Sorry, Students, but I Have Never Espoused Racism or White Supremacy

As I watched the antics of the hooded “Antifa” mobs at Berkeley and other large universities last year, I thought that I’d missed something in my many years as a college professor. Unlike Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and other dissenters from the leftist academic consensus, I had never been assailed by raging anti-fascist … Continue reading “Sorry, Students, but I Have Never Espoused Racism or White Supremacy”


Master’s Degrees in Janitorial Science?

There has been mounting evidence that the financial payoff from the traditional bachelor’s degree is declining, particularly for men. For example, Census Bureau data suggest that, from 2005 to 2016, the average earnings differential for male workers holding bachelor’s degrees compared with those holding high school diplomas fell from $39,440 to $37,653 (in 2016 dollars)—at … Continue reading “Master’s Degrees in Janitorial Science?”


An Ambassador of Civil Discourse

In today’s universities—and in society in general—the ability to engage in intellectually rigorous and courteous conversation can appear to be a lost art. All too often, the rule of politically correct opinions wields an overwhelming power over the ability to engage in thoughtful debate. But there is increasingly pressure to restore civil discourse to the … Continue reading “An Ambassador of Civil Discourse”


What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018

New Year’s Day means a time to take stock of what’s happened on college campuses. Higher education in 2017 had more of students leading campus protests, college administrators struggling to protect free speech for controversial speakers, and some politicians defending academic integrity. Some of those trends have been positive while others are, with any luck, … Continue reading “What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018”


Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning

In the past, I’ve been critical of commercial activity on North Carolina’s public university campuses. It competes with private business, attracts unfair tax advantages, and may (in some cases) violate provisions of the Umstead Act. It’s also far outside a public university’s three-part mission of education, research, and service. In most cases, I think business … Continue reading “Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning”


UNC’s New Gen Ed Proposal Reflects Major Philosophical Shift from Knowledge to Process

It is imperative that universities take the time to deeply reflect on their purpose (or rather, purposes). There is no better time for UNC-Chapel Hill to do so than now, as it crafts a new general education curriculum. In 2016, the dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Kevin Guskiewicz, decided that it was time … Continue reading “UNC’s New Gen Ed Proposal Reflects Major Philosophical Shift from Knowledge to Process”


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”


Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar

The college diploma has long been regarded as the ticket to the good life. And most well-paid jobs require some kind of academic credential. But academia is not the only place to learn valuable skills and reasoning. The United States armed forces also have a long track record for training young people for demanding tasks. … Continue reading “Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar”


Cevro: An Interdisciplinary Czech College Run by Libertarians

For the past year, I was enrolled in a small graduate-level Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program at the Cevro Institute in Prague, Czech Republic. To my knowledge, it’s one of two PPE programs in central/eastern Europe, an international experiment in the post-communist world. What makes it unique is its emphasis on understanding “political economy” … Continue reading “Cevro: An Interdisciplinary Czech College Run by Libertarians”


Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests

Today’s protest-ridden climate on college campuses might lead one to suspect that they are hotbeds of political disruption controlled by social justice warriors.  All over the country, speakers are shouted down, professors are harassed and even assaulted, students are intimidated—while administrators grovel, patronize, pander, and quake.  Fortunately, the situation isn’t quite so dim on most … Continue reading “Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests”