College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

POLITICS & POLICY
(Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn’t resist the urge to side with its woke students against a local business.

College leaders should learn from this — if you want to avoid such lawsuits, don’t let school officials get involved in political protests. That’s my argument in today’s Martin Center piece.

Rather than wasting money on diversity training, college leaders should spend some time training their minions that there is a line between education and political activism which in their official capacities they must not cross. The problem, of course, is that a huge number of college employees from the top on down don’t think there should be any such line. They regard everything as tied in with their progressive commitments.

Oberlin’s new president, Carmen Ambar, exemplifies that mindset when she recently declared that the case will not sway us from our core values. Since those so-called values obviously keep the school from realizing when it is viciously defaming and damaging an innocent business, there will probably be more cases like this one.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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