Hillsdale's Common Reading Program

David Randall

 A common reading program deserving of replication.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Howard S. Schwartz

Howard Schwartz explores the psychological roots of accusations of racism.

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 Cheap Moral Indignation of Bowdoin College

Michael Toscano

A highly ranked elite liberal arts college chastises students for dressing up as American Indians at Thanksgiving, while at the same time encouraging rampant immorality as part of campus culture.

Triggers, Metaphoric and Real

Ashley Thorne

The killings in and around UCSB brought gruesome realism to the buzzword "trigger warnings."

Why Do Most College Students Think the Same Thoughts?

Peter Wood

On many topics—racial preferences, sustainability, gay marriage, world citizenship, patriarchy, harassment, sexual freedom—there is room on campus for only one opinion.

Public Virtue in a Republic: The Starting Point for a Common Core

George Seaver

George Seaver writes that we must practice a common teaching of public virtue if we are to sustain our republic.

The Decline of Literate Thought

David Solway

Recalling an evening in Casablanca where he met students "in love with learning," David Solway considers the contrast between them and today's American college students who have little enthusiasm for intellectual growth.

Higher Education's Increasing Disdain for Virtue

Richard Vedder

The rankings scandal at Claremont McKenna College is just the latest example of colleges deceiving the public, writes Richard Vedder.

Students as Customers: If They Can't Write, They're Still Right

John C. Chalberg

John C. Chalberg examines the consumer mentality that's largely taken over the community college where he teaches.

Games of Chance

Peter Wood

Peter Wood observes that even as higher education frets about students’ gambling addictions, it feeds the underlying problem.

Capitalism and Western Civilization - Human Nature

William H. Young

William Young examines the role of human nature in shaping modern capitalism.

Voluptuousness and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William Young examines the traditional Western view of voluptuousness in light of contemporary hedonism and self-gratification.

The Many Problems of Online Education

J.M. Anderson

Online courses are very popular with students, and have the enthusiastic endorsement of senior academic administrators. The only problem, says J.M. Anderson, is that the students aren't learning anything.

Virtue and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William Young discusses the decline of virtue, once integral to the educational process in the Western tradition.

Reciprocity and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William Young continues his series with this dicussion of reciprocity in the Western social tradition.

Your Comfort is Our Priority

Ashley Thorne

Do students have the right to be comfortable?

Mean Professor Fired by Sensitive College

Glenn Ricketts

Do you teach at a "caring" college where Students Come First? Apparently, Valdosta State University in Georgia is one such, and recently demonstrated how they deal with professors who don't care, as this IHE piece reports. Not only was this fellow sacked, he was also brought up on battery charges, for which he was acquitted. So what had he done that cost him his job and landed him in the docket? Apparently, he's one of those (full disclosure: so am I) who thinks that students shouldn't be net-surfing on computers during lectures, and he closed the lap-top of one rude young lady who was doing so. The jury rightly concluded that the case was ludicrous from the start, and never should have come to court. But they've got higher standards at Valdosta State, and didn't let simple justice stop them from terminating this hapless prof's employment. Legions of students testified as to his stellar teaching abilities, but he apparently wasn't very sensitive, and that's what really counts with the administration at Valdosta State.

The Protestant Ethic and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William H. Young argues that the academy should renew an emphasis on hard work if America is to redeem its unmotivated generation.

Understanding the Constitution - No Comment

Glenn Ricketts

A college student's view of how to improve public understanding of the Electoral College

Moralism and Sustainability

William H. Young

Universities should prepare students to draw responsible rather than moralistic conclusions. Sustainability ideology, however, encourages people to make decisions based on personal or collective moral intuition, not critical thought.

Jane's Choice

Ashley Thorne

The pivotal moral decision in Jane Eyre makes little sense to a modern audience, thanks largely to today's emphasis on self-esteem education.

Lily Bart vs. Lady Gaga

Peter Wood

Peter Wood weighs higher education’s contribution to a culture that celebrates ostentatious vulgarity over the pursuit of civilized qualities.

Going to College Makes People More Likely to "Hide" Than to "Do"

David Clemens

In The Weekly Standard, Joseph Epstein makes a nice distinction between those who see man’s essential self as defined by what he hides and those who see man’s essential self as defined by what he does. "More people who have been infected by contemporary college education are likely to fall into the Hide camp than people who have been brought up free of higher education . . . .  If one believes that we are what we hide, responsibility drops away.”

Undoing College

Jason Fertig

For students graduating this December, their real education is about to begin.

Real Ethics Education

Jason Fertig

Ethics courses should make moral decisions personal, argues Jason Fertig.

Questionable Psychological Research at UNC

George Leef

In today's Pope Center Clarion Call, psychologist Deborah Tyler writes about some recent research done at UNC, where students were told to imagine and then write about incest with a family member and also that the family member had been involved in a serious car accident. The purpose of the experiment was to see if, as the researchers supposed, religiously-minded students were more inclined to exhibit "thought-action fusion" than non-religious students. Dr. Tyler explains her reasons for strongly disapproving of this project.

Grade Gambling

Ashley Thorne

Students at 36 colleges and universities can now gamble on their grades—good or bad—through a website called Ultrinsic (an “ULTerior motivation that produces intRINSIC love of knowledge”).

Dangers of Credentialing the College Degree: A Real-Life Example

Jason Fertig

An email exchange between a student and a professor illustrates the popular idea that students are entitled to get a passing grade - even if they don't earn one.

10 Reasons Not to Go to College

Ashley Thorne

A sampling of arguments for the idea that college may not be for everyone.

Anger, Sedition, and Freedom of Speech

Ashley Thorne

Should we restrict expressions of anger to protect the public order? Should universities cultivate students' character?

What is a Gentleman?

Ashley Thorne

NAS is working not just to reform the university, but to reform the character of the next generation. We want to see the academy produce gentlemen and gentlewomen scholars.

Virtus from the Ancient Republics to the Postmodern, Part IV

George Seaver

To what degree has postmodernism's influence on American education, media, corporations, law, families, and military eroded our concern for public virtue?

Virtus from the Ancient Republics to the Postmodern, Part II

George Seaver

Enlightenment thinkers concluded that the balance of power can recover its stability but that the loss of public virtue occurs slowly and is not recoverable.

Virtus from the Ancient Republics to the Postmodern, Part I

George Seaver

Public virtue in the ancient republics meant moral excellence necessary for political stability and achievement in government.

Chivalry Lives: An Interview with Blayne Bennett

Ashley Thorne

Gentlemanliness is not dead; it's just dormant, says the Network of enlightened Women.

Character Lessons: What We Can Learn From the Huntsville Killings

Peter Wood

The murders at the University of Alabama at Huntsville evince a dire need for universities to shape the character, not just the ability, of intellectually gifted individuals.

Early Vacations and Entitled Students

Glenn Ricketts

Has self-esteem education gone way too far?

Lincoln's Bicentennial

Peter Wood

Happy 200th birthday Abe!


Peter Wood

Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne ponder how NAS should ring in the new year.

Backstage Acting

Ashley Thorne

NAS welcomes In Character, a journal about everyday virtues. In seeking to restore higher education to its "higher" quality, we must pursue the moral uplift of the university. This thoughtful journal takes steps toward that goal; by looking at virtue through the lens of public policy, the humanities, religion, and the sciences, In Character holds up the standard of integrity.