The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Administrators?

Academics sometimes have a bit of an unfortunate reputation of being big picture thinkers, with our heads in the clouds (or ivory tower) and disconnected from the realities of everyday life. As a PhD student pursuing a career in academia, I’ve certainly had my fair share of experiences starting a research project, then getting excited … Continue reading “The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Administrators?”


Placing Limits on Faculty Speech

Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a two-part series of articles. Part 1 can be found here.  What are the boundaries of the “fitness” standard for faculty employment in regard to the extramural comments of faculty? (These are comments made about the world beyond the campus.) Some argue that there are none, that professors … Continue reading “Placing Limits on Faculty Speech”


Archivists Serve Historians? A Case of Academic Hubris

In early August, archivists and other scholars erupted in protest when the American Historical Association (AHA) wrote a letter asking broad questions about how archives plan to reopen. The AHA framed its letter as an effort to advocate for professional historians and countless other researchers who were without access to most physical archives throughout the … Continue reading “Archivists Serve Historians? A Case of Academic Hubris”


An Innovative Solution to the Failures of Peer Review

Academics are growing wary of the peer review process amid mounting evidence that it is compromised by ideological biases and that it does not effectively or reliably ensure the quality of published research. Further, it is increasingly evident that the academic publishing industry’s primary reason for being is not to disseminate new knowledge to the … Continue reading “An Innovative Solution to the Failures of Peer Review”


Peer Review, a Tarnished “Gold Standard”

I recently submitted a manuscript to an education journal, a review essay of another scholar’s work. It opened with a compliment of the author’s “highly-praised and influential work.” To that statement, one reviewer of my manuscript asserted that I used “emotionally loaded language of incredulity, dismissiveness, and hyperbole.” More “tone policing” comments riddled the review, … Continue reading “Peer Review, a Tarnished “Gold Standard””


Derek Bok’s Higher Expectations – Our Colleges Should Accomplish More

Former Harvard president Derek Bok has long lamented that our institutions of higher education largely underperform in their missions. He has now written another book making that argument. His Higher Expectations is a coolly rational analysis of what needs to be done to improve American undergraduate education. He uses as his frame a study by … Continue reading “Derek Bok’s Higher Expectations – Our Colleges Should Accomplish More”


Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning

The college campus has become a battleground between the United States and China. Donations, research funding, and international students give colleges a much-needed financial and enrollment boost, but the connection to the Chinese government can also threaten academic freedom and, on some occasions, national security. Fundamentally, universities exist to serve students and the public interest, … Continue reading “Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning”


Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist

During the last year, many universities throughout North America have declared “anti-racism” to be their official policy. Consider this sample of quotations. “We must ask how Princeton can address systemic racism in the world, and we must also ask how to address it within our own community.” —Christopher L. Eisgruber, president, Princeton University. “The University … Continue reading “Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist”


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”


True Learning Starts With Real Mentorship

There’s a chasm between the purpose of a liberal arts education and how many colleges and universities actually operate. Throughout academia, excessive value is placed on efficiency, research publications, and prestige—things that are, at best, ancillary to a liberal education’s central purpose of growing in wisdom and pursuing truth. Consequently, instead of focusing on nurturing … Continue reading “True Learning Starts With Real Mentorship”