins of the conflicts and the role of identities in them, the role of disputes about sovereign power in creating and intensifying them, the strategies for reconciling them that are adopted domestically and internationally, the deals that have been struck or have not been struck to bring peace in these societies, and the outcomes of the various efforts in their contemporary politics. The course will begin by reading about both the general theoretical issues raised by conflicts in these “divided societies” and various responses to them. After familiarizing ourselves with what academic and policy literatures have to say about them, we then will read about the histories and contemporary politics in each society. With that as background, students will choose an aspect or aspects of these conflicts as a subject for their individual research.

For some reason, this course has stuck with me through the years, even though it has no professional relevance for me.  Perhaps it was that the subject matter always seemed relevant to current events (and it still does).  Perhaps it was because of Prof. MacDonald’s talents as a teacher.  Probably some combination of both.

What Williams classes still stick out in your mind?

 

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Hardy ’10 New Assistant Coach at San Antonio Spurs

Twitter is blowing up with news that Will Hardy ’10 will be a new assistant coach at the San Antonio Spurs.

The San Antonio Spurs on Monday announced that Will Hardy and Tim Duncan will be added to Gregg Popovich’s bench as assistant coaches.

Hardy first joined the Spurs as a basketball operations intern in 2010 after graduating from Williams College.

“Will Hardy is a talented, young basketball mind who has earned a great deal of respect from everyone in the organization thanks to his knowledge, spirit and personality,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich.

Oh, yeah. Some other guy also got hired as an assistant coach, but EphBlog doesn’t care about that!

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Modes of Discourse

This (slightly edited) overview by Alastair Roberts (via Steve Sailer) of contrasting modes of discourse gets at some of the problems we have seen at EphBlog over the last 16 years.

In observing the interaction between David Dudley Field ’24 and his critics in the recent debate, I believe that we were witnessing a collision of two radically contrasting modes of discourse. The first mode of discourse, represented by DDF’s critics, is one in which sensitivity, inclusivity, and inoffensiveness are key values, and in which persons and positions are ordinarily closely related. The second mode of discourse, displayed by DDF, is one characterized and enabled by personal detachment from the issues under discussion, involving highly disputational and oppositional forms of rhetoric, scathing satire, and ideological combativeness.

When these two forms of discourse collide they are frequently unable to understand each other and tend to bring out the worst in each other. The first form of discourse seems lacking in rationality and ideological challenge to the second; the second can appear cruel and devoid of sensitivity to the first. To those accustomed to the second mode of discourse, the cries of protest at supposedly offensive statements may appear to be little more than a dirty and underhand ploy intentionally adopted to derail the discussion by those whose ideological position can’t sustain critical challenge. However, these protests are probably less a ploy than the normal functioning of the particular mode of discourse characteristic of that community, often the only mode of discourse that those involved are proficient in.

To those accustomed to the first mode of discourse, the scathing satire and sharp criticism of the second appears to be a vicious and personal attack, driven by a hateful animus, when those who adopt such modes of discourse are typically neither personally hurt nor aiming to cause such hurt. Rather, as this second form of discourse demands personal detachment from issues under discussion, ridicule does not aim to cause hurt, but to up the ante of the debate, exposing the weakness of the response to challenge, pushing opponents to come back with more substantial arguments or betray their lack of convincing support for their position. Within the first form of discourse, if you take offense, you can close down the discourse in your favor; in the second form of discourse, if all you can do is to take offense, you have conceded the argument to your opponent, as offense is not meaningful currency within such discourse.

Read the whole thing. I, obviously, am a second mode Eph.

All Ephs are welcome here, but my basic mode won’t be changing any time soon . . .

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Let’s Stay in Touch

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – If you would like to stay in touch, I have established a new blog called Williams Liberty.

Williams Liberty has a different mission compared to EphblogWilliams Liberty will be focused primarily on breaking news. It will be promoted through my existing Twitter accounts, accounts that have more followers than the college’s Twitter accounts. Covering breaking news at our nation’s top liberal arts college is a service which cannot be provided by the Williams Record and would not be allowed on the college’s websites.

It will, of course, be conservative friendly and politically incorrect. In particular, it will provide the conservative viewpoint which has been largely absent on campus since 1989. Its contributors will be immune from ideologically motivated abuse or boycotts.

Consistent with conservative sensibilities, it will be well-written, tightly edited and moderated. Its language will be professional and PG at worst.

Williams Liberty will be open to guest contributors (anonymous or not). Guest contributors will be restricted to existing or prior William’s College faculty and students. Comments will be welcome from all.

It may reserve a few spots for student contributors who will be picked on a competitive basis at the beginning of the school year or who have done a good job as guest contributors.

If you would like to submit an article for publication at Williams Liberty, please contact me through the contact form available on the blogsite or give me a call at 949.338.5921. By the way, you can follow Williams Liberty on Twitter at @williamslibert5.

 

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Professor Gibson on Fox

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Billionaires Index

Bloomberg reports that Chase Coleman ’97 has amassed a $4.6 billion fortune. He is reportedly the youngest financier among the world’s 500 richest people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Chase is perhaps best known as the hedge-fund manager who wisely made substantial bets on startups including Facebook Inc. and Zynga Inc.

As readers of Ephblog already know, he is “…a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, he attended Deerfield Academy, the elite boarding school in Massachusetts, and went on to co-captain the lacrosse team at Williams College.”

It looks like he is enjoying life. The article reported that he often surfs the waves outside his $19 million home before flying his helicopter into Manhattan.

Chase first came to the attention of Ephblog back in January 2005 when we posted a short article on his marriage to Stephanie Anne Ercklentz.

Here at EphBlog, however, we will judge Coleman not by either the wealth that he accumulates or by the generosity of his gifts to the College, but by his fulfillment of the vows that he took today. The only more important job than husband that he will ever have is father.

By all accounts, the sentimental comments on his wedding day have rung true. His marriage is still going strong.

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Dylan Barbour ’16 on The Bachelorette


Should we be proud or embarrassed?

With so many studs to choose from, who is Dylan on The Bachelorette — and why should you care?

Dylan is a man with many layers. His ABC bio states, “the majority of his friends are female,” which could mean he’s sensitive, a good listener, and compassionate. He’s a basketball fan who enjoys scuba diving, driving his boat, and cooking (I’m free for dinner, thanks). The cutie also has a couple of sentimental tattoos including a palm tree on his ankle and a heart with roses on his chest for his mom and dad.

EphBlog also has many layers, but no tattoos.

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Banned in Chicago

I was a little startled to learn that DDF has been banned over at the Why Evolution is True blogsite.

This is the on-line home of Jerry Coyne, one of our nation’s most outspoken  public intellectuals. He is a Harvard trained evolutionary biologist. Along with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, Coyne is one of the world’s most prominent “New Atheists.”

Coyne’s blogsite, Why Evolution is True, reportedly has over 50,000 e-mail subscribers. Lately, Coyne has been especially supportive of Luana Maroja, a fellow biologist. He has used his highly visible site to bring the free speech standards of the Chicago Principles to Williams College.

Earlier, Coyne cited a number of my comments on the Sawacki Report and published them on his site. I was surprised when DDF subsequently went after Coyne and accused him of being a fool. What?! I later got an e-mail from Coyne indicating he was offended by DDF’s words and that the intellectual skirmish had continued over at Why Evolution is True. Coyne posted the following statement on his blog:

After letting you use my site to direct traffic to yours, I will ban you for insulting the host (what a rude person you are in your post, a characteristic you must have gotten from the woke Williams students).

First, though, since you had the temerity to call me a fool, let me reply that you are an arrant jackass. The only “mistake” I made in my post was characterizing the universities who use the Chicago Principles as “adopting them” rather than, as the FIRE site says, the 65 schools “Have adopted or endorsed the Chicago Statement or a substantially similar statement.”

Read more

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(Re)Introducing Whitney Wilson ’90

As mentioned earlier on the site, I have decided to try posting on a more regular basis, as opposed to simply commenting.  I am generally a glass-is-half-full kind of person, and typically believe (until proven otherwise) that people in general, and Ephs in particular, are acting/speaking in good faith.

