May 24, 2016

It’s a Sin: University President Denounces Action as ‘Morally Wrong’


There’s been a fair amount of disturbing activity in Oklahoma’s higher education system lately, but sometimes things reach a point where a leader has no choice but to speak out. So it was that University of Oklahoma president David Boren recently told reporters that a certain activity is “morally wrong”—even going so far as to suggest it is a “sin.” In today’s quiz, you the reader must identify which one of the following two-dozen items sparked Mr. Boren’s moral indignation.
  1. After becoming aware of a hip-hop artist whose lyrical stylings include “f*ck the police,” “you went to jail as a b*tch, came home as a dyke,” “these niggas was robbing your sh*t,” and lyrics much, much worse than that, OU agreed to pay him $40,000 to perform on campus.
  2. Oklahoma State University recently held its annual “Dragonfly” drag show in which students competed for best drag queen and drag king. The show “is adult in nature,” OSU has warned, “and is not recommended for those under the age of 18.”
  3. Before finally (after months of bad PR) reaching a settlement with a Holocaust victim, OU obstinately displayed in its art museum a painting stolen by the Nazis—all the while using expensive lawyers and complex legal arguments to prevent the victim from getting her family’s painting back. As one attorney, himself a self-described admirer of OU’s president, acknowledged: “Frankly, it is revolting to see our university perpetuate crimes against humanity committed by Hitler.”
  4. The student newspaper at the University of Central Oklahoma recently reported that UCO “will not deny access” to men wanting to use the ladies’ room.
  5. When the clock ran out on a student representing OU in a national college debate tournament, he refused to yield the floor, yelling: “F*ck the time!”
  6. UCO launched a new program geared toward “bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning, and allied students.”
  7. The OU student newspaper reported that some students are committing acts of sodomy in the library.
  8. OU has hired a new diversity czar at an eye-popping $220,000 a year to, among other things, oversee mandatory “diversity training” for new students, covering things like sexual identity, white privilege, and implicit bias. His office has created a “bias hotline” so students can anonymously inform on their neighbors.
  9. A young man who has threatened to “blow your brains out. You a f**k, n***a” enthusiastically performed for members of OU’s SAE fraternity. (And you thought hostile, racist, threatening chants weren’t allowed!)
  10. OU staffers set up a table in the student union to teach students about “safer sex” and provide free condoms for students.
  11. OU hosted a conference on “how to promote reproductive justice in red states.”
  12. “A night full of food and sex is a way some Oklahoma State students relax,” the student newspaper reports, so OSU brought in a sex educator to discuss the matter with students.
  13. OU is continuing its partnership with a hostile foreign power likely responsible for the largest cyber-attack ever carried out against our country.
  14. OU's “Assistant Director for LGBTQ and Health Programs” (yes, that's an actual job title) recently announced the opening of a separate-but-equal “LGBTQ lounge” on campus.
  15. An English professor at Langston University told an “evil” GOP lawmaker “f*ck you” over the lawmaker’s criticism of Obamacare.
  16. OU hosted a “YouTube star and sexual education activist” to give a speech devoted to “dispelling myths around basic human sexuality and removing the social taboos that lead to harmful understandings of sexual matters.”
  17. The Oklahoman reports that “the human resources director at the OU athletics department is complaining in a lawsuit that she has been discriminated against at work because she is black, a woman, and disabled.”
  18. OSU hosted a “trans homoeroticism” lecture and slideshow.
  19. The Oklahoman reports that a former assistant band director at OU has filed a lawsuit against a university regent, “accusing him of gender bias and using his influence to interfere with her employment.”
  20. Oklahoma taxpayers are being forced to pay for “social justice” activism via an “Activist-in-Residence” program at OU.
  21. The OU student newspaper distributed 11,000 latex condoms by attaching them to the front of the newspapers.
  22. “At OU, minority and female faculty members are outnumbered and receive less pay on average than their white male coworkers,” the student newspaper reports.
  23. UCO hosted a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” As the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute points out, “the vulgar messages inherent in this production glorify social deviancy, sexual perversion, and lesbian sexual assaults—all while condemning men!”
  24. Some Oklahomans believe that government subsidies to higher education should be reduced.
[Cross-posted at SeeThruEdu]

May 22, 2016

Gun-Control Advocate David Boren Can't Seem to Stay Out of Politics

"Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg is on a mission to bring his New York City values to Oklahoma," Travis Couture-Lovelady writes in the Tulsa World.
He knows Oklahomans value their freedoms and would reject his efforts if he presented them for what they are—an attempt to impose his gun-control agenda on law-abiding gun owners—so he is using underhanded tactics to try and deceive folks. Bloomberg has enlisted local gun control supporters to sell his agenda as “common sense” gun safety. The point man for his insidious campaign is University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who sits on the board of Everytown USA, one of Bloomberg’s gun-control groups. Bloomberg and Boren are using influential business leaders to spread lies about a bill that would let voters amend their state Constitution. If the Constitution could be amended, gun rights would be strengthened.
The proposed amendment is "an effort to repair Oklahomans' right to arms," Oklahoma City University law professor Michael O'Shea has explained. But Mr. Boren—who just can't seem to stay out of politics—wants no part of it.

