The BlackLivesMattering of Higher Ed: Some Notes from the Field

When the University of Chicago English Department announced over the summer that, in response to the protests after the death of George Floyd, they would only admit graduate students willing to work in Black Studies (a proclamation that, after media attention brought criticism, they recently removed from their webpage), observers of the increasing dominance of … Continue reading “The BlackLivesMattering of Higher Ed: Some Notes from the Field”


Disadvantaging Black Students with a Demand for ‘Linguistic Justice’

On August 3, the Executive Committee of the Conference on College Composition and Communication approved a position statement on “Black Linguistic Justice.” The statement was crafted as a set of “demands” that “teachers stop using academic language and standard English as the accepted communicative norm.” The “Four Cs” is the largest and most important professional … Continue reading “Disadvantaging Black Students with a Demand for ‘Linguistic Justice’”


Diversity Über Alles: Science Is Threatened by Identity Politics

I have worked in academic science my entire life and I have never seen any sign of racism, systemic or otherwise. On the contrary, I have seen people go to considerable lengths to aid able minorities. Yet a petition is circulating nationally complaining that: women and “people of color” are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, … Continue reading “Diversity Über Alles: Science Is Threatened by Identity Politics”


Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures

In 1980, Apple founder Steve Jobs called the computer “a bicycle for our minds.” Today, the advent of smartphones gives individuals the power to share images instantaneously with the rest of the world, often accompanied by an admonishment to college-bound students to “watch what you post online.” That is merited advice, as colleges and universities … Continue reading “Censoring a Thousand Words: Universities Must Cease Punishing Students for Their Online Pictures”


The Power of Denunciation in Political Science

A recent case of attempted silencing and censorship has roiled the field of political science. Two gender studies professors, Allison Howell of Rutgers University and Melanie Richter-Montpetit of the University of Sussex in the UK, wrote an interdisciplinary paper titled “Is securitization theory racist? Civilizationism, methodological whiteness, and antiblack thought in the Copenhagen School,” published … Continue reading “The Power of Denunciation in Political Science”


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”


College Reform: Build Lifeboats to Escape the Sinking Ship

In their recent Martin Center policy brief, Joy Pullmann and Sumantra Maitra get much right about the activist professor problem in academia. These professors are dominating the profession in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible three or four years ago. Their control has led to an ideological monoculture, which suppresses freedom of thought and … Continue reading “College Reform: Build Lifeboats to Escape the Sinking Ship”


An Open Letter to Duke President Price about Anti-Racism

Dear President Price: On June 17, you published a 1,400-word “Statement to the Community Regarding Anti-Racism.” The document contains many expressions of concern, fully in tune with the current national mood about the evils of racism and the problems of the African American community. Nevertheless, the measures proposed, and the assumptions made, in this document … Continue reading “An Open Letter to Duke President Price about Anti-Racism”


UNC’s Attempt to Grapple with ‘History of Racism and Oppression’

On June 8, interim UNC system president William Roper and chairman of the Board of Governors Randy Ramsey announced the establishment of a race and equity task force. The announcement came a day after three individuals associated with the UNC system wrote a letter requesting that such a task force be established. In the letter, … Continue reading “UNC’s Attempt to Grapple with ‘History of Racism and Oppression’”


UCLA’s Discrimination Office Targeting Professor Threatens Academic Freedom

When a political science lecturer at UCLA read to his class Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and showed clips from a documentary on racism, he found himself in hot water. The reason: Both the letter and the documentary included the N-word. Many students complained, which in turn pitted UCLA against the … Continue reading “UCLA’s Discrimination Office Targeting Professor Threatens Academic Freedom”