This story caught my eye in the WSJ:
I recently resigned as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and an overseer of its law school to protest the shameful treatment of law professor Amy Wax. Her career-threatening offense was to state that in her experience with black students over 17 years at Penn, few had performed in the top half of their class. Penn Law’s dean, Ted Ruger, declared her in error but refused to provide evidence. For dissenting from politically correct orthodoxy, Mr. Ruger forbade Ms. Wax to teach her much-admired first-year course in civil procedure—for which the university gave her an award in 2015.
This oped is the only information I have about this particular incident.
Now I’m happy to believe that there is a lot of PC silliness at universities and that university administrators are craven etc. etc. etc.
In this instance, however, I have a lot of sympathy for the law dean. Even if what Amy Wax said was true. I don’t know the racial distribution of grades in her class – it’s not something I ever think about.
Here is the thing – universities provide credentialing services. By signalling that few black students perform well in her class she has undermined the credential her employer provides to the market. She has also condemned all the blacks students from her law school to the perception of mediocrity. If an employee in the private sector went around dissing their company product they would quickly get sacked.
Professor Wax’s problem isn’t that she dissented from politically correct orthodoxy but rather that she undermined the university business model and degraded the qualifications of its graduates.
Update: My good friend Jim Allan phoned to say there is more of a backstory to this story. Rafe has a fuller version here.