Follow The Money:Toward A Better Yale

Last week Peter Salovey,president of Yale University,wrote an open letter to the Yale community.(https://messages.Yale.edu/messages/University/univmsgs/detail/129760)in which he addressed a need to unify the university by paying attention to the feelings of alienation,disaffection and even open hostility to a pervading Yale ethos of insider elitism.He outlined an impressive set of actions to be taken. These actions will cost money and Indicates that at this time the university and it’s trustees are taking seriously the wave of student(and faculty)unrest sweeping the nation.Yale is dealing with the issue of Calhoun residential college,the opening of a coequal Singaporean campus and the opening of a West campus in New Haven.(See elsewhere in this blog.) I was present during the mid 1960s riots in New Haven which brought about strong feeling directed toward and against reforms.(particularly around health)This appears to be more than the epiphany of one or two persons.If so,once again,Well done old Eli.We’ll wait and see if money continues to follow the stated commitment.We are not naive enough to expect that the percentage of available dollars will be trouble free public knowledge.

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5 Comments

  1. There is a good percentage of people who feel as you do.Unfortunately most would not agree with you that “race is unimportant and should be considered so”.Those who condemn the Yale communication would almost certainly consider Yale suitable for the best minds(knowable in advance)and substantially so on the basis of race..Those who commend the communication would also consider race important as a deterrent to objectivity and fairness.Recorded history and evolutionary history,as best we can determine it,seem to corroborate its importance.The Yale communication points at the disaffected for whatever reason,as needing to be addressed and in the time and hour of “The Wolf”(Isis,Isl,Dash and the psychopathic criminals who use the proliferation of arms to terrify and despoil)needing to be turned back from joining with the wolves.

    1. “deterrent to objectivity and fairness”???

      My point is that race is not intrinsically important except for a few issues having to do with probable susceptibility to some diseases. It is a fact that vast numbers of imaginative people invent reasons to make race distinctions important in their lives. Because such feelings lack a rooting in anything of substance, because it is subjective in its sources and motives, its impact trajectories are helter-skelter. The emotions of superiority, inferiority, victimization, dominance, specialness, all can be fueled with various blends of fabricated belief. Shared collectively, these inclinations become magnified – become more potent for serving whatever the believer’s emotional appetite may CRAVE. This creates complex, navigation problems for everyone. So, race is important to everyone – but only to the degree that populations allow themselves to conjure reasons to believe that it is important. The greater the number of people who realize that race does not have to be important, the sooner the immense waste and pain linked to these fantasy beliefs will abate.

  2. There is something incongruous about young adults who have successfully attained admission to one of the most prestigious schools in the world ranting with righteous indignation that they have been wronged. They demand protection from exposure to opinions or actions that might be interpreted as offensive.

    How often does someone we would call “adult” become emotionally offended? Doesn’t the emotion we call “taking offense” require first an attitude of self-righteousness? I think that the term “adult” refers to those who demonstrate that they can emotionally handle criticism (even from those who are rude). Adults seek and react positively to new information and new points of view. Also, isn’t this openness-to-other-ideas a key component intrinsic to the essence of “dialogue”? What is more important in an educational institution? A state of mind capable of “taking offense” must signify the existence of a fundamental obstacle to attaining the best in adulthood. It is symptomatic of a mind that to some degree must be closed and seeks (demands) protection. (Religious-like indoctrination comes to mind). Shouldn’t our universities try to open minds and teach the needed values of skepticism and the disciplines of objectivity to those young people who will someday (hopefully) be proud of their degree – and more importantly, become high performing adults?

    We see in this letter written by a university President less a dedication to openness and objectivity, but more a letter that presents with faith-like certitude the idea that increased “diversity” deserves an exalted position among high-status goals. It is not about advancing a diversity of competing ideas, which would discourage the thin-skinned taking of offense. It claims for itself a written in stone certitude that there rightly exists a special moral status intrinsic to groups who are identified (and separated) by variations in skin pigmentation (classic definition of racism). This belief is apparently not founded in empirical data, but apparently morphed through the years out of the meanderings of wishful imaginations and emotional reactions to historic blends of ignorant (and often damaging) racist behaviors. This letter is symptomatic of a faith rising. It is racial “diversity” being deified. Religious-like in origin and character, it tends not to tolerate dissent unless the dissenters support it. Believers with power will see that resources will be diverted from potential research and into programs devoted to the glory of race-based “Diversity”.

    Being a person who thinks that race is unimportant (and should be considered unimportant), I cannot see this direction as representative of a “better Yale”.

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