Free Speech and Liberal Education: A Plea for Intellectual Diversity and Tolerance

Dr. Donald Downs, Alexander Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science Emeritus and affiliate professor of law and journalism emeritus at the University of Wisconsin‐​Madison, will discuss his latest book, Free Speech and Liberal Education: A Plea for Intellectual Diversity and Tolerance, on January 14 from 12PM – 1:30PM. Register for the Zoom webinar here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C2LCdHJeTSKoqsPpL6zpIA Dr. … Continue reading “Free Speech and Liberal Education: A Plea for Intellectual Diversity and Tolerance”



Blueprints for Reform

The university system in the United States has accomplished a great deal of good, but it has strayed from its chief goals of scholarly inquiry and responsible teaching, especially in the past 20 years. All too often, universities allow teaching to become shallow and trendy, failing to challenge students intellectually and disparaging traditional principles of … Continue reading “Blueprints for Reform”


Free Speech and Liberal Education–Two Endangered Pillars of Society

Fifteen years ago, American higher education was beset with serious problems, especially rising costs, politicization of the curriculum, the mania over diversity, and falling academic standards. At that time, however, few people would have said that among its problems was the threat to freedom of speech on campus. But one scholar who did see that … Continue reading “Free Speech and Liberal Education–Two Endangered Pillars of Society”


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”


We Need to Talk About Bruce

Nowhere is “cancel culture” more deeply entrenched than in academia; it was commonplace there long before the actual phrase was coined to describe the current social media phenomenon. The gears of academia keep grinding away dissenting opinions, despite occasional paeans offered in the name of academic freedom. Those who propose uniquely original ideas can face … Continue reading “We Need to Talk About Bruce”



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”