How Higher Ed Destroyed Its Brand

Jonathan Haidt, prolific author, social psychologist, and business school professor at New York University, gave a phenomenal speech at the University of Virginia last night, describing how higher-ed in the United States has destroyed its best-in-the-world global brand and what might be done to restore it.

The Jefferson Council was pleased to have hosted the event in partnership with UVA’s College Republicans, Center for Politics, and Heterodox Academy.

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James B Newman
James B Newman
4 months ago

It was an extraordinary presentation last night. I ordered all of this books this morning.

walter smith
walter smith
4 months ago

The presentation was fantastic, even though I would disagree with him on a couple of points. (See how civil discourse works?)
It is a shame UVA lost him. When he referred to UVA as “we,” I had a glimmer of hope we might get him back.
I encourage everyone to listen to these very well stated and sincere problems with the state of the academy from within the academy by someone who loves the academy in its highest aspirations.

His description of his son getting wait-listed after applying early decision points to something going on in admissions. Purely numerically, I would find it hard to believe there were more out of State applicants with higher credentials, but that is another area where UVA has been less than forthcoming, while signaling it intends to ignore the Students for Fair Admissions decision (and the law!) as much as possible.

UVA Student
UVA Student
4 months ago

Hi,

To demonstrate your commitment to highlighting a diversity of viewpoints and expression, I would like to request that you reach out to the Center for Politics to work to invite a well known prominent academic, especially a Palestinian academic, to give a lecture on the current situation in Israel/Palestine, followed by an open audience Q&A.

At a time when Palestinian perspectives are far to often censored, this would be courageous.

I disagree with almost everything that the Jefferson Council advocates for. However, if you were to consider this request and carry through with it, I would gain respect for you. At the same time, I’m not very hopeful, as, based on my experience, it seems that the Jefferson Council only believes in free speech that it agrees with, which is unfortunate.

I’d be more than happy to be proven wrong.

Here are some potential options that I would ask that you consider. They are experts in their field and would all be able to provide important perspectives and insights on the situation.

Thank you for your consideration.

walter smith
walter smith
4 months ago
Reply to  UVA Student

While you’re asking TJC, with no money, to prove its commitment to free speech, why not ask UVA to do the same with its $14 billion endowment?
I suspect you are also “Shame” who commented pretty vociferously on some of the Palestinian articles. Were you censored?
If you are also “Shame,” you were invited to the Haidt event. Did you come? If you came, were you mistreated in any way? If you did not come, was it due to a conflict, or by your choice?

I don’t think you have any experience with TJC to say that you disagree with what (TJC) “advocates for” nor do I see how you can disagree with it. You can read what our goals are, what do you disagree with and why?

Why don’t you prove your commitment to free speech and attend one of our events? Ask a respectful question? Find the money for one of the speakers you suggest, and we’ll try to find one for the other side and put up an event.

And, just curious, why do you think you have to be anonymous? Who are you scared of? Enemies to the Left or the Right? We think you should be able to speak, and not masked. That’s how free speech is supposed to work.

angela box
angela box
4 months ago

So glad you all were able to have him.

Clarity77
Clarity77
4 months ago

I have been a long time fan of Professor Haidt and I too was saddened years ago by his departure from UVA as he always has been a clear and compelling voice for truth as Jefferson so envisioned and inspired for anyone who chose to come to the University and drink from the cup of knowledge. His presentation at Nau Hall was concise and right on point. A very clear indictment of our top universities, including UVA, as to the rot and abuse inflicted by the left who as Haidt pointed out value not truth but instead a perversion of such in the form of social justice. `

I was struck by Haidt’s obvious enduring love for UVA which he related started at first sight when he stepped onto the Lawn to witness the magic, as he termed it, of Jefferson’s Academical Village. And then to see the joy in the faces of students either studying there in that beautiful setting or throwing frisbees to each other. His heart was set on some day being a teacher to those happy students. Which dream he then later fulfilled to the betterment of UVA, its students and now alumni. He holds out hope for his own son who has applied for admission as a loving father would rightfully so dream and want. He has the courage to call out his own colleagues in academia as to what I would term the evil(not Haidt’s word but mine) that they are currently inflicting especially in the form of DEI Identitarianism.

Haidt made the case that UVA is uniquely positioned to be the very example to the rest of the worldwide university community as to effecting a restoration of the brand that has been systematically destroyed by the left who now sits in charge. So who is really in charge at UVA, is it Ryan or is it not in fact the BOV and the current Virginia governor who each swore an oath to look out for the best interests of the people of Virginia which includes the education of their children based not on a perverted concept of social justice but rather enduring truth?

A final point, as to those happy faces of students which like Haidt, I and my son well remember and experienced the same as students. In sharp contrast, a couple years back at lunch with Ryan, I asked his permission to attend the scheduled first year orientation session for UVA students transitioning their gender in the new swank LGBTQ+ Center in Newcomb. I was of course the only old guy sitting there but I was absolutely shocked and saddened by the observed state of depression and clear lack of happiness in their faces. Especially as a doctor I could not believe that UVA was acting to be complicit and that the UVA orientation speaker was encouraging what is clearly harmful to the health and well being of current UVA students. Absolute madness and a medical travesty which Europe and its medical community has turned away from but which is still in existence in this nation. Who is going to stand up to help these students?!!!

Is UVA currently acting as part of the solution or part of the problem as to the sickness inflicted by the left on both our universities and its students? Professor Haidt has made a clear diagnosis and even a treatment plan to restore health. Does it not behoove all concerned and responsible to act?