No, Professor, Words Are Not Violence

The excuse we have often heard for raucous campus protests over the last few years is that they are justified as a way of countering the “violence” of speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Charles Murray. To prevent them from speaking is, according to this line of argument, using mere sound to eliminate the actual harm … Continue reading “No, Professor, Words Are Not Violence”


Student Free Speech Suffers a Defeat

Since launching its Stand Up for Free Speech project in 2014, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has had a great deal of success in defeating college officials when they interfere with the free speech of students. But you can’t win them all, and a recent decision went against FIRE and the students … Continue reading “Student Free Speech Suffers a Defeat”


books on fire

Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions

The academic enterprise is supposed to be about truth. Those who are entrusted to teach are expected to convey knowledge to their students, not their opinions. And when academics write books, they should do so to deepen knowledge in their fields, never to mislead readers. Sometimes, however, academics allow their zeal to convert students or … Continue reading “Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions”


punished by tenure

Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure

For most professors, the quest for tenure is an all-consuming obsession. It confers security against job loss and cements your position at the college or university. With tenure, you’ve “made it” in the academic world. Tenure, however, does have its critics in the professorial ranks. Among them is University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt … Continue reading “Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure”


Duke Assails Free Speech So It Can “Protect and Value Diverse Perspectives”

American college campuses are becoming more and more like the old communist states where people enjoyed freedom of speech—but only so long as they didn’t question some aspect of the official orthodoxy. Any such “deviationism” was apt to land them in severe trouble with the authorities, who encouraged loyal citizens to report it. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn … Continue reading “Duke Assails Free Speech So It Can “Protect and Value Diverse Perspectives””


Can the Feds Do Something to Protect Campus Free Speech? Should They?

That free speech on college campuses is under attack cannot be denied. We find invited speakers being disinvited or shouted down, “bias incident” reporting systems that encourage students to complain when they hear anything they don’t like, and professors who demean students who dare to question their assertions. In the fairly recent past, most higher … Continue reading “Can the Feds Do Something to Protect Campus Free Speech? Should They?”


Court Ruling in the McAdams Case: A Body Blow to Free Speech and Tenure

The Martin Center has been covering the Kafkaesque case of Marquette University professor John McAdams since it first broke several years ago. Professor Howard Kainz first wrote about it in “Firing Professor McAdams: When a Catholic University Collides with Political Correctness.” He explained the substance of the problem between the university and McAdams, which was … Continue reading “Court Ruling in the McAdams Case: A Body Blow to Free Speech and Tenure”


Why the Woman Appointed to a Top Education Department Post Is Under Fire

During Barack Obama’s administration, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights was staffed with “progressives” who were intent on pushing federal policy in ways that advanced their visions of what education should accomplish and how schools must treat students. But as the former president himself observed, “elections have consequences” and we are seeing them in … Continue reading “Why the Woman Appointed to a Top Education Department Post Is Under Fire”


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”