Campus Cancel Culture–Pernicious and Widespread

“I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” While Voltaire apparently did not say exactly that (the phrase seems to have come from a biographer), it is still a perfect description of the mindset of a rational human. Of course people will disagree, but … Continue reading “Campus Cancel Culture–Pernicious and Widespread”


This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech

Over the last 30 years, federal courts have consistently ruled that restrictive speech codes and minuscule free speech zones on college campuses violate the First Amendment. So, why do college administrators continue to create and enforce such policies? The answer is that they face no penalty for doing so. A case that arose back in … Continue reading “This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech”


How the College Board Mangles the Teaching of History

The College Board is a not-for-profit company that has a great deal of influence over American education. Its Scholastic Aptitude Test (the SAT) is the most widely used test for assessing the college readiness of students, and its many Advanced Placement exams allow students to show that they have learned subjects well enough not to … Continue reading “How the College Board Mangles the Teaching of History”


The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy

Back in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, church officials felt it necessary to scrutinize every book or pamphlet for the slightest hint of heresy. If the work deviated from doctrine, it would be banned, burned, and the author could be punished. The Enlightenment brought a change in attitude toward freedom of speech. In Britain, … Continue reading “The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy”


The Harvard Professor Who Bemoans Higher Education

Most college professors applaud what American higher education does and want to see it expand to include even more students. One dissenter of note, however, is Harvard philosophy professor Michael Sandel. In his latest book, The Tyranny of Merit, he argues that higher education has become a big part of the problem he sees with … Continue reading “The Harvard Professor Who Bemoans Higher Education”


Can the President Cancel Student Debt? Should He?

Many people and groups are pressuring Joe Biden to issue an executive order that would cancel some or all federal student debts shortly after he takes office. During the campaign, Biden said that he would immediately cancel $10,000 of student debt for each borrower, but some want the incoming president to go further. For example, … Continue reading “Can the President Cancel Student Debt? Should He?”


‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments

Inevitably, college music departments have succumbed to pressure to promote “social justice” and fight racism. It’s hard to see much injustice or racism in music, but that doesn’t matter to activists intent on showing that they’re in the vanguard of America’s transformation. Consider, for example, the announcement back in September by the music department at … Continue reading “‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments”


Could Law School Be the Worst Higher Education Investment?

For decades, law school was a growth industry. Back in 1970, there were 146 law schools with an enrollment of 78,000 students; by 2013, there were 201 schools, enrolling 139,000 students. Enrollment peaked in 2010 at 147,000. (For the current year, it seems that enrollments will probably remain level with last year.) By 2015, we … Continue reading “Could Law School Be the Worst Higher Education Investment?”


Free Speech and Liberal Education–Two Endangered Pillars of Society

Fifteen years ago, American higher education was beset with serious problems, especially rising costs, politicization of the curriculum, the mania over diversity, and falling academic standards. At that time, however, few people would have said that among its problems was the threat to freedom of speech on campus. But one scholar who did see that … Continue reading “Free Speech and Liberal Education–Two Endangered Pillars of Society”


A Book with a Kernel of Truth—and a Grain Silo of Nonsense

Every so often, a leftist thinker breaks free from the orthodoxy to point out that policies favored by “progressives” can have adverse consequences. When that happens, it’s worth paying attention. We have such an instance with the publication of The Cult of Smart by Fredrik deBoer, a writer and one-time academic whose work has appeared … Continue reading “A Book with a Kernel of Truth—and a Grain Silo of Nonsense”