We Can't Wait for Universities to Fix Themselves. So We're Starting a New One.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Tireman 44444, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    So much is broken in America. But higher education might be the most fractured institution of all.

    There is a gaping chasm between the promise and the reality of higher education. Yale’s motto is Lux et Veritas, light and truth. Harvard proclaims: Veritas. Young men and women of Stanford are told Die Luft der Freiheit weht: The wind of freedom blows.

    These are soaring words. But in these top schools, and in so many others, can we actually claim that the pursuit of truth—once the central purpose of a university—remains the highest virtue? Do we honestly believe that the crucial means to that end—freedom of inquiry and civil discourse—prevail when illiberalism has become a pervasive feature of campus life?

    We Can't Wait for Universities to Fix Themselves. So We're Starting a New One. - by Pano Kanelos - Common Sense with Bari Weiss (substack.com)
    nomaduser likes this.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    An elite university that's friendly to non-prevailing schools of thought? I dub thee... Heterodoxford!
  3. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    It draws attention; even in Germany. It was mentioned prominently on the website of a (conservative) news magazine.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    It seems to be out of someone's apartment.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The address they're using, 2112 Rio Grande Street, is a lawyer's office, which makes sense at this stage.

    (Perhaps inadvertently, it's also a shoutout to a great Rush album.)
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Ignorant people with a huge agenda are already making inept comparisons to Trump University by noting it doesn't award degrees and isn't accredited.


    Trump used the term "university" like some corporations and organizations do with their learning departments. They never meant to convey they were a degree-granting institution.

    This thing looks like a start-up would. No degrees, no accreditation, but funding and a purpose. I don't happen to agree with the purpose, but there's nothing nefarious about it.
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  7. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

    So the new “University of Austin” has a .org for its website:


    I guess this is because it is just starting up. What does it take, and how long does it take, for a school to “earn” a .edu ?
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Only U.S.-based postsecondary institutions holding institutional accreditation from one of the agencies on the U.S. Department of Education's list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies are eligible for .edu domain name registration."

    Maniac Craniac and Asymptote like this.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Without turning this into a political debate, I feel like if you want to start a right leaning school then that's fine. You might disagree with Hillsdale but nobody really argues it isn't a legitimate institution with solid academic footing.

    Even if only joking, invoking the name of Joe Rogan for your institution of higher learning is a questionable decision.
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  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    In fairness, the complete quote is this:

    Neither Elon Musk nor Joe Rogan would be draws for me either. But we're not the target market, and I gather this is an attempt to not look like a bunch of fuddy-duddies with no sense of humor.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Oh I get it. The problem I have is that it comes off, to me at least, like when you're in high school and your friend's 46 year old dad drops some random references to show you how cool he is.

    Beyond that, the school focuses on this incredibly vague notion of "truth" which it states is somehow lacking from almost every other school and thus creating a void for them to fill. How will they fill it? I dunno. But a lot of the value proposition seems to be similar to Parler which, far from being a bastion of "free speech," just became an echo chamber.
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  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Actually, I'm 48 now.

    Oh... you meant generally. :D

    The problem with free speech platforms like Parler is that they only attract those who have been ostracized elsewhere, usually for good reason.

    So if this turns out to be the academic equivalent to Parler that will be pretty awful. But I don't see the Parler crowd and the Heterodox as quite the same, so for now I'll reserve judgment.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There is a fundamental problem with this idea: the truth.

    See, scholarship is about finding the truth. But the truth is the enemy of operations like these that have a pre-set agenda. They're a conclusion in search of evidence, instead of the other way around. But contrary evidence is like Kryptonite to these people, and they get very frustrated by majority views that are contrary to theirs. So, instead of trying to prove their point, they go off and start their own school. This is the "take my ball and go home" approach. And it will fail.

    Assuming this school sticks to its founding dogmatic principles, it will fail because:
    • Academics. I mentioned this above. There is only going to be so much room for students and faculty to go in their research before they start crossing lines that have been drawn for them.
    • Funding. Where is it going to come from? Unless there is a huge sugar-daddy (like the fundamentalist schools we saw arise from the likes of Oral Roberts, Jerry Fallwell, and Pat Roberts) who will continue to actively back the effort, it will fail. It will not be able to raise enough money on its own, unless it is very, very good at recruiting students and retaining faculty to teach them. Thus...
    • Students and Faculty. With a very limited world view, there will also be a limited number of students and faculty available who will join the movement. It will either tire out or, more likely, it will evolve. Either way, the original concept will be lost.
    I know conservatives often feel like ducks out of water in academia. But there's a reason for that. The truth has one side, not two. Instead of quitting and going home, why not stay and stand up for what you believe? The facts will lead to truths which will lead the way.
  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Now that we've supplied them with The Truth, all that's left is to silence those who question it.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In what way is anyone silenced?

    Snowflakes treat any disagreement with their cherished ideas to be shunning, silencing, cancelling, etc.
  16. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    I do not know how accurate this is, but....


    David Huyssen


    As the University of Austin begins to collapse from poor management decisions and staff alienation, its claim to being a real university has never been stronger.
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  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm definitely not saying it's impossible that their project is not as rosy as depicted, especially as I said already that it seems like they have a lot of people involved who may be accustomed to being the dominant thought leaders in their particular environments.

    Still, it would be nice if Huyssen's snark were leavened with a little evidence.
  18. Asymptote

    Asymptote Member

  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yikes. Okay, yeah, that would count.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

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