Reforming Higher Education: A Reading List

As more students have headed to college and a degree is seen as a way to shape students as workers and as citizens, higher education’s mission has become more important. Its leaders, and their personal beliefs, have become more contentious, too. In recent months, many conservative thinkers have publicly debated how to reform higher education—or, … Continue reading “Reforming Higher Education: A Reading List”


Political Science Needs Intellectual Diversity, But Few Realize It

Political science is the study of homo politicus, what Plato considered the most quintessential of human behaviors. Over the centuries, it has generated a library of observations, theories, and findings about the way we think and act. The work has forged a broad consensus in many of the discipline’s realms of inquiry. Yet, although academic … Continue reading “Political Science Needs Intellectual Diversity, But Few Realize It”


Caveat Magister: Even Medical Professors Must Not Say Politically Incorrect Things

How far has the United States gone down the road of punishing people for uttering politically incorrect thoughts? Very far indeed, as an incident at the University of Louisville shows. Yes, we know that faculty in the “soft” fields of the social sciences endanger their careers if they happen to say something that upsets someone … Continue reading “Caveat Magister: Even Medical Professors Must Not Say Politically Incorrect Things”


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”