May 11, 2016

OU Launches 'Bias Hotline' So People Can Anonymously Inform on Their Neighbors

Campus Reform has the story. And over at Reason.com, Robby Soave shows us where this all leads ("The University of Oregon’s Thought Police Investigate Students for Saying Anything").

I enjoyed some of the reactions I got on Twitter after I posted the OU story:














May 07, 2016

Is Diversity Training Effective?

"We don’t know," Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim write today in in The Wall Street Journal ("Hard Truths About Race on Campus").
Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars that corporations and universities spend on them each year, such programs “have never been evaluated with experimental methods,” as a comprehensive 2009 study in the Annual Review of Psychology concluded. 
The evaluations that have been done are not encouraging. A major 2007 review of diversity training in corporations concluded that “on average, programs designed to reduce bias among managers responsible for hiring and promotion have not worked.” A review of diversity interventions published in 2014 in the journal Science noted that these programs “often induce ironic negative effects (such as reactance or backlash) by implying that participants are at fault for current diversity challenges.” 
In the past few years, a new approach has gained attention and become a common demand of campus protesters: microaggression training. Microaggressions are defined as brief and commonplace daily indignities, whether intentional or not, that make people of color feel denigrated or insulted. The idea covers everything from asking someone where they are from to questioning the merits of affirmative action during a classroom discussion. [At the University of Oklahoma, some students are taught that the phrase "if you work hard enough, you will succeed" is a racist microaggression.] 
But microaggression training is likely to backfire and increase racial tensions. The term itself encourages moralistic responses to actions that are often unintentional and sometimes even well-meaning. Once something is labeled an act of aggression, it activates an oppressor-victim narrative, which calls out to members of the aggrieved group to rally around the victim. As the threshold for what counts as an offense falls ever lower, cross-racial interactions become more dangerous, and conflict increases. 
Protesters also have demanded that microaggression training be coupled with anonymous reporting systems [predictably, OU has one of these] and “bias response teams.” Students are encouraged to report any instance when they witness or suffer a microaggression. It is the “see something, say something” mind-set, transferred from terrorism threats to conversational blunders and ambiguities. 
But such systems make it far more important to keep track of everyone by race. How would your behavior change if anything you said could be misinterpreted, taken out of context and then reported—anonymously and with no verification—to a central authority with the power to punish you? Wouldn’t faculty and students of all races grow more anxious and guarded whenever students from other backgrounds were present? ... 
So what should a college president do when faced with protesters’ demands? The essential first step is to take the long view and seek hard evidence about what will work, rather than spending vast sums of money to respond to the political pressures of the moment. ... Because the current evidence about diversity programs is so inconclusive, universities and their social-science faculties also should take the lead in designing experiments—true experiments, with control conditions and random assignment of students—to evaluate existing efforts and proposed new ones. Given the frequency with which well-intentioned programs backfire, no program should be implemented widely until it has first been rigorously tested. ... 
The policies and programs that universities have pursued over the past half-century don’t seem to be working, at least as judged by the recent campus unrest, so reflexively expanding them probably isn’t the answer. The time may be right for a bold college president to propose a different approach, one based on the available evidence about what works and what doesn’t. That would be the best way to create a university community in which everyone feels welcome.

April 12, 2016

More White-Shaming at the University of Oklahoma

Students are learning all about "privilege" and "microaggressions" in a human relations theory class at the University of Oklahoma.

April 09, 2016

Looks Like That 'Gender Studies' Class Had the Desired Effect

OSU held its 10th annual "Dragonfly" drag show this week, The O'Colly reports, in which students competed for "best drag queen and drag king. All proceeds from the show supported Freedom Oklahoma, an organization that lobbies on behalf of the state's LGBT community."
Papa Molly, a drag king and political science major, said she thinks of the event as a platform as well. It's not only to showcase her personality but to also make a statement about what's considered masculine and what's feminine. "Last semester, I took a gender studies class and it totally rocked my world," said Molly, also known as Aeryanna.
Apparently these shows aren't for the faint of heart. As OSU noted regarding the 2014 performance held in the Wes Watkins Center, "This show is adult in nature and is not recommended for those under the age of 18. Parental guidance is suggested."