The pandemic and universities, with a dose of psychopathy

Higher Education

Though my father earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Washington State University, in Pullman, the most I’d heard about the school, really, was seeing the diploma he always hung on a wall in the places we (and he) lived. It turns out that Pullman is now a COVID-19 hotspot, probably because of college students returning to the area, and that coincidentally, cases have spiked among nursing home residents in the area, though no direct relationship has been established.[1]

That ought to concern the Pittsburgh area, where a number of major universities and a bunch of smaller ones sit in the middle of an area with an aging population, and many, many, many senior facilities. And where cases at the University of Pittsburgh (“Pitt”) have recently spiked.[2] Indeed, according to notifications I receive daily on my phone, the Allegheny County case counts have risen dramatically, though again, I should caution that the causal relationship—especially its direction—here is unclear.

My connection to Stanford University, really, isn’t much less tenuous. But the story about the Hoover Institute[3] inspires a new blog post entitled, “Intellectual respectability for psychopaths.”

Francie Diep, “In This Rural College Town, Covid-19 Was Scarce. Then the Students Came Back,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/in-this-rural-college-town-covid-19-was-scarce-then-the-students-came-back

Tom Bartlett, “Why Some Stanford Professors Want the Hoover Institution Gone,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/why-some-stanford-professors-want-the-hoover-institution-gone


  1. [1]Francie Diep, “In This Rural College Town, Covid-19 Was Scarce. Then the Students Came Back,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/in-this-rural-college-town-covid-19-was-scarce-then-the-students-came-back
  2. [2]Paul Guggenheimer, “Pitt issues shelter-in-place order to students due to covid surge,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 8, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pitt-issues-shelter-in-place-order-to-students-due-to-covid-surge/
  3. [3]Tom Bartlett, “Why Some Stanford Professors Want the Hoover Institution Gone,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/why-some-stanford-professors-want-the-hoover-institution-gone

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