‘Witches’ and ‘Viruses:’ The Activist-Academic Threat and a Policy Response

How much of academia is infiltrated by activists? Some conservatives claim that “neo-Marxism” and its sister paradigms like feminist pedagogy, post-structuralism, and post-modernism have long infected certain departments in the humanities and social sciences. Those paradigms have now spread to more disciplines and funding committees. However, conservatives have been slow to explain how activist departments … Continue reading “‘Witches’ and ‘Viruses:’ The Activist-Academic Threat and a Policy Response”


Idaho’s Higher Education Earthquake?

Higher education reform will only come from the outside, probably from political reform. Or so we thought. Along came the coronavirus, also an outside force, that is upsetting the status quo in higher education. State universities are now preparing to cut budgets in the face of inevitable funding reductions from states and drops in student … Continue reading “Idaho’s Higher Education Earthquake?”


What Provosts Get Wrong: A Failed Case for Campus Speech Restrictions

On picking up What Snowflakes Get Right: Free Speech, Truth, and Equality on Campus, one might expect a book urging those who dismiss today’s college students’ complaints about institutional racism, persistent sexism, and other societal ills to take them more seriously. To engage with their arguments and to try to empathize with them, rather than … Continue reading “What Provosts Get Wrong: A Failed Case for Campus Speech Restrictions”


Did You Know? The States Doing the Most to Protect Student Rights

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate. One of the country’s strongest advocates for Constitutional rights on college campuses, FIRE focuses on freedom of speech and expression; religious liberty and freedom of association; freedom of conscience; … Continue reading “Did You Know? The States Doing the Most to Protect Student Rights”


Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?

As director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Campus Free Expression Project, I am always eager to get beyond the DC beltway to learn how students understand free expression on their particular campus. So, to return to Duke University, my alma mater, was particularly welcome. Duke has a legacy of defending the expression of controversial views. … Continue reading “Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?”


Conserve Free Speech on Campus

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from The Not-So-Great Society, published by the Heritage Foundation. Who cares that 20 students at the University of Wisconsin staged a protest in October 2017? Just months earlier, violence broke out at the University of California, Berkeley, after the invitation of a controversial speaker to campus. In March, a … Continue reading “Conserve Free Speech on Campus”


Students Tear Down Anti-Socialism Display at UNC Charlotte

Universities may not target unpopular speech on campus often, but when they fail to protect it, the results are similar to officially silencing speech. A recent example of this lack of effort to protect comes from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where an anti-socialism display was destroyed on campus within a day after … Continue reading “Students Tear Down Anti-Socialism Display at UNC Charlotte”


An Anti-Free Speech Conference in Greensboro

Scholars gathered October 24 and 25 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to discuss free speech—and focused on its alleged pernicious effects. The conference’s takeaway was that the problem with free speech in the public sphere is not one of inadequacy, but rather one of overabundance. The conference, “Finding Expression in Contested Public … Continue reading “An Anti-Free Speech Conference in Greensboro”


What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology

Jenna A. Robinson, President Jacques Barzun’s magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, has been a revelation—of my own inadequate history education. As the title says, the book covers 500 years of Western culture from 1500 to (almost) 2000. Barzun organizes the book around four important “revolutions:” religious, monarchical, liberal, and … Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology”


Can American Higher Education Be Restored?

People who analyze and write about higher education generally fall into two camps. One camp consists of those who believe that our system is “the envy of the world” and just needs more public support to do its great work of improving our citizens and strengthening our economy. (For a sense of what that camp … Continue reading “Can American Higher Education Be Restored?”