The golf shot heard round the academic world

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Published: Wednesday, April 10 2013 11:08 a.m. MDT

In his convocation address to the freshman class, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine recounted an experience he had on the golf course with an investor and philanthropist. During his encounter, Mills claims the investor blasted Bowdoin's "misplaced and misguided diversity efforts."

Although Mills never named Thomas Klingenstein in his address, Klingenstein heard about the account and expressed his thoughts about it in the Claremont Review of Books.

Following his rebuttal, Klingenstein commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity. The results were published this week after 18 months of research.

The school's ideological pillars would likely be familiar to anyone who has paid attention to American higher education lately. There's the obsession with race, class, gender and sexuality as the essential forces of history and markers of political identity. There's the dedication to "sustainability," or saving the planet from its imminent destruction by the forces of capitalism. And there are the paeans to "global citizenship," or loving all countries except one's own.

Read more about The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World on The Wall Street Journal.

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