President Obama appointed the first black female Librarian of Congress who, naturally, is a fan of Rap music, and who therefore invited rapper/flautist “Lizzo” to sound a few notes on a rare and valuable crystal flute presented to President Madison in 1813.
The grotesquely obese Lizzo performed enthusiastically and indecently attired, accompanying her flute performance with the kind of sexually-explicit movements referred to in the lamentable popular culture of today as “twerking.”
As all iconic moments go these days, it started with a simple social media exchange. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted out an invitation for Lizzo to visit the world’s largest flute collection, housed at the Library of Congress in D.C.
“@Lizzo we would love for you to come see it and even play a couple when you are in DC next week,” Hayden tweeted. “Like your song they are “Good as hell [with a winking face emoji].”
The singer responded with gusto.
IM COMING CARLA! AND IM PLAYIN THAT CRYSTAL FLUTE!!!!! <link>
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 24, 2022
After making a stop at the Library of the Congress to tour the collection and practice on a few instruments, Lizzo’s dream became reality when she got the chance to play the historic flute on stage Tuesday night. …
“You never know what you’re going to see with the U.S. Capitol Police!” the agency tweeted Wednesday morning. …
Handlers brought the flute onstage at Lizzo’s concert. She carefully accepted the instrument and carried it to the standing microphone, saying “it’s like playing out of a wine glass, so be patient.”
She performed on the flute, adding a few of her signature moves, of course, as the audience wildly cheered, and then Lizzo gave back the historical flute and ran back to her mic.
“B***h, I just twerked and played James Madison’s crystal flute from the 1800s,” she shouted. “We just made history tonight!”…
Lizzo took the time to thank the Library of Congress for “preserving our history and making history freaking cool.”
I’m obviously a racist old fogey since I think placing a relic previously belonging to the Father of the Constitution in the hands of a popular entertainer of the lowest order who accompanies a performance with the kinds of dress and public behavior that for most of my own lifetime would have gotten her arrested is insulting to Mr. Madison, to the country’s history, and to decency and public morals. In a properly governed America, that librarian would be fired.
Today’s Jacobin “elite” culture, of course, absolutely delights in these kinds of revolutionary gestures. That culture systematically inverts all values. James Madison is an evil dead white man, who owned slaves. Lizzo is black and therefore the giant economy-size embodiment of everything great and admirable! For them, the profanation of Mr. Madison’s flute is “historic,” “an iconic moment,” and “freaking cool.” What an age we live in!
Seeing someone like Lizzo disporting herself pantsless on stage reminds me of the story of the crusty old New Englander who spied an unusually ill-favored woman in church one Sunday, and remarked, loudly, “My God! that must be the ugliest woman in six counties!” “Hush!” admonished his offended wife. “You know the poor thing can’t help it.” “Yes, but, she could, by golly, stay home!”
Judith Schiff 1937-2022, Chief Research Archivist, Sterling Library, Yale University.
The latest Yale Alumni Magazine arrived yesterday. Its key feature article this issue is a tribute to Judith Schiff who had contributed a popular “Old Yale” column to the alumni mag since 1987.
There is nothing wrong with the eulogy to the late archivist in itself. But there were all those little infuriating details that get the blood pressure of an elderly alumn seething.
In the midst of noting the admirable contribution those 219 “Old Yale” columns constituted over the long decades, Alumni Mag editor-in-chief Kathrin Day Lassila ’81 (the ever reliable source of left-wing self gratulation and cant) clocks in to gloat over persuading Ms. Schiff not to omit a pious condemnation of the Pro-Slavery views of John C. Calhoun, Class of 1804, in a column actually discussing Calhoun’s role in leading the House of Representatives in the direction of a Declaration of War against Britain in 1812.
Representatives of the Woke Left, like Ms. Lassila, never overlook any opportunity to point fingers in condemnation at, and to preen in moral superiority over, the errors of persons long dead. How can one possibly say enough about the spiritual magnificence and boundless generosity of members of today’s Community of Fashion in refraining from owning and trafficking in any slaves and their bravery in forthrightly denouncing an institution extinct for over a century and a half and absolutely lacking any current defenders?
Personal Tribute No. 1 comes from a member of the Class of 1971, a transfer who became one of the first female graduates of Yale College, and who “received the Yale Medal for projects highlighting Women and Minorities.” IMHO, there ought to be a much bigger medal for persuading whiny minority identity groups to go away and shut up for a change.
