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”


Did You Know? The Fight Over Renaming Buildings at North Carolina Colleges

On June 17, the Board of Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted to end the moratorium on renaming campus buildings associated with white supremacy or slavery. An online petition sparked that change. Michael Rashaad Galloway, a recent alumnus, started the petition that gained over 9,500 signatures. Since the reversal, the … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Fight Over Renaming Buildings at North Carolina Colleges”


UNC-Chapel Hill Officially Teaches What to Think, Not How to Think

When the University of North Carolina leadership and the state’s legislators capitulated to the frenzied mob that toppled a statue of a Confederate Army soldier at the entrance to the UNC-Chapel Hill Campus in 2018, they likely thought they were putting an unpleasant issue to rest. After all, the continual protests, riots, and confrontations over … Continue reading “UNC-Chapel Hill Officially Teaches What to Think, Not How to Think”


If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?

The COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t kill the SAT, but will no doubt leave it in a badly weakened condition. Both the SAT (and its close competitor, the ACT) have had to cancel administration of their tests for the last few months and, according to this Washington Post story, universities have decided that they will make … Continue reading “If We Jettison Standardized Testing, What’s Its Replacement?”


UNC-Chapel Hill Creates Commission to Battle ‘Invisible Racism’

To say that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has experienced racial tensions in the last few years would be an understatement. The most visible source of conflict has been the fate of the infamous—and illegally toppled —Confederate statue, Silent Sam. But even after the statue’s demise, activists at Chapel Hill insist that … Continue reading “UNC-Chapel Hill Creates Commission to Battle ‘Invisible Racism’”


An Anti-Free Speech Conference in Greensboro

Scholars gathered October 24 and 25 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to discuss free speech—and focused on its alleged pernicious effects. The conference’s takeaway was that the problem with free speech in the public sphere is not one of inadequacy, but rather one of overabundance. The conference, “Finding Expression in Contested Public … Continue reading “An Anti-Free Speech Conference in Greensboro”


The Oberlin Case Gives College Leaders a Teachable Moment

When college officials violate people’s rights, they run the risk of bringing on lawsuits that can cost their schools a lot of money.  The most common instance has been hyper-aggressive Title IX actions where the accused student was presumed guilty and railroaded into suspension or expulsion and later successfully sued over the violation of his … Continue reading “The Oberlin Case Gives College Leaders a Teachable Moment”


The End of Being a Duke Professor and What It Means for the Future of Higher Education

The end of the spring semester marks the 20th anniversary of my professorship at Duke, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy. During this time, I regularly taught the required ethics class for all undergraduate public policy majors. I won multiple … Continue reading “The End of Being a Duke Professor and What It Means for the Future of Higher Education”


The New Racism, Part I: How ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Made Color Blindness a Bad Thing

Like most Americans, I have always assumed that color blindness is our ideal.  Not any more: color blindness is now become the new racism. So much for a 70-year struggle to fulfill Martin Luther King Jr.’s wish that his children be “judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their … Continue reading “The New Racism, Part I: How ‘Race and Ethnic Studies’ Made Color Blindness a Bad Thing”


Duke Divinity School’s Race to the Bottom

The chickens have come home to roost at Duke’s Divinity School. Protesting students claim the school is insufficiently diverse. More needs to be done, they say, to combat racism, transphobia, homophobia, and associated evils. All this despite a campaign by the administration to achieve these very aims in the course of which a distinguished faculty … Continue reading “Duke Divinity School’s Race to the Bottom”