Unlike most current authors and commenters, I have always posted at Ephblog under my own name, so I would like to give you a little background on me so that you have an idea of where I am coming from.  As is apparent from my screen name, I graduated from Williams in 1990.  I lived in Williams A as a freshman and Bryant House for the rest of my time at Williams, and was an 8-season (i.e. 4 year) member of the WRFC (the Williams Rugby Football Club).  I also played broomball and intramural hockey.  I double majored in Chemistry and Political Science.  While I had plenty of excellent professors at Williams, my favorite was Chemistry Prof. David Richardson, who is still teaching.  Many of the chemistry faculty from my time at Williams are still there, which I think speaks well of the department:  Prof. Enrique Peacock-Lopez (he taught the hardest class I took at Williams (Thermodynamics)), John Thoman, Anne Skinner, Charles Lovett, and Lawrence Kaplan.  Some of my political science professors are also still at Williams, including my freshman advisor George Marcus and Michael MacDonald.

After graduation from Williams, I went directly to New York University School of Law.  Because of my background with chemistry, as well as thoughtful advice from the parents of one of my classmates, patent law was an area of interest for me.  Somewhat to my surprise, by the time I graduated from law school in 1993, I headed to a job in the New York office of the then-St. Louis based law firm Bryan Cave in their intellectual property department, focusing primarily on patent issues, but also ended up doing trademark work as well.  I stayed at Bryan Cave for 11 years, then spent two years at the Covington & Burling law firm, and then moved to a smaller IP boutique law firm Jacobson Holman for 7 years.  After 20 years in private practice, I was interested in public service, and took a position as an Administrative Patent Judge at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  It goes without saying, I think, that anything I write on this blog is from me personally, and is not in any way connected with or attributable to the PTAB, the USPTO, or the Department of Commerce (the PTO is part of Department of Commerce).

I have two high school age kids, and spend a lot of time at ice rinks watching my younger son play hockey, and also playing myself.  I also have non-EphBlog related connections with a few anonymous EphBloggers.  I won’t identify who they are, however, as doing so might give away their real identities.

I am looking forward to more regular blogging on EphBlog, starting next week.  If readers have any thoughts or suggestions on what they would like me to write about, please feel free to leave in the comments to this post or others.

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Robot Love

Republican stalwart Oren Cass ’05 has an interesting new issue brief over at the Manhattan Institute. Apparently, our fears that robots are taking our jobs are largely unmerited, at least when you review how well our species has weathered previous spells of productivity rate increases.

This benign interpretation of our robot overlords means Oren is now in conflict with economic heavy weights like Larry Summers, Obama’s former secretary of the Treasury, who have alarmed us with bleak predictions about the long-term strength of the labor market. As Summers wrote:

This question of technology leading to a reduction in demand for labor is not some hypothetical prospect. . . . It’s one of the defining trends that has shaped the economy and society for the last 40 years.

The gist of Oren’s article is when you look carefully at each job and isolate the elements of that job that might be automated, you will find – according to careful, reputable studies – that resulting forecasts regarding reductions in the demand for labor will most likely be in line with previous historical experience. In other words, we can handle it. Oren’s views seem like common sense when you remember that we’ve benefited from prior technology gains. Besides, I agree with Oren’s observation that there will never be a demand for automated school bus drivers.

Oren Cass ’05 was a guest speaker for the Williams chapter of the American Enterprise Institute and the Society for Conservative Thought on November 5, 2018. If you are not already reading the Manhattan Institute’s quarterly magazine, City Journal, I recommend you start. It is the Economist of our current generation.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

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A New EphBlog for 2019-2020

We are running a new experiment at EphBlog. Four Ephs — Whitney Wilson ’90, recentgrad, purple & gold and The Good Son — have each agreed to write one entry per week for EphBlog from July 22, 2019 through July 31, 2020. In conjunction with this experiment, JCD has kindly agreed to a one year vacation from posting and commenting. My thoughts:

1) EphBlog discussions over the last year have not been as productive as they might be. Perhaps this experiment will help!

2) Many thanks to our volunteers, some of whom have been around EphBlog for years and some of whom are brand new to our community. In fact, they cover a 34-year range of classes.

