No more ‘elite’ universities


By Dr. Harold A. Black

I don’t know who anointed certain universities as “elite” but they are elite no more. Presumably, those universities once had the highest standards for admissions – test scores and GPAs – had rigorous curricula and courses and placed their graduates in the highest paying most prestigious positions. However, these same universities have revealed that they are no longer elite with their pro-Hamas, anti-Israel and antisemitic demonstrations. Jewish students have been attacked, harassed and threatened. Some have wondered why all of a sudden this has happened.

First, I would bet that most of the demonstrators are in the humanities or most disturbingly are law students. Science students, business students, engineering students and their professors do not seem to be as active participants as those in the humanities.

Second, the best and brightest students are no longer the most likely to be admitted to the so-called “elite” schools. White males, Jews and Asians find their admission applications rejected in favor of “disadvantaged” students who have lower test scores and GPAs. Schools have dropped the SAT and GPAs as admission criteria in the name of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The admission offices at the elite schools were first instituted to limit Jewish enrollment in the early 1900s. Now they are being used again to limit the number of Jews as their enrollment has fallen dramatically in the age of DEI. Also, DEI has discriminated against Asians as well. Even though the Supreme Court has ruled against discrimination on the basis of race, universities are actively trying to find ways to circumvent the ruling. The result is that the student bodies of “elite” universities are no longer “elite”.

Third, the “elite” universities use DEI in faculty appointments and require sitting faculty to sign DEI statements and are tested for “implicit biases.”

Fourth, have also dumbed down their curricula. No one, however biased, would argue that courses are as rigorous as they were in the past. Curricula are now littered with feel good courses and majors such as black, gender, green, Latino and trans studies while the classics, language, mathematics, science, economics, accounting and more rigorous courses are no longer required.

Fifth, many of the faculty in the feel good subjects would have difficulty acquiring tenure and promotion in traditional departments. Thus, the universities have created separate departments for the feel-good subjects in order for those faculty to become tenured and promoted. Consequently, many faculty are no longer “elite.”

Sixth, even those courses that were formerly difficult have themselves become less rigorous. There are fewer term papers, fewer reading lists and less demanding tests (if tests are even given). GPAs are inflated.

Seventh, students are being indoctrinated rather than taught. Opinions opposed to the DEI narrative are not tolerated. Conservative speakers are disinvited or shouted down. Professors have been sanctioned for “misgendering” students, questioning affirmative action or the trans agenda.

Eighth, the students who are admitted are told that they are victims and if they are not victims they are oppressors. This certainly does not make for a warm, inviting and cordial college atmosphere.

All this means that the “elite” universities are no longer distinguished by either their students, academic rigor or their professors. Perhaps science, business and engineering may have higher standards and more rigorous courses. But the arts and humanities and even the law are no longer elite. Most of their graduates will find employment in the arts and humanities and continue poisoning the minds of our youth. They are not likely to enter MBA or graduate programs in business or science. More importantly they will be teachers and continue their spreading ignorance regarding capitalism and the financial system (the Denver and Colorado teachers are the poster children for dumbness). They will be the ones proselytizing DEI, the Green New Deal and socialism. The demise of the “elite” universities is just the latest manifestation of the mediocrity that has permeated our society.

Further evidence of the lack of intellectual curiosity of the student protestors at the former elite universities is that the majority of them have no idea about the names of the river and sea in their anti-Israel chant of “Palestine from river to sea”. Some even think that Yasser Arafat was the prime minister of Israel. And these are our best and brightest? Hardly. At least 34 student groups at Harvard signed a document blaming Israel for the attack by Hamas. I would not hire a single one of those students.

I would rather hire graduates of our land grant universities. They may be infected too but they probably won’t be as pompous or as high priced.