The Schiff article includes several warm personal tributes from Yale functionaries and factotums who were personally acquainted with the lady which are in themselves perfectly fine. However, the faithful reader discovers that Personal Tribute No. 2 is the product of the collaboration of one chap (M.A. 89) who is a “New Haven-based cultural organizer” (a term that inevitably tempts any right-thinking alumn to start reaching for his revolver) and another guy (’87, ’93MDiv) who is the Beinecke Library’s “director of community engagement.” What in hell is a Rare Book Library doing throwing away an annual full-time salary on paying somebody to “engage” the inner-city welfare/criminal class of New Haven? Are gang-bangers, coke dealers, hip-hoppers, and the ever-dwindling actual working class of a ruined rust-bucket small city supposed to have some sort of healthy and legitimate interest in the Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio, or some really cool manuscripts in Carolingian Miniscule?
Tribute No. 5 is from a member of the Class of 1979, ’84MD, and an adjunct psychiatry prof at Yale, who (inevitably) wrote a book about Yale and the Jewish Question, who tells us Ms. Schiff was a terrific help in researching one whiny identity group issue after another after another. That, of course, is what research universities and research university libraries are really for.
And it goes on and on. “When Judy Schiff went to work at Yale there were no senior women teaching at Yale College and no women undergraduates. There were no women officers in the university.” begins Tribute No. 6.
In Woke University-land and Woke-Alumni-Magazine-land, the entire universe, the entire corpus of human learning, and the whole focus of history is centered upon the amour propre, the grievances, and the glories of the triumphant elite establishment representatives of the sacred ressentiment-based Identity Groups.
It’s not that most articles are bad in themselves. It’s the fact that the rancid, worm’s-eye-view perspective of leftist grievance politics permeates everything and is accompanied by an inevitable associated tone of orthodoxy and dogmatism.
The great minds running Yale these days, and editing its publications, obviously never read John Ruskin:
Of all the insolent, all the foolish persuasions that by any chance could enter and hold your empty little heart, this is the proudest and foolishest,–that you have been so much the darling of the Heavens, and favourite of the Fates, as to be born in the very nick of time, and in the punctual place, when and where pure Divine truth had been sifted from the errors of the Nations; and that your papa had been providentially disposed to buy a house in the convenient neighbourhood of the steeple under which that Immaculate and final verity would be beautifully proclaimed. Do not think it, child; it is not so.
Bang! All over America, you can hear the sound of one more issue of the Yale Alumni Mag flung from the hand of an older male alumn hitting the circular file.
Last November, the report came out that Yale now had more administrators than faculty or students:
4,664 undergraduate students
“I think we don’t yet have a Vice President for the rights of the left-handed, but I haven’t checked this month.” — Professor Leslie Brisman.
Apparently, Yale produced an internal report back in January of this year discussing this astounding proliferation of bureaucracy (and its negative impact on teaching) which was never released and clearly swept deeply under the Woodbridge Hall rug.
“University professors,” David Graeber wrote in these pages in 2018, “have to spend increasing proportions of their days performing tasks which exist only to make overpaid academic managers feel good about themselves.” That’s an assessment corroborated by a draft report on the “Size and Growth of Administration and Bureaucracy at Yale,” dated January 2022 but not yet released. (At the moment, the report appears to be in limbo, circulating privately but with no official stamp of approval. Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for Yale, said only that “the Senate voted at its closed-door May 2022 meeting to postpone discussion of the report until a future date.”)
In an appendix, the authors of the report — the seven-person governance committee of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences — have collected several anecdotes from faculty members that they say are symptomatic of an increasingly intolerable burden of bureaucratic oversight. “Disrespectful,” “demoralizing,” “infantilizing,” “opaque” — these are some of the adjectives that appear. One professor compared dealing with Yale administrators to “interacting with an insurance company.”
The governance committee’s thesis is that these afflictions all stem from the numerical increase in administration even as the size of the faculty has remained stagnant. The authors cite a 2018 Chronicle report showing that Yale has the fifth-highest ratio of administrators to students in the country, and the highest in the Ivy League (for comparison, peer institutions like Columbia, Harvard, and Stanford were 24th, 35th, and 55th, respectively). Between 2003 and 2022, the draft report states, “we note increases in administrative positions in various units of at least 150 percent. … This compares with an increase in just 10.6 percent” for tenure-track jobs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
And not only is the number of administrators growing, but so are their salaries. The seven “upper administrators” who remained in the same role between 2015 and 2019 received “roughly 8.25 percent per year” raises, a rate far out of step with what faculty members got. As depicted in the report, Yale’s upper administration is both bloated and greedy.
