Encouraging Diverse Policy Viewpoints on Campus

In the last few years, higher education has suffered an embarrassing series of well-publicized incidents of overt censorship by members of the academic community. The instances are geographically widespread and occur in a variety of institutions. At many campuses there have been attempts or successes in disinviting significant speakers from campus, including Ayaan Hirsi Ali … Continue reading “Encouraging Diverse Policy Viewpoints on Campus”


Notes from the Free Speech Underground

In October, I attended the first-ever FIRE Faculty Conference. If you’re not familiar with FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), you should be—assuming you support free speech, open inquiry, and viewpoint diversity on college campuses. Since 1999, FIRE has been on the front lines of the campus free speech battle, speaking out publicly whenever … Continue reading “Notes from the Free Speech Underground”


Liberal Arts Education Is Not (Necessarily) a Waste of Time

Harvard history professor Jill LePore tells this story. She was hosting an event in her home for new students, promoting the university’s history and literature program. One of the students there was suddenly distracted by urgent text messages from her parents telling her, “Leave right now, get out of there, that is a house of … Continue reading “Liberal Arts Education Is Not (Necessarily) a Waste of Time”


Somewhere Between a Jeremiad and a Eulogy

Half of me is reluctant to write something harshly critical about higher education in the United States because I’m such a true-blue believer in, beneficiary of, and insider to the system. I’m an outspoken apostle for the small liberal arts college (SLAC) form of education, a distinctly American institution. But that institution is falling fast … Continue reading “Somewhere Between a Jeremiad and a Eulogy”


The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along

UNC-Chapel Hill’s infamous athletics-academic scandal has officially been swept under the rug. On October 13th, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions announced that UNC-Chapel Hill will not be punished for the fraudulent classes it offered to 3,100 students, 47.6 percent of whom were athletes, for nearly two decades. This decision concludes Chapel Hill’s six-year saga of … Continue reading “The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along”


Why Is It Such a Struggle to Reform Our Colleges?

Former Harvard University president Derek Bok can’t stop thinking and writing about higher education. Ten years ago, he wrote Our Underachieving Colleges, in which he lamented that on the whole, American colleges and universities don’t do very well. Many students don’t graduate and among those who do, many seem to have gotten little intellectual benefit … Continue reading “Why Is It Such a Struggle to Reform Our Colleges?”


David Horowitz’s Insight About the Academic Left

For a few years in the mid-2000s, David Horowitz was one of the most prominent figures on the campus scene. He didn’t have a PhD and he didn’t belong to any discipline or department. He was, instead, a hard left activist in the 1960s and part of Black Panther leader Huey Newton’s inner circle. Then, … Continue reading “David Horowitz’s Insight About the Academic Left”


An Innovative Guide Through the Higher Ed Landscape

Increasingly, the old model of earning a college degree by simply choosing a school, paying cash to cover room, board, and tuition, and graduating within four years (with summers off) is passé. Currently, the average student takes six years to finish college and has about $37,000 in student loan debt. Higher education’s escalating costs and … Continue reading “An Innovative Guide Through the Higher Ed Landscape”


Classroom Diversity and Its Mentality of Taboo

Anyone who applies for an executive or upper management position at a university these days must demonstrate a “strong commitment to diversity.” That’s because diversity, according to campus dogma, provides real educational benefits. Counting and mingling students and professors by race, ethnicity or gender is supposed to broaden perspectives and enhance classroom learning. That might … Continue reading “Classroom Diversity and Its Mentality of Taboo”


Are Students Addicted to Distraction?

A few years ago, something changed in class. I customarily taught classes where my students read multiple books, wrote thoughtful reflective essays, and came to class prepared to engage in rich discussions. I’d often come to class with a few notes and the goal of being extemporaneous for the duration of the class. Every student … Continue reading “Are Students Addicted to Distraction?”