Thursday, May 12, 2022

The debasement of academia

Looking at something I can't recall on youtube the other evening, there was an advert, one of those quick ones, saying that for a certain amount, you can get your BSc by ... and that's where I clicked out.

A commodity you can buy.  Everyone, regardless of ability, can get one of these to parade before a job interview panel.  Sigh.  Yet the gravitas and pomp at university events is still at full blare, now all dressed up, pompous and most importantly, politically Woke.

Excerpts from an American Thinker article on graduation day:

This senior had an impressive résumé, including an impending Bachelor of Science degrees in statistical science and economics with a religion minor.  She had been an editor with the Duke student newspaper and a Young Trustee Finalist, had studied at the Ecologic Institute in Germany for a summer, and was a Duke Student Government senator, among other accomplishments, and she "is passionate about empowering women of color in STEM," according to the commencement program biography.


 

At Duke, students apply to be commencement speaker.  The applicants face two rounds before a speaker is chosen by committee.  Unfortunately, this 2022 committee did not perform its due diligence.  On May 9, the Duke University student newspaper, The Chronicle, published a piece detailing the overt similarities between this student's speech and a speech given at a Harvard commencement by a student from Kuwait in 2014.  As I type this essay, Duke has already removed Sunday's speech in question from the university's 2022 Commencement main website.

Further:
Following the events in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the esteemed symbol of Duke University itself — the Duke Chapel — was the scene of criminal activity.  Vandals significantly damaged the face of a Robert E. Lee statue, which was one of ten figures overlooking the entrance of the chapel.  Duke president Vincent Price, who presided over the 2022 commencement, immediately removed the statue without notice, "to express the university's values."   
This event provided the impetus for President Price to form a commission to "guide the president and the Board of Trustees when an issue arises related to the appropriateness of a memorial or the naming of a facility on campus."  Regardless of one's position on Confederate statue management, the violence of anonymous vandals was rewarded by Duke University leadership.
Read more: 


Sadly, we've been through it all, at least since I began blogging and there's little point rehashing it, except for one aspect which increasingly galls me.  I was one of the least Academic in demeanour, having come from other fields in life and yet I did go through a certain rigour in qualifying for the various rungs but I'm afraid the word 'mountebank' hovers on the lips when trying to describe various poseurs described in this and other articles.

Yet look at the writer herself.  I deliberately left the errors in the opening paragraph above, see if you can identify the two I saw.  Now, it's not the making of errors which is the issue ... I make them often enough at the pace I collate, but were it a signature article for American Thinker, I'd hope I'd do a certain amount of proofreading before sending.  Perhaps she did.

As one who, himself, was guilty of encouraging girls into academia, I must conclude that there are certain very female traits which keep appearing and one I've mentioned many times ... that mania of hanging onto The Title, especially in social media monikers, rather than pointing to the summary of accomplishments, stated clearly but with a certain self deprecation.

Together with the Wokeness poking out at the oddest moments, like a cloven hoof.  Juss sayin'.

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