Higher “Education”

“Black Studies” reason d’etre revealed, in a piece by Naomi Schaefer Riley, who was fired last week from The Chronicles of Higher Education blog for daring to question the academic validity of the discipline:

As Ellen Schrecker, a Yeshiva University historian, writes in her book “The Lost Soul of Higher Education,” political ends were the goals of the founders of black studies. Ms. Schrecker—who is, by the way, sympathetic to these political goals—explains that the discipline’s proponents “viewed these programs as contributions to the continuing struggle for racial justice, not as conventional academic courses of study.”

What did Riley do to lose her job? She questions the academic quality of graduate student’s dissertations.

I suggested that the dissertation topics of the graduate students mentioned were obscure at best and “a collection of left-wing victimization claptrap,” at worst.

For instance, the author of a dissertation on the history of black midwifery began her research, she told the Chronicle, because she “noticed that nonwhite women’s experiences were largely absent from natural-birth literature.” Another graduate student blamed the housing crisis in America on institutional racism. And a third argued that conservatives like Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas and John McWhorter have “played one of the most-significant roles in the assault on the civil-rights legacy that benefited them.”

She, of course, was accused of racism, and the academic powers-that-be collected 6,500 signatures demanding she be fired. Trayvon Martin’s name was mentioned in criticism of her post.

This is the state of education. Buyer beware. WSJ editiorial on the subject:

It is hard not to note the context in which Ms. McMillen dismissed Naomi Riley for committing speech. Now more than ever, too many college graduates discover that their expensive higher educations send them into a modern workplace with skills that few employers want or need. The graduates sit home, unemployed and unemployable. Meanwhile, back inside the school walls, the Chronicle of Higher Education stands ready to eliminate any writer who causes distress to the modern generation of scholars who teach these students.

You cannot question.

What does “Black studies” qualify one to … do? I googled it. One answer:

* Advocate
* Business Manager
* Civil Services Worker
* Field Organizer
* Historian
* Public Service Worker
* Social Worker
* Museum Curator
* Non-profit Foundation Manager
* Professor


Related, this story. Apparently, earning a PhD entitles you to a successful career.

I am not a welfare queen,” says Melissa Bruninga-Matteau.

That’s how she feels compelled to start a conversation about how she, a white woman with a Ph.D. in medieval history and an adjunct professor, came to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. Ms. Bruninga-Matteau, a 43-year-old single mother who teaches two humanities courses at Yavapai College, in Prescott, Ariz., says the stereotype of the people receiving such aid does not reflect reality. Recipients include growing numbers of people like her, the highly educated, whose advanced degrees have not insulated them from financial hardship.

She teaches TWO CLASSES. Two. Who is to blame? Certainly not her intellectual prowess in medieval history. No, It’s the “systematic defunding of higher education.”

“Everyone thinks a Ph.D. pretty much guarantees you a living wage and, from what I can tell, most commentators think that college professors make $100,000 and more,” he says. “But I’ve been hearing all year from nontenure-track faculty making under $20,000, and I don’t know anyone who believes you can raise a family on that. Even living as a single person on that salary is tough, if you want to eat something other than ramen noodles every once in a while.”

It’s called supply and demand. And if you are unable to get a full-time job in academia … just as if you can’t get a full time job out in the real world, you are not going to be making a lot of money.

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3 Comments on “Higher “Education””

  1. Trayvon Martin’s name was mentioned in criticism of her post.

    Of course it was.

    He’s the bloody shirt of the 21st Century.
    And the people beaten and murdered in his name? Notsomuch.

  2. Steve B Says:

    Who the festering heck spends the time and money to get a PH frickin’ D in MEDIEVAL HISTORY and then has the stones to lament their lack of job prospects in the open market?

    Yes, this is a free country. You are free to pursue whatever educational track you want. Good on ya. But, chick, pullease. LIfe has consequences. What possible job can you hope to get with a PHD in Medieval history except….teaching Medieval History?

    Nuckin futz.

  3. Car in Says:

    Yea, that had me lecturing my children last night.

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