The report is — or will be, if the university ever releases it — the result of a long period of concern over the ballooning administration.
Over the last two decades, the number of managerial and professional staff that Yale employs has risen three times faster than the undergraduate student body, according to University financial reports. The group’s 44.7 percent expansion since 2003 has had detrimental effects on faculty, students and tuition, according to eight faculty members.
In 2003, when 5,307 undergraduate students studied on campus, the University employed 3,500 administrators and managers. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on student enrollment, only 600 more students were living and studying at Yale, yet the number of administrators had risen by more than 1,500 — a nearly 45 percent hike. In 2018, The Chronicle of Higher Education found that Yale had the highest manager-to-student ratio of any Ivy League university, and the fifth highest in the nation among four-year private colleges.
According to eight members of the Yale faculty, this administration size imposes unnecessary costs, interferes with students’ lives and faculty’s teaching, spreads the burden of leadership and adds excessive regulation. By contrast, administrators noted much of this increase can be attributed to growing numbers of medical staff, and that the University has proportionally increased its faculty size.
“I had remarked to President Salovey on his inauguration that I thought the best thing he could do for Yale would be to abolish one deanship or vice presidency every year of what I hoped would be a long tenure in that position,” professor of English Leslie Brisman wrote in an email to the News. “Instead, it has seemed to me that he has created one upper level administrative position a month.”
L.L. Bean has a more fashionable and up-to-date customer base these days, and they are consequently dropping their famous “No Questions Asked — Lifetime Warranty” policy. NPR reports:
L.L. Bean’s outdoor gear â€” including its signature Bean Boots prized by campers and hipsters alike â€” is no longer guaranteed for life.
In a letter to customers Friday morning, the company said it has updated its return policy to give customers one year to return purchases, with a receipt. The previous lifetime guarantee, which enabled customers to return products years â€” or even decades â€” after purchase, has long been a selling point for the company.
“Increasingly, a small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent. Some view it as a lifetime product replacement program, expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years. Others seek refunds for products that have been purchased through third parties, such as at yard sales.”‘
L.L. Bean says the policy update will affect only a “small percentage” of returns and pledged to keep its mission of selling “high quality products that inspire and enable people to enjoy the outdoors.” The company says if a product is defective, it will “work with our customers to reach a fair solution” even after a year.
The return policy on the site now reads:
“If you are not 100% satisfied with one of our products, you may return it within one year of purchase for a refund. After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.”
A Business Insider reporter put the policy to the test last year by returning four-year-old shoes with broken stitching. He recounts that the cashier immediately accepted the return and asked for no proof about when he purchased the shoes. “Two days later, the brand-new shoes were waiting on my doorstep,” Business Insider writes.
At the time, an L.L. Bean spokesperson told the site that the return policy was taken advantage of less than might be expected.
“Our guarantee is not a liability, but rather a customer service asset â€” an unacknowledged agreement between us and the customer, that always puts the customer first and relies on the goodwill of our customers to honor the original intent of the guarantee,” spokesperson Mac McKeever told Business Insider.
The company traces its origins to 1911, when a Maine outdoorsman developed a hunting shoe with leather uppers and rubber bottoms. Its rugged products were designed with hunting and fishing in mind.
In recent years the company has taken steps to appeal to a hipper, less outdoorsy clientele. As Maine Public Radio reported, L.L. Bean has been “looking to really create a new updated fit and style.”
In the old days, L.L. Bean used to sell to real Americans, hunters and fishermen. In my family, we always wore Pennsylvania-made Woolrich coats in deer season, but we preferred the fit, features, and durability of Bean’s canvas hunting coat for Upland Game season. Maine was far away, and Bean’s hunting coats were expensive, but you only ever needed to buy one once. That hunting coat would last your lifetime.
Now, in the old days, nobody in the former customer base would have thought of ripping off L.L. Bean by going out and buying a shot-down pair of 50-year-old Maine Hunting Shoes at a yard sale and then invoking the life-time guarantee.
But, when you go out there and start trading with the hipsters and the liberal fashionistas from the city, the kind of people who shop at Patagonia and the revived gender-ambiguous “Abercrombie & Fitch,” well, it just ain’t the way it used to be anymore. Those new customers are not your friends and neighbors.
