Higher education reveals itself.

Palestinian supporters gather for a protest at Columbia University, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, in New York.
(AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)

Paul GleiserHigher education reveals itself.

Some good comes of everything, even if it comes from something horrible. The October 7 attack on Israel by the terrorist organization Hamas was horrific, brutal, and evil. It evokes memories of the horrors visited upon Jews by Nazi Germany. I think of all reports from that terrible day, the one that bothers me most is the story of the anguished screams of a mother whose baby was placed in the kitchen oven by Hamas terrorists who then burned the baby alive. That’s just one of many examples of unspeakable, unimaginable evil.

But for all the horror, it’s possible that something good could emerge from that terrible October day in Israel. That good could take the form of a long-overdue day of reckoning for American higher education.

When news of the October 7 attack broke, it didn’t take long for the militant, unhinged leftism that is to an ever-greater degree crowding out legitimate academic rigor on elite university campuses to reveal itself. Yale University anthropology professor Zareena Grewal offered this gem.

Prayers for Palestinians. Israel is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle, solidarity.”

At Stanford University an instructor asked students how many Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust. When a student answered six million, the instructor said, “Israel is a colonizer and more individuals have been killed by colonization.”

Pro-Hamas, anti-Israel rallies that have been frequently accompanied by violence have broken out on elite university campuses. Detestable and idiotic antisemitic statements from elite university professors – who if they wish to call themselves educated should know better – have been all over social media.

In too many cases, the presidents at these elite institutions have revealed themselves to be wishy-washy ‘on-one hand-but-on-the-other-hand’ invertebrates. Yale president Peter Salovey did condemn the Hamas attack. But he then permitted a university spokesperson to water down that condemnation with a boilerplate statement saying, “Yale is committed to freedom of expression, and the comments posted on Professor Grewal’s personal accounts represent her own views,” and blah, blah, blah.

All of this has at last opened previously blind eyes to how far American higher education has fallen. Yale University, like most of its peers, is in fact not at all committed to freedom of expression. Ask the single-digit percentage of faculty who identify as conservative. They know that if they come out of that closet public condemnation and professional ostracization will quickly follow.

The truth is college degrees in general and elite university degrees in particular are increasingly not worth what they cost. That’s one reason that companies like Apple, IBM, Wal-Mart and many others are dropping college degree requirements for much of their hiring. All the major U.S. airlines have stopped requiring college degrees for pilots.

Campus reaction to October 7 has hastened a long-overdue examination of American higher education. Market forces may now succeed where conservative policy makers have failed. Creative destruction of the higher education paradigm may at long last be at hand, clearing the field for something better.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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7 Responses

  1. Shirley Qualls says:

    Excellent! You have a great gift!

  2. Dan Bullard says:

    I worked in the Electronics industry for 40 years without a college degree and recently discovered six laws of physics describing how harmonics are created in electronics, in vibrations, in the universe. Does anybody listen to me? Nope, I have no standing, but luckily the word is getting out.

  3. Greg R says:

    Instead of calling it higher education, maybe a better name would be higher priced education or better yet, higher indoctrination.

  4. Elaine says:

    Guess it helped me to only attended two semesters of college. No funds.
    I asked my mom if she minded if I went to work and discovered my true
    calling. Neither of us couldafford it. She and my sis paid of her student
    loans. I had a 3 day class at AT&T that gave me a job till I retired. It was
    one of the Hunt companies, Placid Oil. Loved them and their executives.
    Those were men who treated each employee as their own . Most started out
    on the oil rigs. Was blessed to have a Corporate Receptionist and telecom programming job in three companies. 1975-2015. Best leaders anyone could
    want. AM 34 YEARS SOBER AND 32 NOT SMOKING thanks to Our Father in Heaven. Male pronouns don’t bother me at all1 Most churches don’t refer to him that way now….but this lady does He was my main Father growing up and still is. Grew up in a violent home, but mother made sure we worshipped on Sunday

  5. Mike says:

    Amazing we went from approximately $400 bucks a semester for books, classes, labs, parking, etc. at major Universities in the 70’s and early 80’s to what it is now for a full ride college education. Let’s face it, colleges in the Blue States or those of Ivy League snobbery, will never conform to those of us who attended those “State” colleges in the South. We are vastly different in our culture and upbringing. Bridging that gap will be almost impossible. For those of us who worked part time at one job and had another on weekends to pay for that token amount of $400 per semester have little pity for all those thin skin knuckleheads who whine and complain about such an unfair life to pay for their schooling. Granted, an education costing over $100K is outrageous; but one cannot convince me they did not know about the costs and risks going into it. My college classes taught me life will eat you alive if you let it. We learned to work hard, work smart, adapt, and overcome whatever our professors tossed at us. These creampuffs that are coming out of so-called higher education today cannot do math, speak, or write anything without a smart phone, Alexa, or Siri. No wonder they are so gullible and naive to believe the lies thrown at them. Technology has ruined our intestinal fortitude and ability to think for ourselves. Our schools and us as parents have failed in allowing these institutions to bring all this into the classroom and poison our kids’ minds.

  6. Darrell Durham says:

    The protesters chant for freedom and a ceasefire, both of which have been tried before. They also call for eradication of the Jews, just as Hitler did. Germany began a propaganda blitz and society indoctrination campaign to legitimize their actions, just like Hamas has done. World War II began because Hitler’s deeds. The Arabs began fighting immediately upon creation of Israel and insist on it’s death. The recent events show these protestors know nothing about history, and have opened the eyes of lots of donors to these elitist schools. Will the buck stop here?

  7. Buddy Saunders says:

    Very few of my 135 employees have college degrees. As a consequence, very few are burdened with college debt. Higher education even as it has been made more expensive, has concurrently become more useless for many. For example, a young man, a good friend of my son, upon graduating with a business degree, ended up working as a manager of a health food store in a mall, earning so little that it will take him forever to pay off his college debt. By contrast, when I got a teaching degree from East Texas State at time when the federal government hadn’t yet made a college education so expensive, I funded my education through a modest little mail-order business I started in junior high, and graduated with absolutely no college debt.

    So sad that young people today are saddled with enormous personal debt for a product that more and more is proving to be a total waste.

    Quality education in many universities has taken a backseat to an agenda of woke indoctrination, with a predictable consequent decline in quality. That isn’t something new. It has been going on for some years.

    To give an example, several years ago we hired an individual with a degree English. Based on his writing skills, I would describe him as semi-literate. He wrote at the level of grade school student. Yet in time, he moved on, thinking he was qualified to teach English at the college level. And, sad to say, maybe he was right!

    My company has gone from not caring if an applicant has a college degree to a college degree being a red flag.

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