Michael Horowitz Runs for Yale Board

While improving higher education is important to all Americans, alumni are especially concerned about their alma maters. They are the largest private source of financial support for higher education. And — because they have the freedom to speak without reprisal — they can address challenges at their alma maters with independent judgment and clarity of purpose. Alumni are, as University of Wisconsin emeritus professor Charles Anderson wrote in Prescribing the Life of the Mind (1993), “members of the guild. Presumably they are competent to participate, as citizens, in its affairs. There is, it would seem, a qualified public to which the university might answer.”

Yes, so it would seem. And so it is that a handful of universities have, over the years, formally invited alumni to participate directly in the selection of the governing board, through a petition process. Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Penn State have all allowed alumni to gather signatures to earn a place on the ballot.

Petition candidates — most recently at Dartmouth and at Harvard — have demanded more of their alma maters. Part of a growing alumni movement to return students to the center of education, they are refusing to remain silent when academic standards and intellectual pluralism are threatened.

Joining their ranks this month is Michael Horowitz, a Yale alum who is seeking a spot on the Yale Corporation. His candidacy is operating on a shoestring budget, but it is raising issues of quality and cost that are important to Yale — and higher education more broadly. The deadline for petitions is October 1 — and Horowitz still needs several thousand alumni signatures. But the issues he raises, his spirit of engagement, and the excitement generated by his platform underscore the critical role alumni can and must play in supporting fundamental academic values at their alma maters.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More