My State Struggles With the Perils of Legislating Higher Education Reform

Universities have by and large rendered themselves unable to be policed—sometimes quite literally—and that has not gone unnoticed by the legislators who fund them. Wisconsin’s Campus Free Speech Act is just the latest attempt by states to impose some order on institutions by compelling their colleges and universities to take free speech seriously. Thus far, … Continue reading “My State Struggles With the Perils of Legislating Higher Education Reform”


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”


Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances

Editor’s note: This is the second part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The first part can be found here. The ideological imbalance of American university faculties is not new. Whether one looks at faculty voter registrations, publications, course syllabi reading lists, or merely … Continue reading “Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances”


Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives

Editor’s note: This is the first part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The second part can be found here. Legislating a problem away is an extremely tempting option, when available. Why not try to fix the most intractable problem in public higher education—its intensifying … Continue reading “Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives”


The Contemporary Relevance of A Poem on the Underground Wall

The last train is nearly due The underground is closing soon And in the dark deserted station Restless in anticipation A man waits in the shadows On my return to Georgetown’s campus this fall, I was greeted with the following broadcast e-mail message dated September 6: Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community, We write … Continue reading “The Contemporary Relevance of A Poem on the Underground Wall


The Campus Free Speech Problem Worsens and Washington Finally Acts

The turnabout in federal policy towards higher education has been dramatic. Back on September 7, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that her department was rescinding the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter in which the Obama administration’s Office for Civil Rights imposed new standards for the way colleges must deal with allegations of sexual assault and … Continue reading “The Campus Free Speech Problem Worsens and Washington Finally Acts”


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”


Everyone is Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Except College Students

When it comes to defending themselves against accusations, college students are fighting an uphill battle. Today, students accused of misconduct are often subjected to long and invasive investigation processes without the right to legal representation, to question witnesses, or to be presumed innocent until proven guilty—all basic due process procedures to which every student should … Continue reading “Everyone is Innocent Until Proven Guilty, Except College Students”


How Not to Recover from a Crisis, Mizzou Edition

The University of Missouri, where I teach and which I dearly love, is in crisis. Freshman enrollment at the university’s Columbia campus (Mizzou) is down by a whopping 35% from two years ago. Missouri’s governor and legislature slashed Mizzou’s state appropriation by $22 million this year. Administrators have responded by cutting Mizzou’s operating budget by … Continue reading “How Not to Recover from a Crisis, Mizzou Edition”


The Chinese Don’t Like Academic Freedom, So American Schools Should Avoid Their Confucius Institutes

Academic freedom has long been a guiding principle for American colleges and universities: Neither faculty nor students should be told what to say or punished for saying whatever they think. That principle has been under attack in recent years as militants try to drive out those who dissent from their beliefs, but for the most … Continue reading “The Chinese Don’t Like Academic Freedom, So American Schools Should Avoid Their Confucius Institutes”