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”


Classroom Diversity and Its Mentality of Taboo

Anyone who applies for an executive or upper management position at a university these days must demonstrate a “strong commitment to diversity.” That’s because diversity, according to campus dogma, provides real educational benefits. Counting and mingling students and professors by race, ethnicity or gender is supposed to broaden perspectives and enhance classroom learning. That might … Continue reading “Classroom Diversity and Its Mentality of Taboo”


Engineering Education: Social Engineering Rather than Actual Engineering 

We engineers like to solve technical problems. That’s the way we think, that’s why we chose our major, that’s why we got into and stayed in engineering. There are several other reasons why we got into engineering. One of them was the absence of what I describe here as “social engineering,” where the professor/instructor is … Continue reading “Engineering Education: Social Engineering Rather than Actual Engineering “


racial protest

How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests

This academic year has been punctuated by a series of high-profile campus protests. Many student grievances have, as in previous years, centered on claims of racial injustice. If next academic year is to be about education rather than protest, faculty and administrators must explore the role they play in both politicizing college life and racializing … Continue reading “How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests”


Colleges Are Rejecting Our Common Humanity and the Science That Reveals It

Academics often point out that diversity is good, in part, because it brings different perspectives and experiences to the table. I agree. In fact, this is one reason many argue that higher education needs to also promote viewpoint diversity. Diversity based on identities such as race does not necessarily reflect a deeper diversity of life … Continue reading “Colleges Are Rejecting Our Common Humanity and the Science That Reveals It”


Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements”

One of the worst features of America in the 1940s and 50s was the persistent demand for national loyalty oaths. In those days, people were expected to declare their support for the U.S. and if they didn’t, they could be blackballed, expelled, or otherwise punished. The ideological fervor for conformity abated for decades, but has … Continue reading “Loyalty Oaths Return with Faculty “Diversity Statements””


Sweeping Change at the Office for Civil Rights Is Imperative

Nowhere is the adage “personnel is policy” truer than in the federal education bureaucracy. With nothing more than a few Dear Colleague letters meant to provide “guidance” to nearly all colleges and universities, during the Obama administration officials in the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made dramatic and harmful changes in the … Continue reading “Sweeping Change at the Office for Civil Rights Is Imperative”


Citing Genetics and Power of Rock Music, Physicist Says Diversity Crossbreeds Excellence

James Gates Jr. is a theoretical physicist renowned for his work with supersymmetry, supergravity, and string theory. The University of Maryland professor says he prefers to shun publicity, but his curriculum vitae boasts of many accomplishments and honors, including service on former President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He also is an … Continue reading “Citing Genetics and Power of Rock Music, Physicist Says Diversity Crossbreeds Excellence”


Universities Are Churning Out the Next Generation of Higher Ed Bureaucrats

The number of non-academic administrators at colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, far outpacing the growth in students and faculty. According to a report from the American Institutes for Research, between 2000 and 2012 the average ratio of full-time faculty and staff per administrator declined 40 percent, to around … Continue reading “Universities Are Churning Out the Next Generation of Higher Ed Bureaucrats”


Summer Reading Questions and What They Reveal About Faculty

After three decades in higher education as student and teacher, this year I begin a new role, as parent. My eldest daughter will attend a small liberal arts college in Iowa. Like many schools, her college asks incoming freshmen to read a common summer reading. Its choice for the incoming students this year is Claude … Continue reading “Summer Reading Questions and What They Reveal About Faculty”