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”


Campus Free Speech Needs Protection—The Question Is How

Like a cannonball, President Trump has leaped into the turbulent waters of higher education free speech policy and action. Carrying through on a promise he made during a freewheeling speech he delivered at CPAC a few weeks ago, the president has issued an executive order that throws the power of the federal government into the … Continue reading “Campus Free Speech Needs Protection—The Question Is How”


How Comfortable Do Conservatives Feel on Campus?

The internet is filled with stories of how conservative student groups are mistreated on campus. Conservative and libertarian students often sound the alarm about hostile administrators, violent protesters, and unpleasant experiences. They have their invited speakers shouted down, prevented from speaking by the imposition of exorbitant security fees, or simply canceled by administrators bending to … Continue reading “How Comfortable Do Conservatives Feel on Campus?”


Can Public Universities Practice Ideological Discrimination?

If a university were to state that it will not hire people applying for a faculty position because of their race, sex, or religion, that would be clearly illegal. No school would dare to disregard applicants simply because “people of their kind” were not wanted. But what about an applicant’s philosophy and political beliefs? Can … Continue reading “Can Public Universities Practice Ideological Discrimination?”


Defining Faculty Roles: In Defense of the Activist-Scholar

Editor’s note: This is the third of a three-part series on faculty roles in higher education. Part I by Fabio Rojas is here and Part II by Jay Schalin is here. Should we allow scholars to be activists? Fabio Rojas (“Scholarship First, Activism Second”) and Jay Schalin (“Scholarship Only, Activism on Your Own Time”) have offered various … Continue reading “Defining Faculty Roles: In Defense of the Activist-Scholar”


The ‘Right’ to Disrupt Free Speech on Campus Doesn’t Exist

When students (and others) disrupt events where speakers are trying to make arguments they dislike, they say that their conduct is justified. Most commonly, the disrupters maintain that they are merely preventing “hate speech,” which allegedly doesn’t enjoy the protection of the First Amendment. Therefore, they are perfectly free to keep such speakers from being … Continue reading “The ‘Right’ to Disrupt Free Speech on Campus Doesn’t Exist”


The Campus Free Speech Problem Worsens and Washington Finally Acts

The turnabout in federal policy towards higher education has been dramatic. Back on September 7, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that her department was rescinding the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter in which the Obama administration’s Office for Civil Rights imposed new standards for the way colleges must deal with allegations of sexual assault and … Continue reading “The Campus Free Speech Problem Worsens and Washington Finally Acts”