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”


punished by tenure

Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure

For most professors, the quest for tenure is an all-consuming obsession. It confers security against job loss and cements your position at the college or university. With tenure, you’ve “made it” in the academic world. Tenure, however, does have its critics in the professorial ranks. Among them is University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt … Continue reading “Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure”


Free Speech Is More Threatened Than Ever and We Must Respond

Many readers probably have read about the New Wave of free speech suppression that has swept across campuses in the last several years. It comes on the heels of the previous era of speech codes that reigned from the late 1980s through the first decade of the 2000s. In 2005, I published the Independent Institute … Continue reading “Free Speech Is More Threatened Than Ever and We Must Respond”


If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It

The United States got along nicely for its first 176 years without any federal legislation on higher education. (A good reason why there was no such legislation is the absence of any authority for it in the Constitution, but that’s not a point I want to go into here.) In 1965, however, Congress passed and … Continue reading “If We Can’t Repeal the Higher Education Act, Let’s Improve It”


Bias Response Teams Chill Free Speech and Miseducate Students

In their Atlantic article, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukainoff identified a troubling development on American campuses. They wrote, “A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.” Instead of confronting statements, beliefs, … Continue reading “Bias Response Teams Chill Free Speech and Miseducate Students”


The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition

Last month, just before the new academic year began, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter (reproduced in this piece) to all incoming students. It was meant to reaffirm the university’s commitment to free speech and inform the students that they shouldn’t expect the academic environment at Chicago to include … Continue reading “The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition”


NC State Continues to Defend Unconstitutional Policy

Imagine a college student who has just formed a student group. In order to generate interest in this group, the student goes to the student union and passes out flyers for the inaugural meeting. According to North Carolina State University, this student has just violated campus policy by failing to gain prior approval for his … Continue reading “NC State Continues to Defend Unconstitutional Policy”