Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field

The authoritarianism that increasingly characterizes the American professoriate is on full display in a case involving the master’s program in social work at Rhode Island College (RIC). A student who did not believe that lobbying the state legislature for “progressive” causes was properly a part of his education and suffered for it has filed suit … Continue reading “Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field”


Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?

(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Forbes.com.) Hostility to free speech has become a salient characteristic of American college campuses. Speech codes that make it dangerous for students (or anyone else) to say things that might be regarded as offensive or “harassing” are all too common—even though the codes have been found to violate … Continue reading “Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?”


A Tweet Too Far

When Drexel University political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted “All I want for Christmas is white genocide” on Christmas Eve, he handed the Philadelphia school an opportunity to play an integral role in our national intellectual dialogue. Drexel could have helped to clarify an important academic freedom issue and, in doing so, earned a reputation … Continue reading “A Tweet Too Far”


American Studies: A Sad Tale of Academic Decline

My academic field, American Studies, is the interdisciplinary study of American cultures, past and present. Once it was a vibrant and useful discipline. Today, I’m sad to report, it is a regular source for “What wacky stuff are they up to on campus?” articles and blogs. These days, when American Studies captures any attention, it’s … Continue reading “American Studies: A Sad Tale of Academic Decline”


Your Generosity Is Helping to Improve Higher Education

As each year comes to a close, I take some time to review what the Pope Center accomplished during the previous 52 weeks, to analyze what challenges we still face, and to plan for what awaits us in January and beyond. None of our work here would be possible without you, so I wanted to … Continue reading “Your Generosity Is Helping to Improve Higher Education”


Merry Christmas!

In his new video “Just Say ‘Merry Christmas,’” Dennis Prager argues that efforts to replace “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” are misguided. In the name of “inclusivity,” he says, we are excluding the roughly 90 percent of Americans who celebrate Christmas. Such inclusivity efforts go back many years. In 2008, for example, the Pope Center reported … Continue reading “Merry Christmas!”


The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor

The final year of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration is noteworthy for all its carnage. In September, the large ITT Tech chain of schools, which had operated in 38 states, was forced to close when Department officials shut off its access to federal student aid. That decision, which I wrote about … Continue reading “The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor”


The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?

When universities institute things such as “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” they often justify doing so in the name of protecting students’ mental health. Critics, on the other hand, argue that universities are more often protecting students from ideas with which they disagree and shielding them from the vicissitudes of adulthood. But there is at … Continue reading “The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?”


Student Loan Forgiveness: Uncle Sam’s Generosity Will Cost Much More than Previously Estimated

When politicians and Education Department bureaucrats began designing policies to lessen college students’ federal loan burdens, they weren’t concerned much with the cost to the taxpayers. Their imperative was coming up with popular and ostentatious ways of helping indebted students; exactly how much doing so would drain the Treasury was of little consequence. At the … Continue reading “Student Loan Forgiveness: Uncle Sam’s Generosity Will Cost Much More than Previously Estimated”


New Diversity Initiatives Hurt the University of Wisconsin’s Campus Climate

At the school where I taught for almost 35 years, the University of Wisconsin—Madison, campus leaders continue their rush to respond to the BlackOut demands put forth by black student leaders last spring. As at many other universities in recent years, the administration has chosen to placate student radicals in ways that balkanize the campus … Continue reading “New Diversity Initiatives Hurt the University of Wisconsin’s Campus Climate”