Leaving the Blight of Higher Education: Part I–Farewell, Students

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series. In May of 2020, my wife and I took our retirement after more than 30 years of teaching college, the last 20 years of which we spent at what I will call Upstate Consolation University, a mid-tier state college somewhere in the Northeast. My wife … Continue reading “Leaving the Blight of Higher Education: Part I–Farewell, Students”


Whither Race-Neutrality in California?

In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 209 by an impressive 56-to-44 percent majority. Prop 209 amended the state’s constitution to prohibit the granting of preferences based on race or gender. It inaugurated a series of campaigns, led by businessman and University of California Regent Ward Connerly, that by 2006 had established similar prohibitions in 10 … Continue reading “Whither Race-Neutrality in California?”


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”


Repairing Academia’s Crisis of Meaning

Traditionally, higher education introduced students to life’s most fundamental questions: “What is good?”; “What is true?”; “Do our lives have meaning beyond the material?”; and so on. The focus used to be on developing the whole person: To lift students morally and ethically, to pique their curiosity in all things, and to instill, as Cardinal … Continue reading “Repairing Academia’s Crisis of Meaning”


Conflicting Visions, Part II: Should Universities Accept Outside Funding for Free Market Centers?

Editor’s note: This week the Pope Center addresses a controversial issue that has arisen at dozens of American colleges and universities—whether outside funding for free market programs and centers undermines academic integrity. In recent years, as organizations such as the Charles Koch Foundation have provided that funding, a variety of arguments have been made that … Continue reading “Conflicting Visions, Part II: Should Universities Accept Outside Funding for Free Market Centers?”