Huge news for people who read The Atlantic and heavily police the entrance of the single-gender bathrooms in public school hallways: Panos Kanelos, the former president of St. John’s College (Annapolis), has tapped Substacker Bari Weiss, “Woke Fed”-invoker Larry Summers, comedy legend Sohrab Amari, a buncha Epstein guys, David Mamet, and a handful of wannabe podcasters to start a new college called the University of Austin.
UATX, not to be confused with the University of Texas at Austin, Texas’ flagship state university, is not yet an accredited college nor is it conferring any degrees, but it is promising to be “a liberal arts university committed to freedom of inquiry, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse.” Rest assured: There will be absolutely NO freedom of discussion of apartheid states and the on-campus parties are gonna suck so bad.
At present, University of Austin is more of a website (with perhaps the worst SEO ever, you try googling it and not getting to the home of the Longhorns) and less of an ivory tower, but at least the graphic design almost looks legitimate. UATX states that one of the reasons they chose an Austin location is because “if it’s good enough for Elon Musk and Joe Rogan, it’s good enough for us.” UATX also states itself as a private, non-profit institution, though “fiscally sponsored by Cicero Research, which is an exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.” Cicero Research appears to be an arm of the Austin-based Cicero Institute, a libertarian lobbying group.
In the first two years of undergraduate studies at UATX, students will receive a liberal arts education. In the final two years, undergrads will be referred to as “junior fellows” like the little baby think tankers they are. UATX will also offer an MA in Entrepreneurship and Leadership, which the website assures is quite different from an MBA. It’s worth mentioning that UATX is not accepting students yet, but when the time comes, “UATX will not arbitrarily factor in race, gender, class or any other form of identity into its decisions. UATX stands firmly against that sort of discrimination in admissions.” More like UNoTitleIX.
UATX was founded because its newly compiled ranks are “alarmed by the illiberalism and censoriousness prevalent in America’s most prestigious universities and what it augurs for the country.” The Board of Advisors for UATX is comprised almost entirely of professors from Harvard, Brown, Standard, and University of Chicago (plus a Palantir guy who recently tweeted that taking paternity leave was for “losers”; forgive him, though he isn’t asking for it, for he was simply trying to look masc in front of the intellectual titans who have become his peers). You’d think these mightily powerful educators would have the power to stymie illiberalism and censoriousness in the classroom, but perhaps their students have become too ungovernable in the classroom, making sex-negative TikToks in the back row, pronouns firmly stated in their bios.
Next summer, UATX will offer a program called “Forbidden Courses” that invites “top students from other universities to join us for a spirited discussion about the most provocative questions that often lead to censorship or self-censorship in many universities.” I’ll see you all there with a bunch of dog-eared Caitlin Flanagan (who is on the Board of Advisors) articles and Maureen Dowd op-eds for our re-education.