Breaking with more than a century of tradition, the Whiffenpoofs and Whim â€™n Rhythm, Yaleâ€™s all-male and all-female senior a capella groups, announced on Thursday that this year both groups will consider accepting singers of all genders.
According to a joint announcement posted on Facebook, Whim â€™n Rhythm will from this point on describe itself as, â€œSSAA,â€ â€” or Soprano I and II and Alto I and II â€” rather than all-female, while the Whiffenpoofs will use the label â€œTTBB,â€ or Tenor I and II, Baritone and Bass. The statement called these terms â€œmore informative of the art [they] createâ€ and â€œmore inclusiveâ€ to members past, present and future, especially those who identify as transgender, gender nonbinary and gender nonconforming.
â€œInstead of talking about the membership of the group, [we want to] talk about the people who make that type of music,â€ said Kenyon Duncan â€™19, the music director of the Whiffenpoofs. â€œWeâ€™re trying to make this as much about the music and ease gender boundaries.â€
The statement also announced a series of changes designed to close the â€œgap in opportunityâ€ between the two organizations. The Whiffenpoofs, well-established in the world of a cappella, take a year off from school to tour the world, while the much newer Whim â€™n Rhythm tours internationally only during the summer and performs locally throughout the year. Whim â€™n Rhythm also brings in significantly less revenue than do the Whiffenpoofs â€” during fiscal year 2013, for example, Whim â€™n Rhythmâ€™s earnings amounted to less than a quarter of the Whiffenpoofsâ€™.
With these changes, the announcement said, the two groups hope to â€œmore explicitly linkâ€ together as two performing bodies representing the same Yale senior class.
Next year, both the Whiffenpoofs and Whim â€™n Rhythm classes of 2019 will have the option to take a leave of absence or remain enrolled at Yale, with rehearsal, performance and tour schedules defined by each future class of singers. And the groupsâ€™ operations will become more cohesive in the future, through a joint website with shared booking information and closer integration of the two groupsâ€™ business teams. The statement also expressed a commitment to expanding the SATB â€” of Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass â€” repertoire so that Whim and the Whiffs can more often perform together on campus and for clients.
The joint decision to go all-gender as well as to implement the set of changes announced resulted from a prolonged conversation among all 28 members of the Whiffenpoofs and Whim â€™n Rhythm classes of 2018 over the past six months about how to make senior a cappella at Yale more equitable.
The guides are computer major Simone (who needs to wash her hair) and double major Classics and Political Science Sam (who seems a little gay). From the very start, biases toward the demotic and the “diverse” are pronounced. As the tour begins moving away from Phelps Gate on the Old Campus, guide Sam calls for musical accompaniment and a string quarter batting out “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” appears out of nowhere, only to be rejected in favor of “something with a beat.”
We had already previously been promised that, at Yale, one could study with “a renowned Shakespeare scholar” and “perform slam poetry at a cultural center.” When we get to the libraries, we are informed that Beinecke contains “one of the world’s largest collections of rare books and manuscripts, including ancient Egyptian papyrus, one of Beethoven’s original scores, and (inadvertent crashing anticlimax) manuscripts written by Langston Hughes.” (!)
Clearly, we are being given to understand that Yale is a fashionista establishment institution, only too eager to reject standards and judgment, trivialize the canon, and concede equality of cultural prestige to tokens. “We don’t want Mozart, we want something with a beat.” “Shakespeare wouldn’t do without some slam poetry on the side.” “Langston Hughes is purportedly somehow on a par with Beethoven.”
At Yale, the sciences we learn are “hands on,” and you won’t just sit through lectures, struggle through your labs, and get hammered with quizes and exams, no, no no. Why Yale science students “innovate solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.” Back in my day, all we did was try to pass the exams. We did, however, avoid the joke explosion ending the laboratory portion of the tour.
It gets painful to watch when they start touting the Yale residential college system. Today, college assignment, we are assured, is totally random. But residential colleges all have individual distinctive identities and traditions. (Presumably random ones.)
The college we get to see is Silliman, infamous site of the Christakis lynching and the shrieking student. There is no Master of Silliman now. The title of Master was deemed offensive and changed to “Head.” In the old days, college masters were male, aged, and distinguished scholars. Silliman’s “Head” these days is Laurie R. Santos, obviously a two-fer token (female and Hispanic), barely 40, and a canine cognitive studies specialist from the Psych Department. The video assures us that she ensures that each student feels welcome and gets to know every single one of them personally. She even apparently beats them at chess. In my day, most of us were on nodding-and-saying-hello terms with our College Master. He never specifically made any of us “feel welcome” nor did he tuck us in at night.
