Silliness washing over Duke in Fall 2003

So far this semester folks at Duke University have been so awash in concerns over racism, sexism, and homophobia, that Duke has risked appearing like a parody of the “politically correct” university.

Every two issues, a college journalist misuses rape statistics

A news article in The Daily Tar Heel April 24 contained a shocking lead: “A woman is raped every two minutes. Almost one in every four women between the ages of 18 and 24 is a survivor of sexual assault.”
No sources for this information are given — which is mildly surprising since it is published in the campus newspaper for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a UNC flagship university with a well-known school of journalism. It is not, however, unusual for any campus discussion of that particular subject.

New web site offers data backing up grade-inflation concerns

A Duke University professor of environmental science has reinvigorated the national debate over grade inflation. Professor Stuart Rojstaczer announced a web site,, wherein he has compiled data on over 50 colleges and universities nationwide showing how average grade-point-averages at them over time have risen. Rojstaczer also announced his findings in a Jan. 28 Washington Post column.

The Top 10 Nuttiest Campus Events in N.C. for 2002

One of the fun things about a new year is looking back and razzing the events of the old. January, after all, is named after the Latin god Janus, who has two faces, one looking forward and the other backward. With a new year fast approaching, let us look back on the nuttiest, most ridiculous happenings in higher education in North Carolina in 2002 — and look forward to more of the same in 2003.

Combined teach-in will focus on the fight against fundamentalism

“Women Fight Fundamentalisms: Before and After September 11th” will be the topic of a two-day “teach-in” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. The teach-in will build upon the national consensus forged on Sept. 11 against the extremist, militant interpretation of Islam wielded by the terrorist al-Qu’eda organization, Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban. That aberration of Islam is particularly vicious in its treatment of women. The topic of the teach-in is not, however, limited to the fight against that “fundamentalist” version of Islam by women. As the title clearly indicates, the topic is women fighting “fundamentalisms” (plural).

Universities return to business as usual, fighting racism, sexism, homophobia

A month has past since the attacks on New York and Washington. Although most in the campus community are, like nearly all Americans, horrified by the attacks and wanting some semblance of justice brought to the perpetrators, a very vocal minority on university campuses is intermittently making new proclamations of U.S. culpability in terrorism. (A forum sponsored by the University Scholars Program at North Carolina State University featuring N.C. State professor of plant pathology Bob Bruck was the latest example of the latter.)