College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights

Here is a recurring situation on American college and university campuses—an official acts in a way that violates the constitutional rights of students or faculty members, usually by trampling on the First Amendment. The aggrieved party then sues, naming the institution and the officials who approved the actions as defendants. Those lawsuits often succeed, with … Continue reading “College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights”


Free Expression at UNC Schools: Freshman Orientation Edition

About two years ago, I spoke to a class of UNC-Chapel Hill students about free speech: what it is and why it is important. I covered some basic points such as the kinds of speech the First Amendment does and does not protect. I also talked about the importance of respecting dissenting opinions, and how … Continue reading “Free Expression at UNC Schools: Freshman Orientation Edition”


When Universities Don’t Step Up, Good Professors Are Forced to Step Down

With “cancel culture” running rampant on social media, in politics, and in the classroom, professors who put forth the effort to help students think critically and challenge their beliefs are needed more than ever. Over the last 15 years at Central Michigan University, journalism professor Timothy Boudreau championed those practices in his classroom, to the … Continue reading “When Universities Don’t Step Up, Good Professors Are Forced to Step Down”


Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning

The college campus has become a battleground between the United States and China. Donations, research funding, and international students give colleges a much-needed financial and enrollment boost, but the connection to the Chinese government can also threaten academic freedom and, on some occasions, national security. Fundamentally, universities exist to serve students and the public interest, … Continue reading “Security Concerns with China Limiting Student Learning”


What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?

It’s no secret that higher ed reformers have struggled to offer a compelling alternative to free college and loan forgiveness offered from the left. This failure is partially because conservatives and libertarians are usually on the defensive about higher ed policy. In response to that problem, the American Enterprise Institute organized a panel discussion titled … Continue reading “What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?”


This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech

Over the last 30 years, federal courts have consistently ruled that restrictive speech codes and minuscule free speech zones on college campuses violate the First Amendment. So, why do college administrators continue to create and enforce such policies? The answer is that they face no penalty for doing so. A case that arose back in … Continue reading “This Case Gives the Supreme Court a Chance to Protect Campus Free Speech”


What’s in a Syllabus? The Keys to Undoing Academic Freedom, If We’re Not Careful  

The syllabus is such a basic document that most of us tend not to think much about what goes into making one. What are its necessary ingredients? A listing of the required study and reading materials, obviously. Dates of important milestones, like term papers and exams, as well. Lecture schedules, weekly assignments, and a rubric … Continue reading “What’s in a Syllabus? The Keys to Undoing Academic Freedom, If We’re Not Careful  “


‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments

Inevitably, college music departments have succumbed to pressure to promote “social justice” and fight racism. It’s hard to see much injustice or racism in music, but that doesn’t matter to activists intent on showing that they’re in the vanguard of America’s transformation. Consider, for example, the announcement back in September by the music department at … Continue reading “‘Wokeness’ Infiltrates College Music Departments”


Did You Know? Survey Finds Trouble in Campus Support for Free Speech

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) came out with the largest survey of students and campus life, showing the predictable divisions along class, political beliefs, and gender. However, overall, it painted a scenario that is mostly positive, and policy reforms can fix the drawbacks. FIRE surveyed 20,000 students across 55 institutions. Female students … Continue reading “Did You Know? Survey Finds Trouble in Campus Support for Free Speech”


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”