She has a point

The U.S. Department of Education issued a letter requiring the Duke University and University of North Carolina joint program in Middle Eastern Studies to make curricular changes. The program receives special federal funding under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965, a provision meant to expand offerings in foreign languages and international studies. The purpose was to educate specialists in non-European cultures who could staff the State Department and other government and non-government agencies that play roles in advancing America’s international interests. The department’s letter questioned whether a conference on love and desire in Modern Iran” and a course focusing on unconscious bias” and advocacy for LGBT youth in schools met the criteria of Title VI. Overall, the department judged the program to have a startling lack of focus on geography, geopolitical issues, history, and language.”

Anyone with a passing knowledge of higher education can recognize the phenomenon. Programs in the humanities and social sciences have been taken over by faculty who teach political advocacy. It seems the Duke-UNC Middle Eastern Studies program has followed this pattern. Some howl academic freedom.” But this is a red ­herring. Of course, Duke and UNC are free to hire as many one-sided ideologues as they wish. But there’s nothing in the Constitution that requires the American taxpayer to ­subsidize them.

R.R. Reno

My reaction after the first sentence was anger at Secretary DeVos and the Administration for pulling the kind of high-handed crap Team Obama pulled all the time, but a full reading persuades me that she has a point.

October 16, 2019