To Protect Tenure, Conservatives Need to Ally with Progressives

In October 2015, the Martin Center published an article reminding conservatives why they should defend tenure. Author David Clemens, relying on his own faculty experience, explained the dangers to the American Academy—and American society—of capitulating to the demands of an increasingly progressive regime on what can and cannot be taught, thought, or said in higher … Continue reading “To Protect Tenure, Conservatives Need to Ally with Progressives”


Professors Fight to Save Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in Arkansas

In March 2018, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees adopted new rules that fatally undermine academic freedom. We authored this piece for the Martin Center explaining the damage the amendments would inflict on higher education in the state. Unfortunately, the Board of Trustees ignored our warning, a warning reiterated by numerous other faculty and … Continue reading “Professors Fight to Save Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in Arkansas”


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”


Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?

In my 45 years of teaching I have never filed an academic complaint against another faculty member—nor has one ever been filed against me. I have long believed that this demonstrates the overwhelming integrity of the teaching profession. But in 2012, as a professor and former chair in film studies at the University of North … Continue reading “Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?”


Should We Stop Asking College Students to Evaluate Their Instructors?

At the end of every semester, at nearly every college in the country, millions and millions of students fill out student evaluations of teachers. These forms ask very sensible questions. Did the teacher effectively communicate the material? Were they available for students? Department chairs and deans take these evaluations very seriously. At teaching-intensive institutions, these … Continue reading “Should We Stop Asking College Students to Evaluate Their Instructors?”


punished by tenure

Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure

For most professors, the quest for tenure is an all-consuming obsession. It confers security against job loss and cements your position at the college or university. With tenure, you’ve “made it” in the academic world. Tenure, however, does have its critics in the professorial ranks. Among them is University of Chicago economics professor Steven Levitt … Continue reading “Meet the Professor Who Has Been Punished for Denouncing Tenure”


Court Ruling in the McAdams Case: A Body Blow to Free Speech and Tenure

The Martin Center has been covering the Kafkaesque case of Marquette University professor John McAdams since it first broke several years ago. Professor Howard Kainz first wrote about it in “Firing Professor McAdams: When a Catholic University Collides with Political Correctness.” He explained the substance of the problem between the university and McAdams, which was … Continue reading “Court Ruling in the McAdams Case: A Body Blow to Free Speech and Tenure”


Professional Excellence: Can It Be Learned in College?

After spending thirty years in a corporate environment, I embarked on a second career as a member of the faculty and staff of a liberal arts college. Each semester I would dedicate one class to the topic of “business courtesy,” highlighting for the students the personal behaviors that can distinguish them in the workplace. Since … Continue reading “Professional Excellence: Can It Be Learned in College?”