Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Letters to the Big Three: Don't De-Platform Scientists

Peter Wood

A scientist "blacklist" has caused concern about the de-platforming. 

Episode #36: Silenced Stages with George LaNoue

Peter Wood

Professor George LaNoue describes his career teaching First Amendment law and the importance of student debate to intellectual growth. However, colleges increasingly seek to avoid controversy, and students often have no tolerance for engaging the other side of any argument.

Enacting Intellectual Diversity

David Randall

Testimony delivered to the South Dakota Board of Regents on enacting HB 1087, to protect and promote intellectual diversity. 

Some Good News for Advocates of Intellectual Freedom

Christopher Kendall

Six brave students take a stand for intellectual freedom. 

Florida Defends Intellectual Freedom on Campus

NAS

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has asked all Florida university presidents to sign a resolution protecting free speech.

Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in South Dakota

NAS

South Dakota leads the way in protecting liberties necessary for the pursuit of truth. 

Racial Preferences Shakes a Classical Studies Conference

David Randall

A conference erupted in outrage after a member openly criticized racial preferences. 

The Campus Intellectual Diversity Act

Stanley Kurtz

Model state-level legislation to promote intellectual diversity on campus.  

NAS Endorses the Campus Intellectual Diversity Act

Peter Wood

Let's restore intellectual rigor and diversity to higher education. 

New Policy Supports Freedom of Speech and Intellectual Diversity

NAS

The South Dakota Board of Regents have adopted a statement to promote these freedoms on campus. 

Unorthodox Ideas

NAS

The Winter 2018 issue of Academic Questions at a glance. 

Securing Free Speech and Free Inquiry on Campus

Vincent Phillip Muñoz

Lessons from Charles Murray’s Visit to Notre Dame.

Angri-culture and Disagreement

Peter Wood

Testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on the state of intellectual freedom in the United States. 

An Open Letter in Support of a Besieged Academic

NAS

Rachel Fulton Brown seems unusually friendless as she defends against derisive epithets from colleagues and hecklers. NAS is calling for academics and their institutions to sign this letter in her support.

Oregon Campuses Need Intellectual Freedom

Bruce Gilley

NAS Oregon Affiliate President Bruce Gilley writes in support of the PROSPER Act.

Letter to Syracuse University Chancellor on Ambassador Dayan Event

Peter Wood

Syracuse University must publicly disavow the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Dayan's talk and take disciplinary action against the student disruptors.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Howard S. Schwartz

Howard Schwartz explores the psychological roots of accusations of racism.

Peter Wood Discusses Threats to Academic Freedom on Fox and Friends

NAS

NAS President Peter Wood appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss our report, Charting Academic Freedom, as well as the biggest threats to academic freedom.

UConn Coddling Students

Jay Bergman

NAS board member, Jay Bergman, writes to the President of the University of Connecticut. 

Higher Education's Deeper Sickness

John M. Ellis

John Ellis argues for measures that would increase intellectual diversity and reduce politicization in colleges. 

We Need a Radio Free America on Campus

Peter Wood

It has become critical that we build and maintain bastions of free thought on college campuses. 

Why I'm Leaving the Political Science Association

Bruce Gilley

Professor Bruce Gilley discusses the lack of intellectual diversity in the American Political Science Association. 

Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education

J. Martin Rochester

The entirety of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Yes, Campus Indoctrination Is Real

Peter Wood

Peter Wood argues that the lack of ideological diversity on campuses is due to more than just the left's domination of the professoriate, but to the campus culture itself.

The Declining Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness

J. Martin Rochester

The fifth of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Reflections on the Misery in Missouri

J. Martin Rochester

The second of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

The 2015 Campus Crisis

J. Martin Rochester

The first of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Association of American Law Schools Snubs Pleas for Viewpoint Diversity

George W. Dent

George Dent writes about the lack of viewpoint diversity in American law schools.

Seven Types of Suppression

NAS

NAS president Peter Wood writes on free speech and censorship in The New Criterion. 

Me, My Emotions, and I

Nayeli Riano

College English classes should train students in scholarship, not subjectivity. 

Radicalism’s Yield: Politics and the Illiberal Academy

Mark Zunac

In the Winter 2016 Academic Questions (vol. 29, no. 4), Mark Zunac discusses the evolution of liberal arts from a field encouraging inquiry to today's ideological sounding board.