The residential colleges seem even more loaded with amenities today. They still have pool tables and ping pong, but there was no mention of squash courts. Colleges seem to have in-house non-dining hall after hours food facilities, which they call butteries. In the old days, there was one Buttery, on the ground floor of Durfee, which sold candy and such like during very limited evening hours. The colleges now all have their own work-out rooms, the Yale Gym clearly being too far to walk.
And so on.
This video is not as actively embarrassing, I suppose, as its predecessor, but it still leaves the alumni viewer slightly nauseated.
It is so offensively self-congratulatory, politically correct, and millennial-ish. One sort of feels like alien beings from the Planet of PC Tools have taken over Yale. They smile all the time. They think all the right thoughts. They worship materialism and success, but they are strangely empty. They have no dignity, no gravity. Ideas, Art, Culture are all just names and baubles to these people, ornamental trinkets lying around a grand nest of human magpies.
There is all this goody-goody-ness, but there is no sense whatsoever of Tradition, History, Duty, Honor, or Respect for the Past.
If I’d seen this video in high school, I would not have wanted to go to Yale.
I felt older than dirt yesterday, when I (a member of the Yale Class of 1970, which arrived in New Haven in early September, 1966) got to read, via the Yale News:
Members of the Yale College Class of 2020 will arrive on campus today, taking part in one of the universityâ€™s most beloved traditions: freshman move-in day. The 1,373 new freshmen traveled from all 50 states and 50 different foreign countries to New Haven, where Yale President Peter Salovey, Dean of Yale College Jonathan Holloway, the deans and heads of the 12 residential colleges, and hundreds of student volunteers will officially welcome the newest members of the Yale community. …
More than 12% of the class attended high school abroad, and more than 60% of students from the United States attended a public high school [Up a whopping 2% in 50 years! –JDZ].
Students in the class speak more than 60 different languages, and 36% of freshmen speak a language other than English at home. Their hometowns range in size from fewer than 200 to more than 10 million. More than 200 freshmen are eligible for a federal Pell grant for low-income students, and 52 will receive a new Yale College Start-up Fund as part of the new $2 million undergraduate financial aid initiative announced last December. …
The Class of 2020 will include more U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify as a member of a minority racial or ethnic group (43%), more students who will be the first in their family to graduate from college (15%), more international students (12%), and more students who are planning to major in a science or engineering field (46%) than any previous class in the universityâ€™s history. The class was selected from Yaleâ€™s largest-ever freshman applicant pool, which saw record numbers of applications in all of the above groups. A detailed profile of the Class of 2020 is available on the undergraduate admissions website, admissions.yale.edu. …
[T]he new freshmen all share an impressive record of academic success, extracurricular accomplishment, and community engagement, said Quinlan, noting that admitted students have reached some of the highest possible levels of achievement in the performing arts, scientific research, creative writing, global and community-based service leadership, athletics, entrepreneurship, technology, and political activism.
Members of the freshman class hold patents and run their own businesses. Their scientific pursuits have earned recognition from Intel, FIRST Robotics, the Siemens Foundation, Google, and Apple. They have performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. They have designed software that thousands of people use around the world. Their activism has spurred the creation of new academic courses, new laws, and new international organizations. Their writing has reached thousands of people through international publications and prestigious award programs. They have won state, regional, and national athletic competitions. Many have balanced their academic and extracurricular pursuits with extensive paid work experiences and caregiving responsibilities to support their families.
Yale 1970 differed from Yale 2020 in being about a third smaller. Our class was made up of 1025 “male leaders.” No coeducation yet back then.
[T]he Class of 1970, arrived on campus in the fall of 1966. It was composed of 58 percent public school students, the highest percentage of high school students of any class in Yale history, and a jump from 52 percent the previous year. The class drew on more public schools than any other class (478), but also more private schools (196).
For the first time, the rate of matriculation of financial aid applicants was higher than for non-financial aid applicants. Financial aid jumped to nearly $1 million, 30 percent above what it had been the year before; gift aid from the University increased by almost 50 percent. The class included more minorities of every kind. …
The Class of 1970 entered with the highest SAT scores in Yaleâ€™s history; a student who scored its mean SAT verbal mark of 697 would have been in the 90th percentile of the Class of 1961, and the 75th percentile of the Class of 1966. Put in a national context, half of the incoming freshmen scored in the top 1 percent nationally on the verbal SAT. These SAT marks were higher than those scored by the incoming class at Harvard, also a first for Yale. By yearâ€™s end, the Class of 1970 would score an average mark of 81, another school record. [Grades were numerical and very stingy back then. -JDZ]
How else were things different?
