Why Colleges Fold to Students’ Anti-Intellectual Hysterics

Why Colleges Fold to Students’ Anti-Intellectual Hysterics, by Rob Moritz.

Middlebury College just completed its final round of disciplinary hearings for students involved in March’s violent disruption of a lecture by Charles Murray, the influential but controversial social scientist.

The punishments to date have been laughably lax. Guilty students have been presented with non-official “probation” letters that’ll vanish upon graduation.

This toothless response reflects a deeper rot. Middlebury, like many prestigious colleges, has steadily gravitated away from its core educational mission and now serves primarily as a sort of finishing school for the ruling class. Professors and administrators alike are simply expected to shower students with affirmation — and then hand over a degree securing smooth entry into America’s elite. College has become four years of expensive fun. This is what parents and students now demand.

This change — from institutions of learning to institutions of affirming — threatens the nation’s future as colleges foster a vicious strain of anti-intellectualism.

At over $60,000 a year, Middlebury’s tuition buys much more than books, lodging, and classes. Students also get a campus-wide square dance, dining halls that host culinary “world tours,” lavish fitness facilities, and an annual winter carnival complete with fireworks, a hot chocolate bar, and snow sculptures.

The student body is ultra-affluent. Middlebury is among a small handful of schools with more students from the top one percent of the income distribution than those from the bottom 60 percent. And on graduation, newly christened alums are typically funneled right back into their elite enclaves, taking jobs at places like Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and Amazon. …

What happens in colleges matters. Students at Middlebury and Yale will go on to run the country, and the intellectual habits they pick up as undergrads will stick. With American politics now suffering toxic levels of incivility, we need these institutions to return their real purpose.

A pond that feeds the swamp. Sounds like a place for rich idiots who will go on to rule the world on the back of the achievements of others, both past and present. Parasite school. Marvelous.

hat-tip Stephen Neil