College Students Need Better Lessons Than 'All of Your Emotions Are Real'

Ashley Thorne

After the election, colleges turn to feelings, not civility, to guide discussions on winning and losing.

The President of Portland State University Upholds Intellectual Freedom

Chance Layton

President Wim Wiewel explains in an email to students that the University is committed to free speech, peaceful protest, and "robust debate."

The Death of Campus Free Speech -- and How to Revive It

It’s getting harder to tell the difference between real news about colleges and the Onion’s parodies. 

You Are Cordially Disinvited

Peter Wood

Jason Riley is the most recent conservative speaker to recieve a disinvitation. 

The "Right-wing Billionaires are Going to Take Over Higher Education" Hobgoblin

George Leef

Is conservative money poisoning the well of education or something else?

Should Conservatives Lead Secret Lives?

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood's review of Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University.

Beach Books Burnish Bernie

David Randall

Shallow pre-college reading assignments pave the way for the social justice agenda.

Thoughts on "The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom"

Francis B. Randall

Professor Francis B. Randall comments upon NAS President Peter Wood's "The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom."

Dialogue on "Architecture": John K. Wilson and David Randall

NAS

John K. Wilson and David Randall discuss NAS President Peter Wood's "The Architecture of Academic Freedom"

The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom

Peter Wood

A statement on the place and importance of intellectual freedom.

Sociology: Another Field that Needs Heterodoxy

George Leef

University of Central Florida Sociology Professor James Wright writes that sociology has also succumbed to groupthink and political correctness.

American Association of University Professors Abandons Educators Under Siege

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood writes about how defenders of academic freedom leave campus lynch mob victims to fend for themselves.

Dear Future Conservative Professor

Robert Maranto

The academy needs ideological diversity, and conservative students should be undaunted in participating at the higest level. 

Announcement: Rachelle Peterson to Speak on Divestment

NAS

NAS Director of Research Projects Rachelle Peterson will speak at the Heritage Foundation on Friday, November 13.

Association of American Law Schools: Conservatives Not Welcome

George W. Dent

The Association of American Law Schools tilts the deck against conservatives.

The Elephant and the Harvard Question

David Randall

Harvard students are willing to tolerate conservatives--but only on terms that cripple their own education.

Obama Takes a Surprising Stand

Ashley Thorne

President Obama criticizes universities that "coddle" students from opposing views.

Harvard Crimson Quotes Peter Wood on Political Imbalance

Ashley Thorne

A new study shows that in half of Harvard's colleges, all faculty political donations are to Democrats, and none are to Republicans.

Dear Educators: “Privilege” Is Theory, Not Fact

Joshua Daniel Phillips

While the idea of "privilege" has been rising in popularity on college campuses, open debates and robust discussion about the topic have not. 

NAS Board Member Writes On Liberal Bias In Academia

Madison Iszler

Jay Bergman, an NAS board member and professor at CCSU in Connecticut, writes about the need for intellectual diversity on college campuses. 

A Diverse Group of Social Psychologists Calls for More Diversity in Their Field

George Leef

Six social psychologists are publishing an article arguing that their discipline suffers as a science due to its narrowness in the range of opinions it deems acceptable. 

Diversity Is a Sugar-Coated Lemon

Ashley Thorne

If colleges were at least honest about censoring opinions they don't like, would we be any better off?

Mike Adams and the Seven Years' War

Marilee Turscak

After a seven-year legal battle between Mike Adams and UNCW, the federal jury has ruled in Mike Adams' favor in what it concluded was a clear case of discrimination.

A Campus Conversation About Diversity of Ideas

J. Martin Rochester

A campus diversity council hears a case for intellectual diversity.

The Campaign to Discredit Regnerus and the Assault on Peer Review

Peter Wood

The Mark Regnerus case is a stellar illustration of the "political vortex that surrounds academic peer review."

I Critique the New Book by Neil Gross

George Leef

Why are professors liberal? George Leef responds to Neil Gross's answer.

The Lack of Intellectual Diversity at Law Schools

Michael Toscano

The Harvard Federalist Society held an important conference on Intellectual Diversity and the Legal Academy.

Naomi and Me

Peter Wood

Peter Wood responds to Naomi Schaefer Riley's article in the New York Post which suggests that Dr. Wood has been silenced for dissenting from politically correct orthodoxy.

Study Finds Conservative Professors Are Justified in Fears of Discrimination

Ashley Thorne

A new study of social psychologists finds that more than a third admit they would discriminate against conservatives in their field.

