Life Among the Academic Radicals

For almost a quarter century I have been a professor of economics at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. After years of working there, I have learned something about how my department’s academic radicals, who by dint of personality but not numbers have near-decisive control over many departmental decisions. WSU economics is a master’s-level department. … Continue reading “Life Among the Academic Radicals”


Can a New Law Protect Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

American colleges and universities lean left. Among faculty at leading U.S. universities, Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 11-to-one. The administration is even more skewed: there, Democrats outnumber Republicans by 12-to-one. Further evidence can be found by examining summer reading choices, non-academic campus programming, commencement speakers, and funding given to student groups. George R. LaNoue … Continue reading “Can a New Law Protect Intellectual Diversity on Campus?”


Preserving the Values of a Free Society in Higher Education

Editor’s Note: Roger Ream gave the following lecture at the Martin Center’s annual policy banquet on October 24th. It appears here in abridged form. It is an honor to be here this evening with friends and supporters of the Martin Center, an organization on the front lines of the battle for education reform. Speaking of … Continue reading “Preserving the Values of a Free Society in Higher Education”


Diversity and Inclusion of Identity Groups Often Means Uniformity and Exclusion of Ideas

“‘Diversity and inclusion’ is the moral benchmark of our time… Every corporation, college, and government agency, along with a growing number of bowling leagues and bait-and-tackle shops, has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion.” So says William Voegeli in a recent article. And so says the University of California at Los Angeles, whose campus-wide Vice … Continue reading “Diversity and Inclusion of Identity Groups Often Means Uniformity and Exclusion of Ideas”


Intellectual Diversity and Academic Professionalism

Editor’s Note: This is a condensed version of a speech Dr. Otteson gave at a January James G. Martin Center luncheon. Our topic today is the importance of intellectual diversity on campus. I doubt there is anyone here who does not believe in the importance of intellectual diversity on campus, so I would like to … Continue reading “Intellectual Diversity and Academic Professionalism”


An Ambassador of Civil Discourse

In today’s universities—and in society in general—the ability to engage in intellectually rigorous and courteous conversation can appear to be a lost art. All too often, the rule of politically correct opinions wields an overwhelming power over the ability to engage in thoughtful debate. But there is increasingly pressure to restore civil discourse to the … Continue reading “An Ambassador of Civil Discourse”


Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances

Editor’s note: This is the second part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The first part can be found here. The ideological imbalance of American university faculties is not new. Whether one looks at faculty voter registrations, publications, course syllabi reading lists, or merely … Continue reading “Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances”


Contra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education

The term “McDonaldization” was coined by sociology professor George Ritzer in 1993. He meant for it to describe “the industrial process of rationalization that [was] expanding beyond industry into the cultural and educational spheres.” Ritzer’s term caught on and in 2002, Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard applied it to higher education in a book they … Continue readingContra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education”


Everyone’s Offended: Campus Intolerance Can Come from Liberals and Conservatives

From Evergreen State College in Washington to Yale University in Connecticut, campaigns to punish or fire professors accused of thinking or saying things outside the bounds of political correctness seem to crop up with disturbing regularity. Often, we’ve seen these attacks coming from students, faculty, and administrators on the Left. Sometimes, however, conservatives have similar … Continue reading “Everyone’s Offended: Campus Intolerance Can Come from Liberals and Conservatives”


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”