Measuring the Spread of DEI

A constant concern in my academic sub-field of comparative politics is how to create concepts and measurements that stand up to scrutiny when applied to several cases. When we hear someone claim that politics in Country X are “corrupt,” our first questions are “What do you mean by corruption?” and “Compared to where?” This concern … Continue reading “Measuring the Spread of DEI”


What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness

The SAT has been in the news again, this time because of the claim that test-optional policies are a way for colleges to covertly impose affirmative action. It’s true that such policies have created a two-tier system that allows colleges to accept more black and Hispanic students than would otherwise qualify for admission. But the … Continue reading “What SAT Scores Say About Teacher Effectiveness”


Gov. Cooper’s Race-Preferences Brief is Inherently Discriminatory

On August 1st, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina submitted an amicus brief siding with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in its attempt to use race as a factor in university admissions. The amicus brief comes at a time when the future of affirmative action is being litigated in the Supreme Court. A group … Continue reading “Gov. Cooper’s Race-Preferences Brief is Inherently Discriminatory”


The Truth About Student Mismatch

Among the arguments against the policy of admitting students to colleges because they have the right ancestry—that is, they appear to come from “underrepresented” minority groups—is the fact that it can mismatch students and schools. At least sometimes, students admitted to fulfill perceived diversity needs are far behind their classmates in academic ability and find … Continue reading “The Truth About Student Mismatch”


The Reopening of the American Mind

In 1987, philosopher Allan Bloom published The Closing of the American Mind, a book critiquing higher education in America. As a self-described teacher “dedicated to liberal education,” Bloom offered a thoughtful account of illiberal cultural and ideological trends: Civic education turned away from concentrating on the Founding to concentrating on openness based on history and … Continue reading “The Reopening of the American Mind”


How the Best of Intentions Created Today’s Academic Disasters

Today’s assault on intellectual excellence in the academy will eventually end. Hopefully, an investigation will then commence on its causes, and all the usual suspects will be rounded up. This tribunal will, however, likely ignore one key culprit: ordinary faculty—people like me—who complained about the assault, all while enthusiastically aiding it. Yes, some criticized the … Continue reading “How the Best of Intentions Created Today’s Academic Disasters”


Self-Identified “Compelling Interests” are Not a License to Discriminate

To what extent can a selective educational institution advantage certain racial groups in admissions decisions without discriminating against other groups simultaneously? How can said institutions balance external demands for fairness and group representation with their core mission to educate students sufficiently? How much influence should an institution itself wield, compared with other stakeholders (including the … Continue reading “Self-Identified “Compelling Interests” are Not a License to Discriminate”


States Must Go Beyond Affirmative Action Bans to Stop Discriminatory Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on College Campuses

The Supreme Court may ban affirmative action, but even if it does, many race, sex, and ideology-conscious “diversity” policies and programs will still remain on college campuses. Regardless of the Court’s decision, state legislators have an important role to play in striking down discriminatory practices in public higher education. Idaho is emblematic of how a … Continue reading “States Must Go Beyond Affirmative Action Bans to Stop Discriminatory Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on College Campuses”


Science Needs Honesty, Not Affirmative Action

Holden Thorp is a very clever fellow. With a PhD in chemistry from Caltech and after some business ventures and a spell teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he ascended to the chancellorship of the university in 2007 at the young age of 43. He resigned in 2013 amid allegations of … Continue reading “Science Needs Honesty, Not Affirmative Action”


Judge Rules for UNC in Admissions Case

In 2014, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed suit against the University of North Carolina. Its complaint argued that the university had engaged in intentional discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity to the detriment of SFFA members. The suit followed in a line of cases challenging the admissions policies of universities, where students … Continue reading “Judge Rules for UNC in Admissions Case”