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”


College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If

College athletes’ rights, including their economic rights, have long been denied. American college sports have existed under an antiquated and oft-changing definition of amateurism that requires athletes to forfeit any pay for their efforts on the field or court. Despite the revenue explosions in the industry, and the wealth flowing into athletics departments, amateurism has … Continue reading “College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If”


Did You Know? The UK Wants Free Speech on Campus

In a new law that will change the direction of higher education in the United Kingdom, the British government is drafting the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, which might require universities to defend free speech and freedom of expression. The British political system lacks the First Amendment protections for free speech like the American … Continue reading “Did You Know? The UK Wants Free Speech on Campus”


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  “


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”


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”


Did You Know? Two British Reforms America Should Copy

Two recent British policy briefs on academic freedom and university reforms provide some broad suggestions applicable to colleges, British or otherwise. Policy Exchange, a center-right think tank, published “Academic Freedom in the UK: Protecting viewpoint diversity,” which highlights the disappearance of the conservative professor on campus. CIEO, a left-of-center think tank, published “Saving Britain’s Universities: … Continue reading “Did You Know? Two British Reforms America Should Copy”


Did You Know? Students, Faculty Punished for Speech on Social Media

Fordham University student Austin Tong has found himself in hot water over a protest picture on Instagram. In it, he posed with a gun to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The private university in New York City found that Tong’s post, as well as another where he criticized the response of … Continue reading “Did You Know? Students, Faculty Punished for Speech on Social Media”


How Colleges Get Rid of Conservative Admins: An Example from UNC

When I accepted an administrative position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, friends warned me that I would not fit in as a conservative. I dismissed their concerns as hyperbole, an instance of believing universities are more politicized than they actually are. After eight long months, however, I had to admit that … Continue reading “How Colleges Get Rid of Conservative Admins: An Example from UNC”