• No compromise in free speech debate

    Compromised free speech is simply the negation of the right itself, and so an impossible concession… social justice advocates, are not interested in free speech as it is conventionally understood. Rather, they are engaged in a revolution to tear-down established hierarchies… Many universities no longer view the pursuit of truth as their primary goal; instead, the social justice goal of protecting victim groups has become the priority.

  • No, postmodernism at universities isn’t a vile, cancerous doctrine

    Right-wing postmodernism flourishes by bulldozing dissent. The current occupant of the White House, and those leading rhetorical crusades in his shadow, are just late-model versions of real intellectual rot… Universities are always easy targets… We insist that when people utter falsehoods and nonsense, or behave intolerably, they will be challenged, on the facts, with reasons and arguments. It’s indoctrination, sure – into critical thinking.

  • The idea of the radical, leftist university is a misleading caricature

    The combination of growing economic imperatives with new conditions of visibility has made administrators more sensitive than ever to public relations, consumer evaluations and program reputations… These trends have ensured that Canadian universities remain largely conservative organizations. Even as they seek to promote tolerance… administrators… have responded through bureaucratic measures that can sometimes be excessively arbitrary and autocratic.

  • Here’s the gender gap that matters

    “Men have increasingly become the second sex in higher education,” … What’s clear from these trends is that educational inequality has worked its way up from elementary school, and is now solidly entrenched at all levels of attainment. This, in an age when higher education and cognitive skills are more important than ever… Higher education has become so feminized that it’s hard to see how it can be re-engineered to appeal to men.

  • Safety on campus shouldn’t require the muzzling of ideas

    Of course there will be unease and resistance to the radical and sweeping transformation being proposed to the conceptual gender schema that organizes how we recognize, think and speak about ourselves as human beings. Isn’t that to be expected? … Doesn’t more speech facilitate this? We need a realm of public reason in which appeals to emotions and identities are neither the starting, nor the end points.

  • Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • What’s so scary about free speech on campus?

    The concept of words as weapons that can inflict damage on people’s equality rights is a staple of feminist legal thought. It is also widespread on campuses today… For all their talk about diversity and inclusion, universities have become monocultures of thought, where unpopular ideas are often regarded as downright toxic… “Universities are no longer places where ideas may freely circulate… if you even bring up the ‘wrong’ ideas, you are labelled as some sort of public enemy.”

  • Why has academic freedom become a sticking point in the college strike?

    Administrators have the final say on grading and whether a student will pass or fail. Not only does this impact the quality of education being offered, it could impact students’ ability to perform in the profession for which they are being trained, and, the reputation of the program and the college… If administrators and instructors collaborate about what goes into a course, what resources are used, how a course is taught and how a student demonstrates learning, education improves.

  • Don’t let Ontario’s college system suffocate itself

    … the union rightly stressed the plight of precarious workers — contract teachers who form the vast majority of staff at Ontario’s 24 colleges. OPSEU reminded us that piecework professors are the dirty little secret of the province’s sprawling educational-industrial complex… Shortchanged by provincial funding, today’s colleges make up the difference by exploiting instructors while expanding into the terrain of universities.

  • Equal outcomes have replaced equality of opportunity

    No one would argue that discrimination has magically ceased to exist, or that we have reached a perfectly fair and just society. We never will. But the argument that equal outcomes are the one true measure of equality is corrosive. It means we’re doomed to see people through the prism of race and gender instead of talent and achievement. It means that people who refuse to reverse discriminate will be perceived as racist… Maybe you think it’s fine to rectify past injustices with fresh ones. Maybe you think diversity matters more than excellence. In that case, you’re going to make a very fine university administrator.