Law Schools Guard Entry to the Profession and Should Teach Virtue

Law school faculties hold a sacred trust. We guard the outermost portals into the legal profession, a group that wields powers to shape society in profound and lasting ways. Several years ago, the law faculty on which I serve decided to fulfill our trust by educating lawyers in the great tradition of the liberal arts—to … Continue reading “Law Schools Guard Entry to the Profession and Should Teach Virtue”


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”


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”


student governments

Student Governments Can Help to Restore Faith in Higher Education

Higher education has a public relations problem on its hands. The results of a new Pew Research survey show that almost 60 percent of Republicans believe higher education has a “negative effect on the way things are going in the country.” Given recent high-profile cases involving violent protests, the shouting-down of conservative campus speakers, and … Continue reading “Student Governments Can Help to Restore Faith in Higher Education”


books on fire

Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions

The academic enterprise is supposed to be about truth. Those who are entrusted to teach are expected to convey knowledge to their students, not their opinions. And when academics write books, they should do so to deepen knowledge in their fields, never to mislead readers. Sometimes, however, academics allow their zeal to convert students or … Continue reading “Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions”


purdue shakeup

Purdue Shakes Up Academe (Not All Presidents Are as Innovative as Mitch Daniels)

Five years ago, higher education was abuzz over distance learning, a “disruptive technology.” The big question was whether traditional colleges and universities could incorporate the new technology or if they would be crippled because they couldn’t adapt to it. The rapid growth of for-profit online schools and the advent of MOOCs (massive open online courses) … Continue reading “Purdue Shakes Up Academe (Not All Presidents Are as Innovative as Mitch Daniels)”


Wake Forest Eudaimonia Institute

An Inside Perspective on Radicals’ Treatment of Wake Forest’s Eudaimonia Institute

Last fall Wake Forest University announced a $4.2 million donation to fund “the study of human flourishing” at the university’s newest institute—the Eudaimonia Institute (EI). Although it took people a while to pronounce this elegant Greek word correctly—the pronunciation is “yoo-dye-mo-NEE-uh”—the generous gift seemed to be a perfect fit with Wake’s mission. The Greek root … Continue reading “An Inside Perspective on Radicals’ Treatment of Wake Forest’s Eudaimonia Institute”


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”


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”


stop bias, promote free speech

North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias

Yesterday, I came to bury Caesar. That was a mistake, so today, I’m going to praise him. By “Caesar,” I mean the North Carolina Legislature. I wanted to “bury” them—in rhetorical fashion—for removing institutional neutrality out of the otherwise outstanding North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act (HB 527). After we published that article, I reread … Continue reading “North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias”