For John, BLUF: Higher Education is heading for a big crash. Nothing to see here; just move along.
In a way I am surprised that The Washington Post would allow Law Professor Eugene Volokh to post this item:♠ "UC teaching faculty members not to criticize race-based affirmative action, call America ‘melting pot,’ and more". The article gives us an overview of the University of California position on microaggression as a form of a hostile learning environment.♥
Here is how it wraps up:
So let’s see if I understand it. “Microaggressions” are defined as “send[ing] denigrating messages” based (in relevant part) on race. Unsurprisingly, they are labeled as potentially leading to “hostile learning environments,” which the university and the federal government views as legally actionable. The university as an employer is telling its employees, including many employees who don’t have tenure, that expressing certain views is a “micro aggression.”Hat tip to Ann Althouse.
But then the university insists that it’s “preserving academic freedom and the free flow of ideas.” Because, you know, lecturers, adjuncts, not-yet-tenured faculty members, and so on, will read this and say, “sure, I can express my ideas condemning affirmative action, and be labeled by UC as engaging in ‘microaggressions’ — of course UC isn’t going to retaliate against me for that.” Doesn’t seem to reflect how actual employees behave in the face of such statements from the employer’s Office of the President, Academic and Personnel Programs department.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Well, the newspaper has been taken over by Mr Jeff Bezos.
♥ Actionable under Title IX, which is driving not only an unfortunate growth of Administrators in Higher Education, thus driving up cost, but also driving various sources of insanity.