Opportunity Lost: UNC’s Board of Governors Rejects a Helpful Innovation

Wise decision making depends on knowledge of the full range of options and information, not with rhetoric designed to push a specific agenda. And leadership that seeks out only one side of the story will not produce good governance. Sadly, the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors seems to prefer limiting its information … Continue reading “Opportunity Lost: UNC’s Board of Governors Rejects a Helpful Innovation”


Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances

Editor’s note: This is the second part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The first part can be found here. The ideological imbalance of American university faculties is not new. Whether one looks at faculty voter registrations, publications, course syllabi reading lists, or merely … Continue reading “Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances”


Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives

Editor’s note: This is the first part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The second part can be found here. Legislating a problem away is an extremely tempting option, when available. Why not try to fix the most intractable problem in public higher education—its intensifying … Continue reading “Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives”


stop bias, promote free speech

North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias

Yesterday, I came to bury Caesar. That was a mistake, so today, I’m going to praise him. By “Caesar,” I mean the North Carolina Legislature. I wanted to “bury” them—in rhetorical fashion—for removing institutional neutrality out of the otherwise outstanding North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act (HB 527). After we published that article, I reread … Continue reading “North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias”


The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff

The University of North Carolina was founded with an excellent governance structure—with one glaring flaw that allows power to be concentrated in the General Administration rather than dispersed between the several branches. That flaw is the Board of Governors’ dependence on the administration for information. In 2013, I proposed that this problem could be corrected … Continue reading “The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff”


In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups

I pose a simple question: can free and civil discourse survive inclusion of those who would silence that discourse by any means possible—including violent intimidation? That seems to be a straightforward question deserving of a straight answer: no, civil discourse will not, except under special circumstances, survive when participants seek to undermine or destroy it. … Continue reading “In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups”


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”


The Novel A Theory of Nothing Says Something

The college novel is a staple of Anglosphere literature; academia is an especially target-rich environment for social critics and satirists. Yet, the best-selling college novels usually aim at a relatively small subset of that environment. Most merely use the campus as a backdrop for stories that could take place almost anywhere: coming of age stories, … Continue reading “The Novel A Theory of Nothing Says Something”


Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma

Recently I attended a meeting of a committee of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors that has a mission of “setting goals for economic impact.” Higher education’s role in the economy cannot be ignored; the extent of that role is, however, highly debatable. Some people believe that academia is the place to … Continue reading “Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma”


Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness

In 2010, a seemingly insignificant event in a far-off land caught my eye. The Israeli academic world was having a fracas over the actions of “post-Zionist” faculty that raised important questions about the principle of academic freedom. Briefly, Zionism is support for a religious Jewish state; post–Zionism refers to the desire for Zionist Israel to … Continue reading “Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness”