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”


stop bias, promote free speech

North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias

Yesterday, I came to bury Caesar. That was a mistake, so today, I’m going to praise him. By “Caesar,” I mean the North Carolina Legislature. I wanted to “bury” them—in rhetorical fashion—for removing institutional neutrality out of the otherwise outstanding North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act (HB 527). After we published that article, I reread … Continue reading “North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias”


Shouts and Protests on Campus Are Signs of a More Pernicious Problem

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the graduating class of Notre Dame, drawing attention to the loss of free speech on American campuses. He denounced the “noxious wave that seems to be rushing over much of academia.” The problem is that this wave is coming from within academia, not “rushing over” it as if from … Continue reading “Shouts and Protests on Campus Are Signs of a More Pernicious Problem”


Duke Assails Free Speech So It Can “Protect and Value Diverse Perspectives”

American college campuses are becoming more and more like the old communist states where people enjoyed freedom of speech—but only so long as they didn’t question some aspect of the official orthodoxy. Any such “deviationism” was apt to land them in severe trouble with the authorities, who encouraged loyal citizens to report it. (Alexander Solzhenitsyn … Continue reading “Duke Assails Free Speech So It Can “Protect and Value Diverse Perspectives””


The Real Story Behind the Bethune-Cookman University Commencement Protest

When U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos gave the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) on May 10, the all-too-familiar tactics of students protesting speakers with whom they disagree sparked a new round of all-too-familiar media stories about “campus snowflakes” squelching free speech. Which actually was quite a shame. Because the real story at Bethune-Cookman’s graduation … Continue reading “The Real Story Behind the Bethune-Cookman University Commencement Protest”


Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado

A little over four years ago the University of Colorado, Boulder began a three-year pilot program that I believe has no precedent in American higher education. With the help of private donors, and the support of the university’s board, president, and chancellor, the school created the position of Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought and Policy. … Continue reading “Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado”