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”


The Sociology of the Academic Outrage Mob

The academy seems built for public controversy because professors are encouraged to question ideas and popular beliefs. It shouldn’t be surprising that academic outrage has a long history. In the past, scholars could find themselves in trouble, like Galileo, who defended Copernican astronomy and then proceeded to attack Pope Urban VIII, a position so unpopular … Continue reading “The Sociology of the Academic Outrage Mob”


Campus civility declines as attention turns to groups, not individuals

I recall vividly in the early 1980s spending fifteen minutes walking two hundred yards with my older faculty mentor from our offices to Davidson’s post office. Along the way, he greeted or was greeted by Davidson students, staff, other faculty, and townspeople. For each there was a hearty “good morning” or a “you are looking so well,” or to an advisee, “how is your calculus class going?”