3) Three of the four prefer to maintain their anonymity. Attempts to dox them, or any member of our community, will result in banning.

4) Our preliminary plan is for each of us to be responsible for a morning post one day a week, Monday through Friday. Of course, we (especially me) can/will post on other days as well. Because of travel plans, the experiment will start slowly but should be full operational in a few weeks.

5) Suggestions to our new authors would be much appreciated! What do you want to read more of at EphBlog?

Comments related to JCD will be deleted from this thread.

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Sentence Served

Students moving into the Horn Residence Hall should ask themselves if they feel at peace living in a building named for a pair of criminals, Joey Horn ’87 and Ragnar Horn ’85.  The Horns recently served a 75 day sentence in prison as punishment for exploiting and abusing four young Filipino au pairs. As a consequence of this scandal, Joey resigned from the Board of Trustees after eight years of service.

Working as an au pair is supposed to be a cultural exchange program. Joey and Ragnar, however, broke the regulations by using their au pairs as low paid housekeepers. They worked their Filipino au pairs 11 hours a day and then four hours on both Saturday and Sunday. In Norway, an au pair is supposed to work no more that five hours a day and no more than 30 hours per week.

The Horns also gave false information to the immigration administration in Norway, failing to report they would have more than one au pair at a time. At the trial in 2017, two of the au pairs reported that they felt like “slaves” and “in prison” in the Horns’ home. Evidence showed Joey Horn ’87 referred to her au pairs in derogatory terms and threatened to send one of them back to her “straw mats in Manila.” Read more

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Advice for EphBlog Authors

Do you want to write for EphBlog? You would be welcome!

E-mail daviddudleyfield@gmail.com (or, of you know it, my personal e-mail) with two pieces of information: the email you want to use (must work but does not need to be the email you are writing me from) and your preferred login id (which can not have spaces nor punctuation marks).

Note that the login id is visible on the site because that is how WordPress organizes all your posts. Mine is “ddf” and you can see all my posts here. So, if you want to post anonymously, don’t choose a login which identifies you.

WordPress will send a temporary password to that e-mail address along with a link to the login location, which is here and is also available at the bottom of the right-hand column, below Recent Comments. Login, change your password and create your “Display Name.” This is what will show up under your posts. Mine is “David Dudley Field ’24.” If you don’t do this, your login id will be displayed.

You are also welcome to preserve your anonymity even with me. (In fact, you can do this even if we know each other and/or you have written for EphBlog before.) Just follow the above instructions from an anonymous e-mail account. That way, even I won’t know your name, which is fine by me.

Here is some advice about where to find topics which fall under the rubric of All Things Eph.

1) The are dozens of Record articles which we fail to cover. A link to an article, along with a quotation, and perhaps some questions or comments, is a great post. Our coverage of editorials and op-eds over the last year has been especially weak.

2) The Record archives are now hosted by the College. Just type in a word or phrase in the search box. Lots of great stuff from history to post about!

3) Follow Williams College or Williams Athletics or various Williams professors on Twitter and other social media. Lots of good material almost everyday.

4) Posts about current events are welcome, but you must take the trouble to find an Eph connection. “All Things Eph” includes, for example, every tweet or public statement by prominent Ephs like Senator Chris Murphy ’96, Erin Burnett ’98 and Mika Brzezinski ’89. Post about, say, the Presidential election race if you like, but you have to “hang” your post on a comment by an Eph.

5) Post about past EphBlog topics. We now have 16+ years of archives to mine. There is a lot of good stuff there! And note that, each year, a big chunk of our readership turns over as 500 Ephs graduate and 500 first years (and their parents) arrive. Indeed, my own posting is more and more a collection of annual essays, improved over time and modeled on Professor Whit Stoddard’s ’35 legendary September lecture to first years titled “A Sense of Where You Are.”

6) Sign up for Google Alerts or a similar service. I use “Williams College” as my alert phrase. This gives me a once-a-day e-mail with virtually every mention of Williams in the press. Very handy!

Other items:

1) You are free to manage the comments in your own posts as you see fit. Authors “own” the comment threads which follow their posts and can do whatever they like there. Options include:

a) No management! You are a busy person and it is not your job to monitor EphBlog comments. This is what I do 99% of the time.

b) No (more) comments. Either at the start of the post or after the discussion has come off the rails, you can uncheck the “Allow comments” box. This does not affect comments that have already been made. It just prevents more comments.

c) Hit the “Trash” button. This removes a comment from your post and places it in the Trash. We occasionally post all the Trash comments so that folks can see what was removed.

d) Edit in place. I often just put “Deleted. — DDF” so that people can see that there was a comment (and who wrote it) and that I have deleted it. One could also put a reason, but life is short and I am usually too busy to explain myself to trolls.

2) Instead of leaving a long comment on one of my posts, I encourage you to create a new post with that comment and a link to my post. First, people don’t read the comments that much, so you wonderful prose is more likely to be seen in a new post. Second, it often helps the quality of the discussion to re-start it elsewhere.

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Fox News Alert

Jonathan Butcher just posted a piece at the Fox News website criticizing the failure of Williams College to protect freedom of speech by adopting the Chicago principles.

Freedom of speech? Not allowed at politically correct liberal Williams College

He is alarmed about an article in The College Fix that reported one of biology professor Luana Maroja’s colleagues had “threatened violence” if Williams adopted the Chicago statement. As Butcher writes:

No, Williams is not a public school. Its trustees and administrators have the right to set whatever campus policies they see fit. But considering how quickly the campus “conversation” on free speech escalated from a discussion of mutual respect to threats of violence, Williams’ students and faculty are right to ask: “Will I be threatened when I speak out on campus? And do I want to live in a place like that?”

Butcher’s recommendation is the school require mandatory sessions on free speech during first year orientation – and “…explain that hiding from ideas with which you disagree is a poor strategy for life.”

Jonathan Butcher is a senior policy analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.

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No Barbeque for You

Williams College graduate, Eliza Klein ’19, has been called out by Canary Mission who claims she “…has defended terrorists, supported a violent agitator and promoted the #returnthebirthright campaign calling on American Jews to boycott the Birthright Jewish heritage tour.” In a recent Tweet, Canary Mission criticizes her for a 2017 incident in which they say Klein harassed Jewish students who hosted a kosher barbeque,

On May 3, 2017, Klein wrote in the Williams college student newspaper: “By disrupting the barbeque, by writing this op-ed and by speaking out against the occupation of Palestine, we hope to destabilize the normalcy and legitimacy of supporting Israel.”

Readers of Ephblog may recognize Eliza as the student leader of Students for Justice in Palestine a recognized student organization with the faculty/staff advisor Shanti Singham, a Professor of History and Africana Studies, Emerita.

As a student at Williams, Eliza opposed efforts to bring the Chicago Principles to campus.

She also supported the efforts of the College Council to bar the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) from becoming a recognized student organization. This decision sparked a strong rebuke from president Maud Mandel and a successful complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Currently, Williams College is being held accountable by the federal government so that it does a better job of protecting WIFI and following Title IV law and regulations.

By all accounts, Eliza was rewarded for her behavior as a student at Williams College. She is the 2019 winner of the Davis Center’s Senior Social Justice Advocate Award.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. 

 

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Short Leash

U.S. Department of Education to avoid an investigation into the manner in which the College council rejected a new pro-Israel group, Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI), in April 2019. JNS reports:

“This Agreement contains no findings of fact, does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the College, and does not represent a determination by OCR that the college has violated Title VI or its implementing regulations or otherwise engaged in any discriminatory conduct,” stated the agreement, obtained by JNS.

The Massachusetts school pledged that WIFI will be “afforded the same rights and privileges as registered student groups approved by the College Council,” and that it will treat the student organization “in a nondiscriminatory manner” in that the student government evaluates “WIFI requests for and provide financial assistance and other benefits” as such.

The school must submit documentation to demonstrate that it is complying with the “same rights and privileges” clause by Nov. 1, and subsequently do so in 2020 by Feb. 1, June 1 and Nov. 1.