I expect you would have seen a lot fewer freshman moving in dressed in short pants.
There were a lot fewer African Americans, and those who were admitted got in much more on the up-and-up. Totally blatant Affirmative Action had yet to arrive. There were basically no Asians or Hispanics or Amerindians at all. A 43% class composition today of self-identified whiny minorities vulnerable to trigger warnings and looking for safe spaces, lest somebody fail to protect them from uncomplimentary Halloween costumes, strikes me as very possibly excessively large.
We certainly had nothing like a third of the class coming from non-English-speaking homes.
We had, we thought, pretty good geographical distribution from all over the United States, but nothing like 12% of foreigners. When, one wonders, did Yale acquire such a major and distinct responsibility for supplying international leadership?
Looking at the detailed 2020 Class profile, I see that 13% are legacies. I am smiling reading that, because the 1999 “Birth of a New Institution” article was bragging that Inky Clark reduced legacy admissions (for my own era) to between “14.5 percent and 12 percent.”
John Caldwell Calhoun; Y’ 1804; Vice President of the United States, 1825-1832; Secretary of State, 1844-1845; Secretary of War, 1817-1825; Senator from South Carolina, 1832-1843 and 1845-1850; Member House of Representatives representing 6th District of South Carolina, 1811-1817; Author, Disquisition on Government (1849), Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States (1851); defender of States’ Rights and proponent of the “Concurrent Majority” doctrine holding that minorities ought to have the right in extremis to block majority rule; and member of the all-time Great Triumvirate of the U.S. Senate.
1) Calhoun College stays Calhoun College.
Yale President Salovey announced yesterday afternoon, the Oldest College Daily reported, that the residential college named for Yale’s greatest political thinker and statesman would retain its name, despite John C. Calhoun having held, in the first half of the 19th century, positions on Slavery and inherent Racial Inferiority generally regarded with abhorrence today.
Salovey justified this decision on the part of the Administration and the Corporation, saying:
Removing Calhounâ€™s name obscures the legacy of slavery rather than addressing it. Erasing Calhounâ€™s name from a much-beloved residential college risks masking this past, downplaying the lasting effects of slavery and substituting a false and misleading narrative, albeit one that might allow us to feel complacent or, even, self-congratulatory.â€
I suspect that, unreported, unacknowledged, and unsung, somewhere in the decision-making meeting rooms in Woodbridge Hall a dramatic last stand was taken by someone on behalf on history, tradition, and sanity, and that there must have been some terrible threat of a grand financial legacy being withheld were Calhoun’s name to be removed.
Master’s House, Trumbull College
2) The Title of “Master” of a Residential College Will Be Changed to “Head.”
The use of â€œmasterâ€ as a title at Yale is a legacy of the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge. The term derives from the Latin magister, meaning â€œchief, head, director, teacher,â€ and it appears in the titles of university degrees (master of arts, master of science, and others) and in many aspects of the larger culture (master craftsman, master builder). Some members of our community argued that discarding the term â€œmasterâ€ would interject into an ancient collegiate tradition a racial narrative that has never been associated with its use in the academy. Others maintained that regardless of its history of use in the academy, the titleâ€”especially when applied to an authority figureâ€”carries a painful and unwelcome connotation that can be difficult or impossible for some students and residential college staff to ignore.
Among the many comments considered on this matter, the thoughts and recommendations of the current Council of Masters, the twelve heads of the existing residential colleges, were especially salient. The council deliberated at length, informed by a multitude of discussions with students, staff, faculty, and fellows, as well as by reflections submitted to an online site open to all members of each residential college community. The council also monitored similar discussions at other colleges and universities, although its members were determined to arrive at their recommendations bearing in mind Yaleâ€™s distinctive traditions and culture.
The council found that making a recommendation to change the title was far from simple. People held a wide range of views, not as strongly correlated as some might have predicted with circumstances of age, race, or position in the college community. Nothing about the term itself is intrinsically tied to Yaleâ€™s history prior to 1930, or to the relationships that students of each generation have formed or will form with the individuals who lead their colleges. Moreover, a decision to stop using the term â€œmasterâ€ does not compromise the study of larger historical issues. In short, the reasons to change the title of â€œmasterâ€ proved more compelling than the reasons to keep it, and the current masters themselves no longer felt it appropriate to be addressed in that manner.
