In a page one story on January 12, The New York Times bravely ventured across the Hudson River into “rural America” — you know, the part between Jersey City and San Francisco. In an obscure hamlet called Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the Times’s intrepid reporters found a small, isolated, beleaguered colony of readers of The New York Times living among the yokels: The faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point.
Can you imagine how hard it is to find a decent latté within a hundred miles of Stevens Point?
Led by its Chancellor, Bernie Patterson (Ph.D., SUNY / Albany), the UW-SP faculty is having to face the problems of declining enrollments and financial losses as more and more students (and their parents) catch on to the higher education con game: Paying high tuitions and incurring debts that will take decades to repay in order to subsidize the politics and lifestyles of the leftist elites who have controlled and corrupted the academy in America since at least the 1960s.
Think of what this means for someone such as Jennifer Collins (Ph.D., University of California / San Diego), one of only two full professors of political science on the faculty at UW-SP, who, living among the peasantry and hostility (Trump voters!) in the dead center of Wisconsin, continues her lifetime of work in hardship posts trying to bring enlightenment to the benighted and oppressed. As her campus biography puts it:
Prof. Collins grew up in Westchester, near New York City. She lived and worked in Central and South America for more than eight years. For two years in the 1980s she worked in the war zones of Nicaragua with the peace and justice organization, Witness for Peace, trying to change U.S. foreign policy and end U.S. support for the contras. Subsequently she worked for four years in Quito, Ecuador with the Latin American Council of Churches.
When not advocating for military victories by communist thugs, Prof. Collins has spent her career studying and promoting their thought. Her dissertation, which she is preparing for publication, was on the Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Political Movement in Ecuador, a left-wing indigenist party named after an Incan king whose idea of “plurinational unity,” rather like Stalin’s, was to subjugate, enslave, and, when necessary, exterminate neighboring tribes and communities. The relevance of Pachakutik thought to Wisconsin in the age of Scott Walker ought to be obvious.
So, with students fleeing from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, Chancellor Patterson and his advisors have come up with the brilliant plan of purging the humanities and non-communist social sciences from the curriculum. Who needs “history” — all that irrelevant focus on dead white men — anyway? Of course, Prof. Collins’s political science department will be preserved.
The Times takes the measure of the ignorance of the indigenous Wisconsin peasantry by quoting one Kim Mueller, 21, a handmaid’s tale victim if ever there were one — her ambition (get this!) is to make her life in Wisconsin, as a high school history teacher (how sad!) — who asked the question, “What is a university without a history major?” (Talk about a girl who needs to get woke!)
The Provost of UW-SP, Gregg Summers (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin / Madison — in history, oops), helpfully offered the Times the profound observation, “Sometimes, I liken it to climate change. The higher-ed climate has changed profoundly and it’s not going back to the old normal.” So true and so apt. And life is like a box of chocolates.
As you read the NYT story, remember that the Times has determined that “objectivity” in news reporting is neither possible nor desirable, and that the NYT is “in opposition.” (I’m not sure it matters in opposition “to what,” but I’m pretty sure it’s “civilization”). So the Times report is necessarily in service of some agenda other than giving us “all the news that’s fit to print”. I rather suspect that, in this case, it’s shifting blame away from the people who’ve been in charge for at least the last 50 years for the decay in and derangement of higher education.
The people of central Wisconsin won’t learn much about Shakespeare, Newton, Jefferson, Hamilton, Smith, or Locke, let alone Cardinal Newman, but the name and thought of Tupac Ayar Manco (the son of King Pachakuti) and Che Guevara (his spiritual heir) will be on everyone’s lips!