By June 1, 2020, Williams must submit documentation showing that it is complying with the clause that the student government evaluates WIFI financial assistance and other requests in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Reviewing what we know of the agreement that Maud signed, it appears to me that the school was in no hurry to dispute the complaint that it had violated Title VI law and that it was okay living under a temporary period of intensive federal scrutiny in order to bring this matter to a close. Will this be enough to protect WIFI students? It seems unlikely that additional federal accountability will be enough to protect the pro-Israel students who have been the targets of on campus hostility at least as far back as April 2017.

All in all, it will be an entertaining spectacle. I’m looking forward to seeing how Maud will bring the aggressively anti-WIFI College Council into compliance with the new federal accountability measures. Where’s my lawn chair and my kosher barbeque?

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“On Campus Activism: From the Summer 2019 Williams Magazine”

Link to a column that the president wrote for the 2019 summer issue of the Williams Magazine:

https://president.williams.edu/articles-2/summer-2019-report-on-campus-activism/

 

This section stood out to me in particular (emphasis mine):

“I absolutely think Williams needs to teach people to voice strongly held views in constructive ways. That lesson is best learned within a community broad enough to accommodate conservatives and radicals, believers and agnostics, creatives and critics. Disagreement, in such a culture, should fuel intellectual vitality.

 

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Bullet Dodged

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – According to a report in the Jewish Journal, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has decided that the school did not violate Title IV when the College Council denied recognized student organization status to WIFI. Nevertheless, the OCR has created a number of stipulations which the college will need to follow moving forward according to Williams College Director of Media Relations Greg Shook.

As far as I can tell, the new stipulations will reduce the power and independence of the College Council. In particular,

“Williams will ensure that College Council, first, affords WIFI the same rights and privileges as any other Council-approved RSO; and, second, evaluates WIFI’s future requests for financial assistance and other benefits fairly, and allocates resources in a nondiscriminatory manner,” Shook said. “OCR provided helpful advice to develop this resolution and plan, and we’re grateful for their partnership.”

The Jewish Journal reports a statement from StandWithUs Legal Department Director Yael Lerman who said, “StandWithUs thanks the Office of Civil Rights for taking the time to investigate the Williams College matter and take allegations of anti-Semitism seriously. We appreciate that OCR is looking into protecting Jewish students facing discrimination. We hope that this will be a deterrent to those looking to spread hatred and misinformation against Jews and pro-Israel students.”

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Poor Taste Wins

Williams College political scientist, Laura Ephraim, is scheduled to present a paper at the upcoming  Conference of the American Political Science Association (APSA) entitled: “Everybody Poops: Human Waste in Lockean Liberal Capitalism.” As I recall, Locke was concerned about waste in general and about organizing human activity to prevent it. In this sense, his views seem quite sensible. It is difficult for me to understand what, if anything, he had to write about human waste.

The title of Ephraim’s paper reminds me that the APSA’s war on view point diversity is going as strong as ever even as the war bad manners and poor taste has apparently been lost.

A first rate article by Bruce Gilley, published by the National Society of Scholars in 2017 provides Ephblog readers with other over-the-top examples of poor taste and extraordinary ideological bias:

“Pussies Grab Back: Feminism in the Wake of Trump”?

“Disavowing Violence: Imperial Entitlements, From Burke to Trump (Fuck That Guy).”

If you want to understand why the APSA’s overall hostility to even the idea of viewpoint diversity, it is useful to read all of Bruce Gilley’s article. According to Gilley, his departure from the APSA was due to the rejection of a panel suggestion he put together on “Viewpoint Diversity in Political Science.” His take on the absence of viewpoint diversity is chilling for free speech advocates,

Much has been written about the general problem of a lack of political diversity in political science and its drift to the far left. The ratio of Democratic/left-of-center to Republican/right-of-center professors in political science is variously estimated at around 15 to 1 nationwide, not counting moderates and centrist independents. In my home state of Oregon, I believe the ratio is infinitely large because I do not know of a single Republican or conservative in our profession here (I am a swing voter and independent).

Sadly, modern education is now so increasingly useless and out-of-touch with reality that we have turned once venerable and prestigious institutions into lame, second-rate madrasas. This, of course, is just the kind of waste that would have shook John Locke to his thrifty core.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

 

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Williams College reigns supreme in Division III sports (MassLive)

https://www.masslive.com/sports/2019/06/williams-college-reigns-supreme-in-division-iii-sports.html

From the article: “Williams College has a seven-year winning streak in Division III national competition for the Learfield Directors Cup, emblematic of athletic supremacy.”

