Macalester College: Liberal Arts or Monoculture?

Macalester College is a small (2,000-plus students), highly regarded, and very selective liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is proud of its liberal reputation and international outlook, and touts as past faculty vice presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, as well as undergraduate Kofi Anan, previous head of the United Nations. Macalester boasts … Continue reading “Macalester College: Liberal Arts or Monoculture?”


What We’re Reading: A Defense of the University, Governance Guidebooks, and a Higher Ed Satire

Jenna A. Robinson, President In March, Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay penned “A Principled Defense of the University” for Areo. Coming from two of the authors of the “Sokal Squared” publishing scandal, it’s an important disclaimer: Grievance studies are not representative of the whole university. In the essay, the authors explain why they believe … Continue reading “What We’re Reading: A Defense of the University, Governance Guidebooks, and a Higher Ed Satire”



The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained

Explaining higher education policy is never easy (even to people who are involved in it). Over the years, while training young writers for the Martin Center, I have come up with a model that has proven useful. One way to produce clarity among the confusion is to apply a model having four basic perspectives rather … Continue reading “The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained”


How Political Indoctrination Destroyed the Promise of Learning in College Writing Courses

By wide agreement of writing professors and composition scholars, new freshmen arrive not only ill-prepared for college writing but many show little improvement after four years of undergraduate education. In 2002 the College Board established the National Commission on Writing, which found “growing concern within the education, business, and policy-making communities that the level of … Continue reading “How Political Indoctrination Destroyed the Promise of Learning in College Writing Courses”


A Professor’s Tough Examination—Of Our Higher Education System

There are lots of people in our higher education system who claim that it is “the envy of the world” and just needs more money to graduate more young Americans with the degrees that are supposedly in great demand. One naysayer who disputes that rosy picture is Professor Warren Treadgold, who teaches history at Saint … Continue reading “A Professor’s Tough Examination—Of Our Higher Education System”


At This New College, Yes to Latin and Hiking but No to Cellphones and Federal Aid

This spring, graduates throughout America will exit their institutions with diplomas that signify little about real learning. But Wyoming Catholic College, my institution, is immune to this disconnect. When 31 students graduated from Wyoming Catholic on May 12th, they held a weighty diploma. Why? Because the college’s core curriculum has sacrificed neither great books nor—and … Continue reading “At This New College, Yes to Latin and Hiking but No to Cellphones and Federal Aid”


The One Instance Where the Feds Should Spend More on Higher Education

The federal government has no constitutional authority to spend money on higher education, to give or lend students money for it, to direct how colleges will function, or anything else. By far the best course of action would be for Congress to dismantle the Department of Education and repeal all U.S. statutes pertaining to education. … Continue reading “The One Instance Where the Feds Should Spend More on Higher Education”


Study Only What You Want? Not If You Want to Be Successful

Recently, a general education course at UNC-Chapel Hill, “Big-Time College Sports,” was canceled. This sparked controversy after the course’s professor, Jay Smith, argued that the class, which he had taught in previous semesters, was axed because its treatment of Chapel Hill’s recent academic/athletics scandal cast the university in a negative light. Lost in much of … Continue reading “Study Only What You Want? Not If You Want to Be Successful”