Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests

Today’s protest-ridden climate on college campuses might lead one to suspect that they are hotbeds of political disruption controlled by social justice warriors.  All over the country, speakers are shouted down, professors are harassed and even assaulted, students are intimidated—while administrators grovel, patronize, pander, and quake.  Fortunately, the situation isn’t quite so dim on most … Continue reading “Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests”


A Critical Education Department Position Has Been Filled—and Filled Well

“Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors,” President Trump tweeted on June 5. “They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.” Fortunately for President Trump, many appointments don’t require Senate approval, and a cabinet member may appoint leaders to certain high-level positions within his or her department. This week Secretary of Education Betsy … Continue reading “A Critical Education Department Position Has Been Filled—and Filled Well”


How Academe Helped to Elect Trump

President Trump scares academe. Many feel threatened, under siege, rejected, aghast. Eric Klineberg, professor of sociology at New York University, summed up this anxiety a few days after the election: “My pulse raced and my blood pressure spiked when I realized that Donald Trump would be president. I felt afraid.” Trump’s victory, he adds, is … Continue reading “How Academe Helped to Elect Trump”


A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds

Recently, one of my neighbors saw students from Elizabethtown College, where I taught for many years, walking down the street wearing what looked like the puzzle pieces featured as symbols by Autistic Awareness. When he asked why they were wearing the all-white puzzle pieces, one of the coeds proudly explained that they were dramatizing the … Continue reading “A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds”


No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era

At this year’s Association of American Colleges and Universities meeting, held in late January in San Francisco, a sense of misgiving filled the conference hall. Panelists raised, implicitly, the question whether higher education has become out of touch with Donald Trump’s America. They fretted over their belief that the current social and political climate is … Continue reading “No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era”


Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On

During last week’s hearings on President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Senator Bernie Sanders asked her, “Will you work with me and others to make public colleges and universities tuition-free through federal and state efforts?” That, of course, was an idea that he and Hillary Clinton supported in last year’s presidential campaign—free … Continue reading “Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On”


For University Endowments, There’s No Time like the Present

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump argued that requiring wealthy universities to spend more of their endowment funds on tuition aid would reduce students’ financial burdens. Whether implementing that idea—which has floated around Congress since 2008—would lower college costs on the whole is doubtful. And, in my view, the federal government is already meddling too … Continue reading “For University Endowments, There’s No Time like the Present”


The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor

The final year of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration is noteworthy for all its carnage. In September, the large ITT Tech chain of schools, which had operated in 38 states, was forced to close when Department officials shut off its access to federal student aid. That decision, which I wrote about … Continue reading “The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor”


Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?

Now that the election has ended, Donald Trump faces new challenges. He must assemble a team, choose a direction, and begin to govern. During his long campaign, he gave a few hints as to how he might change federal education policy. On Wednesday, Trump announced his nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. … Continue reading “Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?”


How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?

Last month I looked at Hillary Clinton’s higher education proposals in this Clarion Call, and found nothing to praise in them. They merely deepen the already ruinous federal involvement in subsidizing college. Now it’s time to take a look at the higher education ideas that have been advanced by Donald Trump and the Republicans. I … Continue reading “How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?”