I didn’t see a post about this yet, and since it’s already been three weeks since it happened, there was no point in waiting to post about it.

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Jerry, Luana and Me

Unfortunately, I think DDF is overly optimistic about the eventual results of the Sawicki Report. I read the report looking for evidence freedom of speech was perfectly safe and I didn’t see it. Neither did Jerry Coyne.

As you may know, Coyne is one of our nation’s most influential public intellectuals. He is a Harvard trained evolutionary biologist who is now most well-known as a prominent anti-theist. Along with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, I think of Coyne as one of the world’s most prominent “New Atheists.” Coyne’s blogsite, Why Evolution is True, reportedly has over 50,000 e-mail subscribers. I’m grateful Coyne has focused attention on the free speech conflict at Williams College. He has been especially supportive of Luana Majora and has used his highly visible blogsite platform to publicize her plight.

Nevertheless, DDF went after Coyne. He went so far as to suggest Coyne is a “fool.” As far as I can tell, DDF believes the Sawicki Report will lead to a rebirth of freedom of speech because,  as DDF notes, the report ties the school’s policies to the standards set by both the AAUP and PEN. The central issue is whether this is enough?

Read more

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Cheating Freedom

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College has been named as one of the top five worst schools for free speech by civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate, a co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The school won a not so coveted Campus Muzzle Award largely due to highly visible student protests against the adoption of the Chicago Principles and a generally “spineless” faculty response. According to Silverglate, a key moment was when

…a group of about 20 Williams students showed up to the faculty meeting to protest, some waving signs that stated “free speech is hate speech.” Disruption notwithstanding, the faculty was extremely accommodating, inviting the students into the meeting and permitting them to read their response aloud. But the students continued to be disruptive, at one point demanding that white male professors sit down and admit their “privilege,” and at another screaming that faculty members were trying to “kill them.”

Most of Silverglate’s ire, however, is focused on the weak response from faculty members who seemed, over time, to give in to the “free speech is hate speech” mob.

We might expect at least the grownups on campus to safeguard free inquiry, even if those in their charge do not yet recognize how precious it is. Sadly, this is not the case at Williams College. Dozens of professors who originally supported the Chicago Principles caved to the unruly students and withdrew their signatures, rendering the petition all but defunct. These professors do their students a great disservice by denying them the opportunity to critically engage with a diversity of viewpoints, including ones they may disagree with. Such instances of intellectual cowardice by the professoriate are the antithesis of the goals of liberal education.

As you may know, Williams College is a previous award winner. It won a Campus Muzzle Award in 2016 in recognition of Adam Falk’s paternalistic effort to protect the fragile students of Williams College from the potential death and destruction which would have ensued if he had not rescinded a speaking invitation to John Derbyshire.

For the record, the other Campus Muzzle Awards for 2019 went to Middlebury College, Roger Williams University, UMass Boston and UMass Amherst. In 2018, the awardees included UMass Boston, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Harvard and Brandeis University. More details on this story are available over at The College Fix.

John C. Drew, Ph.D., is a former Williams College professor. He received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for the best doctoral dissertation in the nation in his field in 1989. He contributes to American Thinker, Breitbart, Campus Reform, The College Fix, and WorldNetDaily. He has been an Ephblog regular since 2010. 

 

 

 

 

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When Ephs Collide

Stewart Gilson ’08 and Helen Hatch ’09 were married June 22 in Quogue, N.Y. According to a report in the New York Times, they met while they were both students at Williams College back in 2005. The fastidious NTY, however, reports that the pair only began dating in 2016, while they were both working in New York.

Helen is an Assistant Vice President and Fine Art Specialist at Sotheby’s San Francisco office. She has worked at both The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Drawings & Prints Department, and the Williams College Museum of Art. She received a master’s degree in art history from Cambridge University in England.

Stewart is an associate at Akin Gump in San Francisco. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Deborah L. Cook for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Stewart received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. Before law school, he was a Fulbright Scholar in New Delhi, India.

 

 

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