This is higher ed’s time for choosing. If this is the new purpose of the universities—to nurture a crop of activists trained at whipping up angry mobs, and a generation of college graduates conditioned to submit to those mobs—then there is no longer any purpose served by these institutions. There is certainly no justification for the outrageous claim they are making on the economic resources of the average family, who sends their kids to schools whose tuition has been inflated by decades of government subsidies.
The universities have done this to themselves. They created the whole phenomenon of modern identity politics and Politically Correct rules to limit speech. They have fostered a totalitarian microculture in which conformity to those rules is considered natural and expected. Now that system is starting to eat them alive, from elite universities like Yale, all the way down to, er, less-than-elite ones like Mizzou.
They created this Frankenstein monster, and it’s up to them to kill it before it kills them.
I remember one time talking with another professor about the likely effects of the most recent round of budget cuts. His concern was that with declining state funds, a larger percentage of the university’s income was coming from tuition, and once tuition became a clear majority of the funding the dynamics of the university would be ruined: we would become employees of the students. This seemed like a strange worry to me at the time–shouldn’t we be at the service of our students?–but although the older professor was more liberal than me in the ordinary political ways, he had thought things through from a more properly reactionary perspective than I had. Society is not a social contract; the sovereign’s duty is to his subjects’ good, but he is not under their authority. His master is God. The university is not a business; the faculty’s duty is to our students’ good, but we are not their servants, and they are not our customers. Our master is truth.