Safe Spaces: Balancing Academic Freedom and Wokeness

The following is adapted from an address given at a Martin Center luncheon on July 15, 2021. Finally, I come to my main argument: Safe spaces. I want to come out in favor of safe spaces. Not everywhere, or for all purposes, but in general I think there should be a strong presumption in favor … Continue reading “Safe Spaces: Balancing Academic Freedom and Wokeness”


College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights

Here is a recurring situation on American college and university campuses—an official acts in a way that violates the constitutional rights of students or faculty members, usually by trampling on the First Amendment. The aggrieved party then sues, naming the institution and the officials who approved the actions as defendants. Those lawsuits often succeed, with … Continue reading “College Officials Should be Responsible When They Violate People’s Rights”


College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If

College athletes’ rights, including their economic rights, have long been denied. American college sports have existed under an antiquated and oft-changing definition of amateurism that requires athletes to forfeit any pay for their efforts on the field or court. Despite the revenue explosions in the industry, and the wealth flowing into athletics departments, amateurism has … Continue reading “College Athletes’ Payment Rights: A Question of When and How, Not If”


How ‘Experts’ Abused Science to Saddle America with the Microaggression Mania

The need to combat “microaggressions” has recently saturated America. In higher education, business, and government, programs and policies have been implemented to deal with a supposed problem that almost no one recognized until a few years ago. Microaggressions are statements by non-minority individuals that convey racist ideas to minority hearers, thereby supporting the white power … Continue reading “How ‘Experts’ Abused Science to Saddle America with the Microaggression Mania”


The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy

Back in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, church officials felt it necessary to scrutinize every book or pamphlet for the slightest hint of heresy. If the work deviated from doctrine, it would be banned, burned, and the author could be punished. The Enlightenment brought a change in attitude toward freedom of speech. In Britain, … Continue reading “The Campaign to Stamp Out Academic Heresy”


A Scholar’s Lament

Professor John Ellis has served on college faculties since 1963 and is now an emeritus professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz. He has witnessed enormous changes in higher education over his years and he finds those changes to be deplorable. In his new book The Breakdown of Higher Education, Ellis explains how our system … Continue reading “A Scholar’s Lament”


Did You Know? At UNC-Chapel Hill, About 19% of Liberals and 3% of Moderates and Conservatives Would Block Controversial Speaker

In the spring of 2019, three professors at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill conducted a study to understand free speech and constructive dialogue on campus. The study invited UNC students to complete a survey and attend focus group interviews with members of three different politically involved student organizations. From the data, professors Jennifer Larson, … Continue reading “Did You Know? At UNC-Chapel Hill, About 19% of Liberals and 3% of Moderates and Conservatives Would Block Controversial Speaker”



Meet the mid-level bureaucrats who impose speech codes on America’s universities

Of all the many ideas that constitute our civilization, none is more central or important than the norms of free inquiry. The last place one should entrust these norms for safekeeping and propagation is to a bureaucracy that is dedicated to peace and quiet. Yet today, it is they, not the faculty, who are the true enemies of free speech on campus.