I ate my wafer...


Why Hillsdale College is on the wrong track with this statesmanship graduate program business:

A. "Statesmanship" is not a conventional graduate program, and is not found as an accreditted degree option anywhere I checked. (Try googling it sometime and looking for an reputable MA/Phd program from an accredited college.) I would point out the Larry Arrn's old home at Claremont is in second place.

B. Honorary degrees in statesmanship are the customary butt kissing handed out to commencement speakers that happen to be politicians. So, imagine how much a degree in statesmanship is worth in both the job market and in school reputation. You have a degree that smells like it came from a thinktank or was honorary, along with a small liberal arts college churning out graduates with a dubious degree.

C. It represents Larry Arrn's unsuitability for his position. He may be an excellent think-tank leader, but turning Hillsdale College into Claremont with the graduate program is not good for Hillsdale. Anyone else notice that Arrn is not exactly churning out books? Big hint Larry, that's what small college presidents do when they aren't raising money directly or adminstrating.

D. Having read, or at least glanced at every issue of Imprimis for about 10 years, the political slant has changed from a mix of anti-deficit spending and anti-liberal social program pieces, with a smattering of non-political articles to nearly constant warmongering and Bush worship. Most of the non-political pieces have disappeared from the Imprimis, and a comparisin between Dr. Barron's attack on homeopathic medicine and the recent Midge Decter piece (although the Imprimis version is sanitized somewhat from her CCA talk to remove her interesting argument that hetrosexual intercourse cannot transmit HIV) shows that accurate science is no longer worthy of Imprimis.


  • Hillsdale really should have gotten a CEO with an MBA rather than Arnn. You read Imprimis?

    By Blogger HalfwayHouse, at 9:00 PM  

  • Excellent last two posts, Bob. Imprimis has gone downhill since they cleaned out the Greek tragedy players from Hillsdale. I thoughtlessly threw away my last issue without reading it. You figured out why.

    /Jake Allen

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:26 AM  

  • I really like this post, bob. what do you think would happen if the hillsdale blog-o-sphere made a serious push to associate itself with Hillsdale College on the web? this stuff needs to be heard, and it would be nice if people could see that some serious hillsdale students didn't come out as neo-con tools. just a thought.

    By Blogger Krupa, at 11:52 AM  

  • Bob! Goddammit, I could have used this stuff for my Everett Speeches.

    Anyway, Pete, I think we could do this really easily. With my google-fu and a few tricks, we could just register a site, not a blog, I think, with 'alternative' speakers and a roundup of essays about Hillsdale College . I mean, it could be a blog structured more like an informational website, and it would not be too hard to do. It would jump the search rankings pretty quick just with the help of a few of the highly-linked Hillsdale Bloggers.

    www.hillsdalehell.com would be cool

    By Blogger D. Greene, at 5:08 PM  

  • Allow me to offer a bit of perspective to the contemporary Chicken Little effect. I'm trying to accumulate several documents on the Statesmanship School project, which I hope to post soon.

    The Imprimis critique, however, while valid to some extent, seems to be a bit overblown.

    January 2005: Zell Miller, Iraq
    December 2004: Charles Kessler, Bush
    November 2004: Midge Dector, social conservatism (sex)(quality is your determination)
    October 2004: VDH, Iraq
    September 2004: John Lott, media bias, guns
    August 2004: Ronald Regan, free enterprise
    July 2004: Ronald Regan, hero-worship; Edwin Fuelner, engaging in intelligent dialogue
    June 2004: Philip Anschutz, social conservatism (film)
    May 2004: Stephen Schwartz, Iraq
    April 2004: Maurice P. McTigue, free enterprise
    Marh 2004: Walter Olson, tort reform
    February 2004: Foster Fress, free enterprise
    January 2004: Thomas West, free speech

    Admittedly, a large amount of Iraq-Bush-GOP is involved, along with several neo-cons giving con-proper talks. Additionally, the election run-up-post-Gala may have had something to do with the most recent three in succession.

    By Blogger Hillsdale College Alumnus, at 10:50 AM  

  • I highly reccomend viewing the videotape of Decter's CCA presentation, it will answer the quality question in spades. That is, although speakers have churned out some horrid arguments during CCA's before, the quality of their CCA presentation has directly correlated to their suitability for Imprimis publication. That is, of the Junk Science CCA, Dr. Barron's piece was well reasoned, concise, and decent...so she was published over some pretty crappy speakers (*cough the plutonium nun, and the coal company executive come to mind). Decter was willing to insist in all seriousness that heterosexual intercourse cannot spread HIV, which kills her credibility, period.

    I will grant you that the decline of Imprimis overall is not absolute...but I HIGHLY wish that the online archive extended back to the early 1990's. As I recall from flipping through old issues some time ago, there were precious few pieces, if any supporting the first gulf war while it was ongoing or before.

    Finally, although there are a couple notable exceptions to the downward slide into straight neo-conservative bush worship, most of the articles in the last year, excepting, I think, the tort reform and film pieces reference President Bush approvingly. (I didn't have time to check all of them, but all the ones I ran a find on popped up positive except those two.) I would refer a simple comparision to the first 12 articles availible in the online archive...which cover a range of positions and topics:

    - some pretty harsh words about the republican party for allowing budget bloating (July 1995, I can even argue that the Jeb Bush piece from June 1995 fits here,

    -Straight up libertarian sounding social policy (sept 1995, august 1995)

    -non-political moral pieces (Nov 1995, Dec 1995, Jan 1996, August 1994, may 1995, feb 1996)

    That's a very fast and dirty listing, but the point holds, all of those articles are from immediately following the 1994 congressional elections, but the amount of backslapping, self-congratulation is minimal, almost absent...unlike the bush/iraq articles of late. Not to mention the decrease in straight moral and conservative spending pieces, and total lack of criticism of republican fiscal failings.

    By Blogger Bob, at 4:45 PM  

  • Well-articulated, by "quick and dirty" standards.

    By Blogger Hillsdale College Alumnus, at 7:24 PM  

  • Thank you. It was written in great haste between classes.

    By Blogger Bob, at 10:41 PM  

  • I agree with everyone's observations about Imprimis. (I also threw away the last issue without reading it). Charles Kessler's "Four More Years", however, though congratulatory of Bush's victory, is mostly a note of caution adressed to the Bush Administration and its flippant use of natural law to justify the war in Iraq. I would go as far as to say that Kessler is even mildly critical of Bush, at least by recent Imprimis standards.

    By Blogger philip, at 11:27 PM  

  • I would go as far as to say that if Jake Allen, Phil, and I are all throwing out Imprimis as a matter of course, that's a big sign that it has gone badly downhill...

    By Blogger Bob, at 1:40 AM  

  • Interesting thread--will post more on it later. Just note that good ol' Larry has churned out one book.

    By Blogger David Talcott, at 10:51 AM  

  • Well, at least tenatively, I retract my statement about books. I would like to see a copy of it, or reviews, but I was definitely wrong on that (I blame Amazon).

    By Blogger Bob, at 12:11 PM  

  • The "Collegian" had a review of it a few weeks ago. I think it was by Alexis Boylan. The basic idea is that it was a typical history of Hillsdale -- more or less an argument for Hillsdale's greatness as *the* place to be in the world for freedom etc. A book version of Larry's speechs, in other words.


    By Blogger S.F., at 10:54 PM  

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