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”


Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship

Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship is now in its twenty-fourth year of existence. Originally the brainchild of then Governor Zell Miller, since 1993 this merit-based scholarship program has distributed in excess of $9 billion in lottery proceeds to about 1.7 million qualifying recipients. In order to be eligible for HOPE, which covers about 80% of tuition at … Continue reading “Grade Inflation Just Got Respectable: The New Eligibility Rule Governing Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship”


Secretary DeVos Begins to Rectify the Title IX Mistake

It is very rare for a federal agency to admit having made a mistake and rarer still for the secretary of a cabinet department to announce a U-turn in policy in a heavily publicized speech. But that is exactly what Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did on September 7. Speaking at George Mason University, Secretary … Continue reading “Secretary DeVos Begins to Rectify the Title IX Mistake”


Contra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education

The term “McDonaldization” was coined by sociology professor George Ritzer in 1993. He meant for it to describe “the industrial process of rationalization that [was] expanding beyond industry into the cultural and educational spheres.” Ritzer’s term caught on and in 2002, Dennis Hayes and Robin Wynyard applied it to higher education in a book they … Continue readingContra the “McDonaldization” of Higher Education”


It’s Not Just Students Who Suffer Under Title IX’s Unfair Procedures

Most people working within the halls of academia are at least somewhat familiar with the excesses having to do with infringement of due process, free speech, and basic rights under the current Title IX regime. The cases that have made headlines and filled books have mainly involved male students who have been falsely accused. But … Continue reading “It’s Not Just Students Who Suffer Under Title IX’s Unfair Procedures”


How Higher Education “Studies” Men

In 2013, Stony Brook University (part of the SUNY system) revealed plans for a new “Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.” Since I’m a Stony Brook grad, I was quite interested in this development. Would the new Center do anything to enhance the school’s reputation for scholarship? I didn’t think it would, but … Continue reading “How Higher Education “Studies” Men”


Higher Education’s Diversity Obsession: A Bad Bargain

The obsession with diversity is so widespread among American colleges that it has become a normal part of campus life. Just what “normal” looks like is revealed in a new book based on extensive interviews with “whites” and “students of color” at Harvard University and Brown University, The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, … Continue reading “Higher Education’s Diversity Obsession: A Bad Bargain”


How to Fight the ABA’s Anticompetitive and Discriminatory Practices

Recently I urged top law schools to stand up to the excesses and abuses occasioned by the ministrations of the American Bar Association (ABA). These schools could band together and follow the lead of the journalism schools at Northwestern and Berkeley, which dropped their accreditor, the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, … Continue reading “How to Fight the ABA’s Anticompetitive and Discriminatory Practices”


Millennials and the Anti-Capitalistic Mindset

The great intellectual debate of the 20th Century was between capitalism and socialism, wrote Robert Heilbroner in a 1989 New Yorker article. Seeing the collapse of Soviet Communism (socialism with totalitarian power), he proclaimed “the triumph of capitalism.” A socialist most of his career, Heilbroner explained: “Less than 75 years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism … Continue reading “Millennials and the Anti-Capitalistic Mindset”