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TAC Digest: November 29

Today on theamericanconservative.com [1], Ron Unz’s blockbuster article examining the questionable admissions practices of Ivy League universities [2] continued to attract attention. Samuel Goldman was unconvinced by Unz’s conclusions [3]:

The narrowness of Unz’s definition of academic achievement is connected to a broader defect of the piece. In addition to neglecting students’ ability in the liberal arts, Unz does not consider the liberal arts’ contribution to the university as whole. Unz’s model of meritocracy is Caltech. Not coincidentally, Caltech is an engineering school, which has only a vestigial presence in the humanities and liberal arts. Caltech is a wonderful institution. But would Harvard be more “meritocratic” if its student body and course offerings were more like Caltech’s? Would it be a better university? I doubt it, and not only for reasons of self-esteem.

Leon Hadar made the case for Jon Huntsman for Secretary of State [4]. More from Michael Brendan Dougherty and Daniel Larison on Huntsman here [5] and here [6].

Finally, Alan Jacobs found value in old educational models [7].