A Survival Guide for the Right in Leftist Academia

Robert Maranto

The ivory tower needs conservatives, and with the right attitude and a lot of hard work, conservatives can succeed in academia, write Robert Maranto and Matthew Woessner.

One Way to Promote Intellectual Diversity

George Leef

Break the monopoly on publications that count towards tenure.

The Very Rich Hours

Peter Wood

Peter Wood searches for the uncommon good in fundraising for nonprofits.

Academic Liberal Bias: Not All Bad?

Glenn Ricketts

If you're sure of your traditionalist convictions, you've got to read a lot more carefully and thoroughly, and you'll have them subject to far greater intellectual challenge than your liberal classmates will ever encounter. 

Politically Correct Solutions Won’t Solve the Political Correctness Problem

Ashley Thorne

In the quest for preserving intellectual diversity the method counts as much as the message. Ashley Thorne responds to Ted Gup's proposed means to protect conservative thought on liberal campuses.

Where is the Threat to "Academic Freedom"?

George Leef

My first response to the sleazy New Yorker hit piece by Jane Mayer on Art Pope (and spilling over onto the Pope Center) drew a reply from John Wilson on the AAUP’s blog. In today’s Pope Center piece,  I answer Wilson’s arguments that we are intent on “buying the curriculum,” imposing “ideological control,” and on subverting “academic freedom.” None of that is true. On the other hand, I maintain that if you want to find people intent on imposing ideological control but who don’t concern themselves at all with the academic integrity of colleges and universities, look no further than the mass of the professiorate.

Daphne Patai on the Uniformity of Academic Thought

George Leef

Professor Daphne Patai of UMass-Amherst writes about the uniformity of thought she encounters among her fellow academics, which of course ranges from Marxist to "progressive." 

Bowdoin Orient Highlights NAS Study

Ashley Thorne

The student newspaper draws attention to a newly opened project, "What Does Bowdoin Teach?"

What Does Bowdoin Teach?

Peter Wood

The National Association of Scholars announces the beginning of a new project examining the curriculum, student activities, and campus values of Bowdoin College as a case study to learn what a contemporary liberal arts college education consists of.

Academe's House Divided

Daniel B. Klein

Daniel B. Klein reviews The Still Divided Academy, the final work of NAS and AQ editorial advisory board member Stanley Rothman, which was completed after his death by April Kelly-Woessner and Matthew Woessner. This review appears in the fall 2011 issue of Academic Questions, volume 24, number 3.

Video: The Politically Correct University

Andy Nash

Richard Redding joins Andy Nash for a discussion of the ideological imbalance among university faculty members.

Multiculturalism and Western Civilization

William H. Young

Multiculturalism and its accompanying ideal of tolerance have debased standards of knowledge and excellence and led American education down a path of mediocrity, writes William H. Young.

Post Partisan University?

Glenn Ricketts

Check out this piece at IHE today, where the author discusses the lopsided ideological imbalance that currently rules the American academy and the fact that so many in the professoriate are oblivious to it. 

Cool Heads, Warm Hearts: Religious Media Leaders Discuss Environmental Economics

Ashley Thorne

A recent conference in Bozeman, Montana considered how to "protect both individual free will and good stewardship of Creation."

Yale to Reinstate Study of Antisemitism

Glenn Ricketts

Recently, my colleague Ashley Thorne reported here on Yale University's abrupt decision to terminate a program devoted to the study of antisemitism. The program was the only one of its kind in the United States and seemed to be flourishing. So why was it terminated? Apparently because a recent conference had included an examination of antisemitism within parts of the comtemporary Islamic world. This prompted a letter from Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO's representative in the US, to Yale president Richard Levin, protesting the university's abettment of "anti-Arab extremism and hate mongering." A short time later, the program was toast.

But word comes today at Inside Higher Education that Yale has reconsidered. A new institute for the study of antisemitism is in the works. You can also read about it here at the CHE.

That's good news, and I'm glad that Yale and president Levin have had a change of heart. I also wish, though, that they hadn't caved in the first place.

A "Gentlemen's Agreement" at Yale?

Ashley Thorne

Questions arise about Yale's decision to close an interdisciplinary program on anti-Semitism.

Davidson Professor Apologizes for Angry Letter about Student Writer

Ashley Thorne

A faculty response and apology appear in the student newspaper after a professor censured a senior for writing an opinion article questioning President Obama's leadership.

De-Tribalizing Academe

Peter Wood

Peter Wood examines the controversial claim by Jonathan Haidt that social psychologists form a “tribal-moral community.”

At Social Psychology Conference, Lack of Conservatives Acknowledged

Ashley Thorne

John Tierney's article in Sunday's New York Times describes the most-talked about speech from the recent annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Jonathan Haidt gave a talk in which he asked members of the audience to raise their hands to identify themselves politically. When he asked for conservatives, only three hands went up. Haidt concluded, “this is a statistically impossible lack of diversity” 

We Should Not Punish People for What We Think They Might Do

Ashley Thorne

Brooklyn College appointed Kristofer Petersen-Overton as an adjunct professor to teach "Politics of the Middle East," then fired him, apparently because of his politics. NAS defended Petersen-Overton's academic freedom, noting that "rescinding the appointment of an instructor on the basis of complaints about the likelihood of his future bias strikes us a serious misstep and a very bad precedent." Hours after we posted our article, Petersen-Overton informed us that Brooklyn College would be announcing its decision to reinstate him unconditionally. 

Freedom and Standards at Brooklyn College: The Case of Kristofer Petersen-Overton

Mitchell Langbert

Sharad Karkhanis's Patriot Returns, which goes to 13,000 CUNY faculty and staff, published a recast version of my piece on the Kristofer Peterson-Overton matter that was covered in The New York Post, New York Daily News, New York Times, and Inside Higher Education. Brooklyn College's president, Karen Gould, decided to hire Petersen-Overton after the administration initially rescinded his contract. 

Suicide Bombers and Academic Freedom

Ashley Thorne

Brooklyn College appointed an adjunct professor to teach "Politics of the Middle East," then fired him because of his politics.

The Box

David Clemens

Excited to receive the shipment from Dan Wyman Books, I ripped open the box only to feel revulsion.  Inside were old books related to the Holocaust and those who would deny its existence.

Debating the Academic Bill of Rights

Peter Wood

Does the Academic Bill of Rights amount to affirmative action for conservative faculty or is it an appeal to colleges and universities to end discrimination on the basis of political views?

Astronomer Suspected of Creationism Turned Down for UK Post

Ashley Thorne

Today in the Chronicle of Higher Education Innovations blog, Peter Wood writes about Martin Gaskell, who contends that the University of Kentucky discriminated against him and did not appoint him as the director of its new observatory because the search committee suspected him of being "potentially evangelical." 

Obama's 'Extremist, Agenda-Driven, Revisionist' NEH

Candace de Russy

In a series of posts Power Line Blog has been exposing the lurch of the National Endowment for the Humanities under Obama's appointee, Humanities Chairman Jim Leach, toward "political partisanship and rank buffoonery." In the latest of these posts Professor Penelope Blake describes, for example, an egregiously politicized and anti-American conference on the "Legacies of the Pacific War in WWII." Professor Blake rightly urges that Congress not approve the NEH's multi-million-dollar budget for 2011 until the agency eliminates its political agenda, supports objective scholarship, and offers forums which ensure diversity of opinion.

Affiliates Speak Out for Intellectual Diversity

Ashley Thorne

This week, two NAS state affiliates wrote letters to the editor of local newspapers. Potential Bias at UI College of Law Daily Iowan Don Racheter, Iowa Association of Scholars Open Dialogue, Good Decisions St. Paul Pioneer Press Terrence F. Flower, Minnesota Association of Scholars

A Variety of...Minds? One Student Gets Diversity Right

Jason Fertig

An unorthodox response to the essay question "What is the definition of diversity?"

A Call for Open-Mindedness or a Culture War Maneuver?

Peter Wood

The AAC&U's new report, "Engaging Diverse Viewpoints," styles itself as an appeal for intellectual diversity but is full of politically correct buzzwords.

Dictatorships and Double Standards, Part II

Robert L. Paquette

Professor Paquette responds to the controversy generated this summer after Hamilton College sought to censor his NAS article.

Another Comment on the Flap Over Grants to Teach Rand

George Leef

Philosophy professor James Otteson weighs in with some thoughtful comments here.

Keep John Galt Off Campus

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, my colleague Jay Schalin writes about the flap over the fact that some colleges have accepted funds from BB&T Foundation with the proviso that the money be used to support courses in which students will learn about Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and in particular her defense of laissez-faire capitalism. The argument raised against this is that colleges are supposed to allow the faculty to decide upon curricular matters. Naturally, some professors who are adamantly hostile to the case for laissez-faire (although I doubt that many have ever read Rand's Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal or have heard a thorough explication of the damaging consequences of government interference in the spontaneous order of the free market) say that schools should shun BB&T money. Jay gets a whiff of double standard here, since professors on the left don't much complain about the importation of material into the curriculum they find congenial. Rather than a defense of princple, their stance seems to be an instance of selective indignation. Econ 101 is often taught as a dull, mechanistic and to many students baffling exercise in graphs and abstruse theories having little apparent relationship with life. Adding a BB&T catalyzed course that allows students to see how Rand and other advocates of laissez-faire (Ludwig von Mises, e.g.) looked at economic questions would be a beneficial offering. Colleges should be open to the marketplace of ideas. Like the marketplace of goods and services, sound ideas tend to win out and unsound ideas tend to be rejected. (I say "tend" because it doesn't happen automatically. After all, we still have cigarettes in stores and professors who preach socialism.) John Allison of BB&T is trying to get colleges to open their curricula to another idea (or set of ideas). No harm in that.

"Why Professors Are Liberal": Explanation or Apologia?

Steve Balch

New research seeks to show why so few conservatives choose an academic profession. NAS Chairman Steve Balch weighs the evidence.

Intellectual Takeout: Would You Like an Education with Your Degree?

Ashley Thorne

NAS welcomes the emergence of Intellectual Takeout, a one-stop-shop of resources for all those interested in learning about freedom.

Monopoly to Marketplace: Diversifying Higher Ed from Inside and Out

Ashley Thorne

NAS is uniquely positioned to influence higher education for the good. As a non-profit organization, we are outside academia, free of its entanglements and able to provide a detached point of view. As a membership association, we are inside the university, with thousands of our members as professors on campuses all over the nation.

Virginia Tech Tries to Enforce Ideology in Strategic Diversity Plan

Peter Wood

Back in March, I received a leaked copy of a plan for one of the colleges at Virginia Tech.  It was a new set of guidelines for faculty promotion and tenure that would require every candidate to compile an annual record of “demonstrated” diversity accomplishments.  Other Virginia Tech documents spelled out in detail what would pass muster as a diversity accomplishment.  The new rules were intended to apply to the classroom, research, publication, faculty involvement with student activities, and everything else that faculty members might do. I raised a fuss through the National  Association of Scholars website, and other organizations, including FIRE and ACTA joined in.  Eventually, the Virginia Tech board and the president backed down.  But after the furor subsided the president and other officials made clear that their commitment to a comprehensive diversity regime at this state university was unchanged. Now comes a new document, a “Strategic Diversity Plan,” for Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.  I got this one by internal leak as well, but it has subsequently been posted publicly. Should anyone much care what is happening at this large and pretty ordinary university in southern Virginia?  I suppose the taxpayers of Virginia should have some interest.  But the matter does seem to deserve a some broader attention if for one reason:  it is about as well-documented a case as we are ever likely to see of a university in the grip of a race preference ideology attempting to enforce that ideology over everyone and everything in its reach.  Nothing is too large (creation of whole new departments), or too small (flyers to be inserted in packets for job applicants) to escape the diversiphiles at Virginia Tech—and they propose to fund their whole enterprise not with line items in the budget, but with a fixed percentage of the whole budget! Ashley Thorne and I have pored over the “Strategic Diversity Plan” and “fisked” it, i.e. added a critical commentary inside the original text:  http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?Doc_Id=1133. Last week we summarized the developments leading up to this new plan:   http://www.nas.org/polArticles.cfm?Doc_Id=1131. It’s hard to say whether this sort of effort on our part has any practical benefit.  Virginia Tech and a great many other colleges and universities are scudding along with their racial preference regimes (and other forms of diversity that likewise debase the academic mission) without serious public opposition.  But I do like the idea that we have paid attention and not just let this stuff settle in as though it made good sense and wise policy.

Fish Tales: Teaching Stanley How to Read

Peter Wood

Stanley Fish misrepresents Peter Wood on "intellectual diversity."

A Liberal Professor Humors His Conservative "Whipper-Snapper" Students

Ashley Thorne

Via Campus Reform, I read an interesting post today on a blog called Hugo Schwyzer. The author, an anonymous "community college history and gender studies professor, animal rights activist and Episcopal youth minister with a passion for Christ, chinchillas, trail running, poetry, gender justice, country music, and reconciling contradictions," writes about his realization that some of the most engaging and articulate students he has taught have been politically conservative. Of course, his admission is tempered with lots of qualifying remarks to his liberal colleagues ("Not for one second will I concede the intellectual superiority of conservative ideas or values"), but he sees conservative students as the ones filling the good role of "counter-cultural rebelliousness" on campus today. Even through his bless-your-heart condescension, the professor clearly enjoys his repartees with such students. He views conservative students who "come from turbulent and impoverished backgrounds,"  and "'ought' to be reliable Democrats," but "become infatuated with the Republican gospel of stern self-reliance and the 'up by your bootstraps' mentality" as misguided and ultimately arrogant. But he still loves having them in class.

 

Is Copyright Wrong?

Ashley Thorne

That's what Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig said at the recent Educause conference. "You Geeks Have to Become Radical, Militant Activists" for the sharing of ideas, he commanded. Now that companies like Lessig's Creative Commons are making "Share Alike" licenses, will intellectual property become a thing of the past? See also my article "Open-Ended" on open education.

Response to Mitchell

Jonathan Smith

After NAS posted Academic Questions article "Remapping Geography," Don Mitchell offered a response to the authors, Jonathan M. Smith and Jim Norwine. Here Professor Smith responds to Mitchell.

Response to Smith and Norwine on Remapping Geography

Don Mitchell

Dr. Don Mitchell, author of Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction who was mentioned in Professors Smith and Norwine's Academic Questions article "Remapping Geography," offers a response to their article.

Boutique Colleges Can Thrive

George Leef

My Pope Center colleague Jay Schalin writes here about the difficulties that very small colleges face, but also their prospects for success at filling a niche in the vast educational marketplace.

Intellectual Diversity or Nonsense?

Ashley Thorne

"Our classroom has become an arena for the free exchange of ideas in which everyone's opinion is welcomed and respected." But should everyone's opinion be welcomed and respected? Is that what intellectual diversity means?

At Least There's No Hidden Bias at This College

George Leef

The college I mean is the National Labor College, an accredited, degree-granting institution run by the AFL-CIO. In this Pope Center piece, I write about the NLC. The curriculum is pro-union through and through and there's no pretense of objectivity, but students know that.

Brown Hires Radical Professor

stephenbeale

Brown University this fall added Chinua Achebe to the faculty of its Africana Studies Department. Achebe is a prominent postcolonial writer from Nigeria who has called Joseph Conrad a "bloody racist" and claimed his classic work, Heart of Darkness, celebrates the dehumanization of Africans. Achebe believes this reflects a widespread, deep-seated atttitude by Westerners toward Africa. This  is all the more alarming because the university says Achebe is the first of many hires it plans to make, in order to expand Africana Studies, according to the Brown Daily Herald. As the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity points out, it's not like the University has been ignoring Africana Studies:

At the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity, we have to wonder what could possibly lead Brown administrators and faculty to think they have neglected Africana Studies. Brown has a Department of Africana Studies with 14 full-faculty members—not counting seven visiting and affiliated professors. In addition, Brown has the Third World Center, The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Africa Group Colloquium, and the university recently sponsored the Focus on Africa speaker series as well as the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. All are related to Africana studies.

For the full press release click here. The Providence Journal also ran a story in today's paper about this issue and the Ocean State Policy Research Institute has been blogging about it as well.

Not New, Just Sad

King Banaian

Ron Lipsman writes at The American Thinker on the life of a conservative faculty member. Unlike some, he came to the university (he does not identify his institution) as a liberal but became conservative through experience.  He then finds, as many do, that his views leave him marginalized and, in pursuit of an administrative post, Lipsman stuffs his opinions for about 15 years.  Now at lower cost to himself as he approaches retirement, he is speaking out. At the end he identifies three novel observations that, in my experience, are not so novel.  First, he says that he is largely ignored when he speaks out, that the faculty said "Oh, that's just Ron being Ron."  After a time that is, however, how most of us are treated.  Only when you wish to seek a new post in the university do your views come up.  Indeed, a way for the university to marginalize you is to put you on a committee to get a blessing that something is "OK because the conservative guy was on that committee and he didn't squawk (loudly)."  (See my post from 2005 on tokenism.) Lipsman also observes that there are not enough people making waves, including himself.  I hope this isn't true -- I think NAS, FIRE, et al. are making waves!  But there is the fact that in the 6+ years of my blog I've had several co-bloggers, many of whom were also conservative faculty at St. Cloud.  They have all left; there are few others willing to take up the cause.  We have known about the chilling effect of political correctness for years; ice does not make waves. His last observation is that the liberal hegemony exists in many places, but seems easiest in academia.  But where else does tenure exist?  Stanley Kurtz has noted that "tenure turns into an incredibly efficient tool for enforcing political conformity" when controlled by one elite.  That is, tenure is the means by which the hegemony perpetuates. Lipsman's article does not provide us with something new, but it does provide those unaware of our campuses today with a useful summary.

Letter to Dean Smith from David Horowitz

David Horowitz

David Horowitz defends himself to St. Louis University Dean of Students Scott Smith.

Diversity's Doom & Pluralism's Plans

Ashley Thorne

A new book, The Politically Correct University, features chapters by NAS's president Peter Wood and NAS chairman Steve Balch.

Not for Crybabies

Ashley Thorne

Do universities study conservative political thought?

ACTA Launches Campaign to Recognize Free Exchange of Ideas

Ashley Thorne

A new report from our sister organization commends colleges that foster intellectual diversity.

Time to graduate?

Carol Iannone

A prominent literary critic weighs evidence that artistic nihilism has become a bore.

"O Cosmic Birther!" The Lord's Prayer Meets the American College Textbook

Michael Booker

A philosophy professor finds an Internet legend subbing for the Gospel truth and looks in vain for "critical reasoning."

Acknowledging the "Knowledge-Politics Problem"

Steve Balch

A response to a working paper by Neil Gross which asserts that professors do not try to force their views on students and which surveys faculty understanding of academic freedom.

Berkeley in the Sixties

Tom Wood

With its excitement and passion in intellectual life, perhaps it was the Golden Age of the American university.

The College Backgrounds of America's Talking Heads

Tom Wood

Have the liberal arts influenced our nation's leading political analysts?

The Georgia Diversion: Faculty Aren't Biased, Students Are, Says the Peach State. Really?

Peter Wood

The University System of Georgia conducted a "Survey on Student Speech and Discussion," which has been heralded as proof that the U.S. doesn't have a problem with bias in the classroom. But we have our doubts. Clouding the results is a mistaken substitution of "tolerance" for freedom of speech.

When I Squeeze You, You Make Noise!

Peter Wood

NAS executive director Peter Wood considers the rationale behind Princeton's "25 Most Influential Alumni" list. Not to miss among the "Portraits of Influence" is the man who gave us the Rubber Ducky song.

Requiescat In Pace

Peter Wood

Remembrance of William F. Buckley, Jr.

How Many Delawares?

The National Association of Scholars announces an inquiry into residence hall and student life policies that violate intellectual freedom and promote a partisan political agenda.

Tolerance, Diversity, Respect OR ELSE "Bias Reporting Teams" at William & Mary

It seems that you had better be very very careful of what you say and to whom you say it at the College of William and Mary, where the administration has recently instituted a new "Bias Reporting Team," complete with its own web page. Among the features of this newest academic venture in promoting "tolerance," "diversity," and "respect" on campus is an Orwellian system of anonymous accusation and secret investigations, the maintenance of elaborate data bases, and an extensive administrative mechanism, in which the college president will be directly involved. Although "Bias" is very briefly and vaguely defined, there is an exhaustive elaboration of the ways in which it can be reported to the "Bias Team." Anyone uncertain as to whether an incident constitutes "bias" is strongly encouraged to inform the "team," which will then determine if it's the real thing. The "bias" web page doesn't seem to provide for instances of fraudulent, frivolous, or malicious allegations, and the rights of anyone accused aren't elaborated either. Although a small disclaimer declares, "William and Mary values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas," we aren't at all reassured.

Imaginary Moderates: An Academic Report Boomerangs

Steve Balch

"The Social and Political Views of American Professors," a working paper released recently at a Harvard symposium by Neil Gross and Solon Simmons, is being vigorously spun by its authors as a new, sophisticated take on the intellectual alignments of American academe, undercutting exaggerated claims by conservatives of liberal/left hegemony. But if defenders of the academic status-quo expect Gross and Simmons's discoveries to rescue them, they're in for a crushing disappointment.