A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds

Recently, one of my neighbors saw students from Elizabethtown College, where I taught for many years, walking down the street wearing what looked like the puzzle pieces featured as symbols by Autistic Awareness. When he asked why they were wearing the all-white puzzle pieces, one of the coeds proudly explained that they were dramatizing the … Continue reading “A Small College Is Suffering from Self-inflicted Wounds”


The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm

One of the ways the college curriculum has changed for the worse in recent decades is the rise of what David Randall terms “the New Civics” in a hefty report published in January by the National Association of Scholars (NAS). This is a development that should alarm Americans who care about the integrity of higher … Continue reading “The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm”


No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era

At this year’s Association of American Colleges and Universities meeting, held in late January in San Francisco, a sense of misgiving filled the conference hall. Panelists raised, implicitly, the question whether higher education has become out of touch with Donald Trump’s America. They fretted over their belief that the current social and political climate is … Continue reading “No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era”


Academics and the Reproduction of Cultural Hegemony

Much as Martin Center readers may disparage Marxism, there is one author who deserves our attention. Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist who lived and wrote around the turn of the century, and his most important contribution was to a theory of cultural hegemony, one that explains why the academic Left is so up in … Continue reading “Academics and the Reproduction of Cultural Hegemony”


Starving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow

Listening to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor Gene Nichol’s radical riff ripping trustees and the UNC system’s Board of Governors as cowards, and Republican lawmakers as oppressive racists, one might get the feeling he is on a career suicide mission. But in an auditorium half filled with fawning university professor compatriots … Continue readingStarving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow”


The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas

Between the rise of safe spaces, trigger warnings, speaker disinvitations, and the often illiberal conduct of campus demonstrators over the past few years, it’s clear that the core constitutional value of free speech is now under siege at our colleges and universities. The fraying of commitment to freedom of speech on the part of college … Continue reading “The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas”


A Letter to Conservatives: You Need College and College Definitely Needs You

Dear conservative parents and students, First, I would like to address conservative parents. Lately, I hear many of you questioning whether you should send your kids to college. Maybe they should just go to trade school or straight into the workforce. I certainly agree that college is not for everyone. There are many trade and … Continue reading “A Letter to Conservatives: You Need College and College Definitely Needs You”


Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field

The authoritarianism that increasingly characterizes the American professoriate is on full display in a case involving the master’s program in social work at Rhode Island College (RIC). A student who did not believe that lobbying the state legislature for “progressive” causes was properly a part of his education and suffered for it has filed suit … Continue reading “Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field”


Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?

(Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Forbes.com.) Hostility to free speech has become a salient characteristic of American college campuses. Speech codes that make it dangerous for students (or anyone else) to say things that might be regarded as offensive or “harassing” are all too common—even though the codes have been found to violate … Continue reading “Shouldn’t an Entire Campus Be a Free Speech Zone—Not Just .02 Percent of It?”


A Tweet Too Far

When Drexel University political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted “All I want for Christmas is white genocide” on Christmas Eve, he handed the Philadelphia school an opportunity to play an integral role in our national intellectual dialogue. Drexel could have helped to clarify an important academic freedom issue and, in doing so, earned a reputation … Continue reading “A Tweet Too Far”