Attaching Strings to “Free” College Education Makes No Sense

Recently, several states have adopted policies that ostensibly make college education free to their residents, but with strings attached to this benefit. The most famous program is undoubtedly New York’s. Under the “Excelsior Scholarships” plan recently signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo, state residents who come from families with annual incomes under $125,000 won’t … Continue reading “Attaching Strings to “Free” College Education Makes No Sense”


Microaggressions Put Under the Scholarly Microscope

The term “microaggression” was coined in 1970 by Harvard professor Chester Pierce, who declared that “Every Black must recognize the offensive mechanisms used by the collective White society, usually by means of cumulative proracist microaggressions, which keep him psychologically accepting of the disenfranchised state.” His phrase lay dormant until 2007, when a number of professors … Continue reading “Microaggressions Put Under the Scholarly Microscope”


If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It

The United States got along nicely for its first 176 years without any federal legislation on higher education. (A good reason why there was no such legislation is the absence of any authority for it in the Constitution, but that’s not a point I want to go into here.) In 1965, however, Congress passed and … Continue reading “If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It”


Colleges Try to Get Rid of Inconvenient Professors

College officials have cultivated a nice image for themselves—scholarly people who care deeply about providing the best possible education for their students. The reality, however, is often very different. They can be petty, self-serving, and ideological, sometimes sacrificing educational quality in favor of other objectives. Occasionally, faculty members become inconvenient to the leadership and must … Continue reading “Colleges Try to Get Rid of Inconvenient Professors”


Elite College, Caught in Title IX Web, Goes to Trial Against Wronged Student

Amherst College is one of America’s most prestigious schools. It is run by people with lustrous liberal credentials, eager to show their fidelity to progressive causes, including the battle against the campus “rape culture.” But that eagerness has landed Amherst a lawsuit brought by a student who argues that he was wrongfully expelled. The facts … Continue reading “Elite College, Caught in Title IX Web, Goes to Trial Against Wronged Student”


Another Professor Shouted Down—This Time Over Pronouns

Universities in the United States do not have a monopoly on intolerant and disruptive students. Canada has them too, as shown by a recent incident at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The school had arranged for a panel discussion on the subject of free speech and political correctness in Canada. Four speakers were invited and … Continue reading “Another Professor Shouted Down—This Time Over Pronouns”


Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements”

One of the worst features of America in the 1940s and 50s was the persistent demand for national loyalty oaths. In those days, people were expected to declare their support for the U.S. and if they didn’t, they could be blackballed, expelled, or otherwise punished. The ideological fervor for conformity abated for decades, but has … Continue reading “Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements””


Bias Response Teams Chill Free Speech and Miseducate Students

In their Atlantic article, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukainoff identified a troubling development on American campuses. They wrote, “A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.” Instead of confronting statements, beliefs, … Continue reading “Bias Response Teams Chill Free Speech and Miseducate Students”


The Middlebury Mob Shows How Thin the Veneer of Our Civilization Is

On March 2, there was one of those oh-so-revealing events that makes people realize that very bad trends are at work in America, trends that are corroding the essence of civilization. Middlebury College in Vermont is a liberal arts school. The prolific author and American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray was asked to speak at … Continue reading “The Middlebury Mob Shows How Thin the Veneer of Our Civilization Is”


Sweeping Change at the Office for Civil Rights Is Imperative

Nowhere is the adage “personnel is policy” truer than in the federal education bureaucracy. With nothing more than a few Dear Colleague letters meant to provide “guidance” to nearly all colleges and universities, during the Obama administration officials in the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made dramatic and harmful changes in the … Continue reading “Sweeping Change at the Office for Civil Rights Is Imperative”