My University Treated Me Like a Criminal Over a Joke

For the past six years, I have taught an undergraduate course on international economics at Johns Hopkins University. Most of my students thought it was a very good course. So I was shocked when, on December 6, 2016, I was met at the door of my classroom by Johns Hopkins security personnel and barred from … Continue reading “My University Treated Me Like a Criminal Over a Joke”


racial protest

How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests

This academic year has been punctuated by a series of high-profile campus protests. Many student grievances have, as in previous years, centered on claims of racial injustice. If next academic year is to be about education rather than protest, faculty and administrators must explore the role they play in both politicizing college life and racializing … Continue reading “How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests”


The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?

When universities institute things such as “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” they often justify doing so in the name of protecting students’ mental health. Critics, on the other hand, argue that universities are more often protecting students from ideas with which they disagree and shielding them from the vicissitudes of adulthood. But there is at … Continue reading “The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?”


Will the Surge of Support for Free Speech on Campus Do Any Good?

Last month, PEN America, the U.S. branch of an international organization, published a strong defense of free speech on college campuses. The nearly century-old group stands for the idea that “People everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to … Continue reading “Will the Surge of Support for Free Speech on Campus Do Any Good?”


Colleges Are Promoting Psychological Frailty and We Should All Be Concerned

“And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Thomas Wayne, Batman Begins Administrators at the University of Florida recently notified students that a 24-hour counseling hotline is available to anyone who feels offended by Halloween costumes. Other colleges, in an attempt to pre-empt the psychological threat of offensive costumes, … Continue reading “Colleges Are Promoting Psychological Frailty and We Should All Be Concerned”


The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition

Last month, just before the new academic year began, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter (reproduced in this piece) to all incoming students. It was meant to reaffirm the university’s commitment to free speech and inform the students that they shouldn’t expect the academic environment at Chicago to include … Continue reading “The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition”