Who’s Afraid of a Little Data?

We’ve heard a lot, in recent years, about a free speech crisis on our college campuses. There are stories of speakers being shouted down and of students being afraid to voice their opinions, for fear of ostracism by their peers or retaliation from faculty and staff. Some have dismissed this talk as politically inspired rhetoric, … Continue reading “Who’s Afraid of a Little Data?”

Revitalizing Freedom of Expression at Davidson 

Over the last several years, Davidson College’s inhospitality to freedom of thought has caught the attention of concerned alumni. Among other concerns, a group of alumni was deeply dismayed by the campus’s lack of support of, and sometimes even hostility towards, open inquiry and free expression.  In 2018, these alumni formally organized themselves into an … Continue reading “Revitalizing Freedom of Expression at Davidson “

The Biggest Threat to Academic Freedom? We Don’t Teach It.

Challenges to Academic Freedom, a new volume edited by University of Georgia professor Joseph Hermanowicz, offers a fresh slate of perspectives on some of the issues potentially clouding academic freedom’s future. It’s a worthwhile collection, and it arrives at an opportune time. While I can’t touch upon each entry in the space here, a few … Continue reading “The Biggest Threat to Academic Freedom? We Don’t Teach It.”

The Long Decline of the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania was an excellent school when I was an undergraduate there in the mid-1960s. The politics were polyglot, reflecting an era when the professional classes and even the professoriate were more ideologically diverse than is the case today. Campus activism of earlier in the decade surrounding civil rights marches had faded and … Continue reading “The Long Decline of the University of Pennsylvania”

Gender Studies on the Chopping Block

On February 25, Wyoming’s state senate passed a budget amendment to end funding for the University of Wyoming’s Gender and Women’s Studies program. State senator Cheri Steinmetz (R-Lingle) was concerned that the program promoted “service and activism.” “We’re training activists” with state money, Sen. Steinmetz argued, adding that she lost sleep after studying the array … Continue reading “Gender Studies on the Chopping Block”

Law Student Complains about a Question; Professor Sentenced to Re-education Camp

Law students are adults who have completed an undergraduate degree. They’re in a professional school to learn the law, procedures, and skills they’ll need in a conflict-ridden, frequently harsh world. You would expect that they would act accordingly. Sadly, that’s not always the case. As we’ll see, law students can be petty and vindictive. And … Continue reading “Law Student Complains about a Question; Professor Sentenced to Re-education Camp”

The UNC Alumni Free Speech Alliance: A Conversation with a Founding Member

Alumni have been making their voices heard over the past few months. After seeing the alarming direction that their alma maters are taking, alumni at institutions such as Davidson College, the University of Virginia, and Washington & Lee have decided to unite around the principles of free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity. These alumni … Continue reading “The UNC Alumni Free Speech Alliance: A Conversation with a Founding Member”

How Open Are North Carolina Schools to Free Speech?

Free speech is under attack in the United States today. Even Big Tech is censoring content: sites like Twitter and Facebook censor speech that is deemed anti-diversity, anti-racist, or even simply against the current political climate. Despite claiming to be places for free and open discussion, these companies often shut down or ban conversations while … Continue reading “How Open Are North Carolina Schools to Free Speech?”

Building a “Robust Free Expression Culture on Campus”

Many college campuses aren’t as hospitable to open inquiry and free expression as they should be. However, there is reason for hope. Numerous individuals and organizations across the country have dedicated themselves to the task of helping policymakers, administrators, faculty, and students understand the value of civil dialogue and disagreement. One of those organizations is … Continue reading “Building a “Robust Free Expression Culture on Campus””

“Death by a Thousand Cuts”: Professor Files Lawsuit Against NC State University

Incidents of academics being targeted for their views are on the rise, according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). FIRE notes that the number of targeting cases has sharply increased from 24 incidents in 2015 to 113 in 2020. Unfortunately, that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down … Continue reading ““Death by a Thousand Cuts”: Professor Files Lawsuit Against NC State University”