Not incidental to the discussion was the task of finding an alternative title that speaks to the definition and responsibilities of the office. In this respect, â€œhead of collegeâ€ is the most logical and straightforward choice. In its favor is that archival records show that â€œheadâ€ and â€œheadshipâ€ were placeholders for the title in the original planning documents. Heads of college may be addressed as professor, doctor, or Mr. or Ms., as applicable or as they prefer.
Alumni, particularly those of Calhoun College, actually cared about their college’s name being changed. Nobody particularly cared about the Master title, so Master was obviously the perfect sacrifice to fling upon the PC bonfire to appease the mob.
Yalies tend to be pedantic and good at research, so one does wonder why Peter Salovey and his powers-that-be confreres did not trouble themselves to consider “Warden,” “Rector,” or even “President” (as at Magdalen College, Oxford), but instead followed sheepishly along in the lame footsteps of Harvard and Princeton in changing that title to “Head.” It rankles, I think, that the pathetic creature occupying the chair in which John Hersey once sat, set the contemptible policy which the entire set of residential college will be proceeding to follow.
Benjamin West, Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky, 1816, Philadelphia Museum of Art
3. The new residential colleges will be named for Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray (whoever the hell she is).
Peter Salovey explained:
Benjamin Franklin College will recognize the recipient of a Yale honorary degree (1753 Hon. M.A.) whose immense accomplishments span the arts, the sciences, government, and service to society. The 41 published volumes of his papers, which contain the record of Benjamin Franklinâ€™s life correspondence, are among the Yale University Libraryâ€™s most important collections. The Franklin Papers represent the work of many Yale scholars and editors and, among the historical insights they offer, shed light on Franklinâ€™s relationship with Yale University. He carried on a decades-long correspondence with Yale President Ezra Stiles on subjects ranging from scientific research to the growing collections of Yaleâ€™s library.
John Adams, I guess, would have disagreed with this choice. He said of Dr. Franklin, in a 1783 letter to James Warren: “His whole life has been one continued insult to good manners and to decency.â€
But most of us today are nowhere nearly as censorious of Franklin’s illegitimate son and illegitimate grandson or of Franklin’s (1747) The Speech of Polly Baker, defending a fictional woman for bearing illegitimate children.
Franklin’s accomplishments in literature and scientific experiments and as a founder of the United States are so great that nobody could deny his worthiness as the namesake of a college.
The only problem is that he really had no genuine substantive connection to Yale.
Apparently, what really went on here was was explained in a letter from Salovey:
[A]dopting his name for one of the new colleges, we honor as well the generosity of Charles B. Johnson â€™54 B.A., who considers Franklin a personal role model. Mr. Johnsonâ€™s contribution to enable the construction of the new colleges is the single largest gift made to Yale. Pauli Murray College and Benjamin Franklin College, which will open Yaleâ€™s doors to thousands of additional future students, would not have been possible without his philanthropic vision.
Money talks. It isn’t really appropriate, but the man paid for the piper, so he gets to call the tune. It could be worse. We could have a residential college named “Pforzheimer.”
Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray, Y â€™65 J.S.D., â€™79 Hon. D.Div., four-fer, maybe five-fer
The northern-most college, sited closest to Science Hill, Pauli Murray College will honor a Yale alumna (â€™65 J.S.D., â€™79 Hon. D.Div.) noted for her achievements in law and religion, and for her leadership in civil rights and the advancement of women. Pauli Murray enrolled at Hunter College in the 1920s, graduating in 1933 after deferring her studies following the Great Depression. Later, she began an unsuccessful campaign to enter the all-white University of North Carolina. Murrayâ€™s case received national publicity, and she became widely recognized as a civil rights activist.
A graduate of Howard Law School, Murray had an extraordinary legal career as a champion of racial and gender equity. United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall cited her book, Statesâ€™ Laws on Race and Color, for its influence on the lawyers fighting segregation laws. President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the Committee on Civil and Political Rights of the Presidentâ€™s Commission on the Status of Women.
Awarded a fellowship by the Ford Foundation, Murray pursued a doctorate in law at Yale in order to further her scholarly work on gender and racial justice. She co-authored Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII, in which she drew parallels between gender-based discrimination and Jim Crow laws. In 1965, she received her J.S.D. from Yale Law School, the first African-American to do so. Her dissertation was entitled, Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy. Immediately thereafter, she served as counsel in White v. Crook, which successfully challenged discrimination on the basis of sex and race in jury selection. She was a cofounder, with thirty-one others, of the National Organization for Women.
