Sorry, Students, but I Have Never Espoused Racism or White Supremacy

As I watched the antics of the hooded “Antifa” mobs at Berkeley and other large universities last year, I thought that I’d missed something in my many years as a college professor. Unlike Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and other dissenters from the leftist academic consensus, I had never been assailed by raging anti-fascist … Continue reading “Sorry, Students, but I Have Never Espoused Racism or White Supremacy”


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”


What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018

New Year’s Day means a time to take stock of what’s happened on college campuses. Higher education in 2017 had more of students leading campus protests, college administrators struggling to protect free speech for controversial speakers, and some politicians defending academic integrity. Some of those trends have been positive while others are, with any luck, … Continue reading “What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018”


When a Black Student Dares to Speak Up for Free Speech

Zachary Wood is a remarkable young man. He’s black, attends a predominantly liberal elite college (Williams) and believes that robust and civil arguments are vital to America’s continuing success. He is the president of a student group at Williams called Uncomfortable Learning (UL), which has the mission of bringing to campus notable speakers who can … Continue reading “When a Black Student Dares to Speak Up for Free Speech”


Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests

Today’s protest-ridden climate on college campuses might lead one to suspect that they are hotbeds of political disruption controlled by social justice warriors.  All over the country, speakers are shouted down, professors are harassed and even assaulted, students are intimidated—while administrators grovel, patronize, pander, and quake.  Fortunately, the situation isn’t quite so dim on most … Continue reading “Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests”


The Contemporary Relevance of A Poem on the Underground Wall

The last train is nearly due The underground is closing soon And in the dark deserted station Restless in anticipation A man waits in the shadows On my return to Georgetown’s campus this fall, I was greeted with the following broadcast e-mail message dated September 6: Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community, We write … Continue reading “The Contemporary Relevance of A Poem on the Underground Wall


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”


This University President Can’t Take a Joke

A university president recently addressed his campus community about an incident that had shaken his Wisconsin school. “The last few days have been painful ones for many members of our community, as they have also been for me,” wrote Lawrence University’s Mark Burstein. “The event and its aftermath have left many students wondering whether the … Continue reading “This University President Can’t Take a Joke”


Student Free Speech Suffers a Defeat

Since launching its Stand Up for Free Speech project in 2014, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has had a great deal of success in defeating college officials when they interfere with the free speech of students. But you can’t win them all, and a recent decision went against FIRE and the students … Continue reading “Student Free Speech Suffers a Defeat”


My University Treated Me Like a Criminal Over a Joke

For the past six years, I have taught an undergraduate course on international economics at Johns Hopkins University. Most of my students thought it was a very good course. So I was shocked when, on December 6, 2016, I was met at the door of my classroom by Johns Hopkins security personnel and barred from … Continue reading “My University Treated Me Like a Criminal Over a Joke”