Did You Know? Survey Paints Grim Picture of Academia, But Signs of Hope

Free speech in higher ed is threatened, and leaders in our academic institutions won’t save it. “Unless reforms come from outside the academy,” writes Eric Kaufmann in The Wall Street Journal, “universities will continue to be monocultures in which conservative ideas aren’t given a fair hearing.” The article, a summary of his recently published CSPI report, “Academic Freedom … Continue reading “Did You Know? Survey Paints Grim Picture of Academia, But Signs of Hope”


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”


Did You Know? Chinese Government Influence at North Carolina Colleges

Three universities in North Carolina host chapters of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, a group with ties to the Chinese government. According to a May article in Campus Reform, Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NC State all have chapters. The website of the Chinese Students & Scholars Friendship Association at NC State states that … Continue reading “Did You Know? Chinese Government Influence at North Carolina Colleges”


Speaking Out Against Censorship in Academia

As academia becomes ever-more entrenched in groupthink, it can be intimidating to be a lone voice that refuses to toe the ideological line. And for good reason: failure to at least appear to agree with the ideological consensus on campus can result in a number of professional—and personal—consequences. But those potential consequences haven’t deterred one … Continue reading “Speaking Out Against Censorship in Academia”


Where Did ‘Cancel Culture’ Come From?

“People that work at universities and newspapers should be the most intellectually free people in the world.” Few would vocally disagree with these words recently said by former New York Times writer Bari Weiss. And yet, despite living in the freest country in the world, it’s become increasingly risky for students, academics, and journalists even … Continue reading “Where Did ‘Cancel Culture’ Come From?”


Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures

In 1980, Apple founder Steve Jobs called the computer “a bicycle for our minds.” Today, the advent of smartphones gives individuals the power to share images instantaneously with the rest of the world, often accompanied by an admonishment to college-bound students to “watch what you post online.” That is merited advice, as colleges and universities … Continue reading “Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures”


The Power of Denunciation in Political Science

A recent case of attempted silencing and censorship has roiled the field of political science. Two gender studies professors, Allison Howell of Rutgers University and Melanie Richter-Montpetit of the University of Sussex in the UK, wrote an interdisciplinary paper titled “Is securitization theory racist? Civilizationism, methodological whiteness, and antiblack thought in the Copenhagen School,” published … Continue reading “The Power of Denunciation in Political Science”


Misusing Editorial Power to Censor Unpopular Research

Academic freedom is under assault by people who want to control research and speech. One of their strategies exploits the gatekeeping functions of journal editors to censor unpopular ideas. The leading open-access journal in the field of intelligence research, the Journal of Intelligence, has a policy listed on its website since 2018 that states, “The … Continue reading “Misusing Editorial Power to Censor Unpopular Research”


What Provosts Get Wrong: A Failed Case for Campus Speech Restrictions

On picking up What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech, Truth, and Equality on Campus, one might expect a book urging those who dismiss today’s college students’ complaints about institutional racism, persistent sexism, and other societal ills to take them more seriously. To engage with their arguments and to try to empathize with them, rather than … Continue reading “What Provosts Get Wrong: A Failed Case for Campus Speech Restrictions”


Contra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education

The term “McDonaldization” was coined by sociology professor George Ritzer in 1993. He meant for it to describe “the industrial process of rationalization that [was] expanding beyond industry into the cultural and educational spheres.” Ritzer’s term caught on and in 2002, Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard applied it to higher education in a book they … Continue readingContra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education”