Murray was a vice president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina; she left to become a professor at Brandeis University, where she earned tenure and taught until 1973. She was the first person to teach African-American studies and womenâ€™s studies at Brandeis.
The final stage of Murrayâ€™s career continued a life marked by confronting challenges and breaking down barriers. At age 63, inspired by her connections with other women in the Episcopal Church, she left Brandeis and enrolled at the General Theological Seminary. She became the first African-American woman ordained as an Episcopal priest..
And you’ve got to hand it to Salovey, the Yale Administration, and the Corporation. When they set out to truckle and to pander to contemporary whiny left-wing identity groups, they do it good and proper. Obviously, in reality, there are no females, there are no African-Americans associated with Yale so eminent or of such accomplishment as to be even close to being genuinely worthy of being the namesake of a Yale College. Hilariously, as well, nobody outside the organized left has ever actually heard of Pauli Murray but, upon looking her up, one finds that, if you are going to pander, she is the cat’s pajamas. Pauli Murray was merely a minor left-wing public nuisance and lived and died in obscurity, but she combines in one small dusky package absolutely everything: she was female, African-American, queer, an Episcopalian priestess, and a transgender wannabee. What a deal! Let’s hope Yale, in future, treats Murray College as its own equivalent of California, and sends all of its commies, fruits, and nuts to go live there at the remote extremity of the campus.
Paul Kengor sums up the embarrassing spectacle which has constituted the Republican Presidential Nomination Campaign thus far
The whole thing is depressing. Consider, Rubio and Cruz, the two genuine conservative front-runners, are the hardworking sons of extraordinary immigrants from Cuba. They are quintessential American success stories. They are both solid Christian family men. And into the race comes a sudden self-proclaimed born-again conservative who laughs at them and eviscerates them, and is rewarded for it. Itâ€™s hard to watch.
All of which brings me back to Trumpâ€™s mastery of an altogether new campaign tactic of non-stop rapacious ridicule of opponents within oneâ€™s own party. The New Jersey casino founder brashly accused Ted Cruz of everything from being a closet Canadian citizen to cheating when the Donald lost Iowa. Schoolboy-like, Trump threatened lawsuits. Of late, he jumps in the sandbox and taunts Marco Rubio: â€œchoker, choker!â€
Can you imagine Ronald Reagan doing this? Reaganâ€™s â€œ11th commandmentâ€ was never to speak ill of another Republican. Donald Trumpâ€™s commandment is to speak ill of every Republican.
Do Republicans want this as the partyâ€™s new face and standard-bearer? Apparently those on the Trump side do. Many of them even assume the insult-kingâ€™s persona, dealing with dissenters with similar levels of obnoxiousness, blow-torching Republicans in the way of their Donald.
The thousand year old tradition of printing Britain’s laws on vellum has been scrapped to save just Â£80,000 a year despite concerns from MPs about ending the historic practice.
The House of Lords have confirmed that from April all legislation will printed on simple archive paper instead of the traditional calfskin vellum.
All of Parliament’s legislation and some of the country’s most important historical documents have been printed and written on vellum, including the Domesday Book of 1086, Magna Carta and the Lindisfarne Gospels.
In October last year John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said that MPs should be able to block the plans with a vote on the floor of the Commons.
It came after a number of MPs who oppose the move warned that Britain will lose an important part of its tradition and that new archive paper will not last as long.
They warned that while velllum lasts for 5,000 years, archival papers last for just 200 years.
I was in the lobby of the Parsons School of Design when I had the sudden urge to pee. So I located the restroom, and discovered THIS SIGN on the door. I pondered my predicament for a moment, when someone noticed my hesitation and said: “Go on in, it’s for everybody.”
I opened the door slowly. This was no single-occupancy restroom. This was a multi-stalled bathroom complex. Inside there were three girls, who all made awkward eye contact with me when I walked in. One of them shrugged her shoulders: “Yep,” she said, “we’re all in here together.” She didn’t seem too excited about the fact.
I chose a stall and shut the door behind me. Aiming for that sweet spot right above the water line, I tried to pee as quietly as possible. The toilet had an automatic flusher, so when I finished, I turned around and left the stall. I heard no flush behind me. Outside, ANOTHER girl was waiting to use my stall.