The latest rounds of student rage over alleged racial discrimination—and the subsequent administrative acquiescence to student demands—at American universities should come as no surprise. For decades U.S. institutions of higher education have cultivated an obsession with supposedly hidden-but-ubiquitous oppression.
The notion of requiring students to take two courses in Western Civilization to earn a diploma is so controversial at Stanford University that a recently launched petition that calls for as much has propelled the school into a heated debate complete with name-calling, intimidation tactics and more.
On April 22, University of California Berkeley law professor Sujit Choudhry filed an 11-page single-spaced grievance with the 10-member UC Berkeley Privilege and Tenure Committee.
Much as administrators and faculty may dislike it, the fact is that public colleges are subject to both the First Amendment and the state legislatures that fund them. Legislators shouldn’t micromanage the campuses, but they must set some basic rules.
On college campuses, outrage over provocative speakers sometimes turns violent. It's becoming a pattern on campuses around the country. A speaker is invited, often by a conservative student group. Other students oppose the speaker, and maybe they protest. If the speech happens, the speaker is heckled. Sometimes there's violence.
The threat to free speech in the United States is by no means restricted to colleges and universities, but they have become breeding grounds, training camps, and launching pads in the campaign to curtail liberty of thought and discussion. It is on our campuses where the battle for free speech will be won or lost.
When one-fifth of college students believe it's fine to use violence to silence speech, we have a huge problem.
Only apologists determined to avert their eyes and cover their ears could deny with a straight face that higher education in America today nurses hostility to free speech.
It's college commencement time, and the question is the future of the graduates, whether we will have “capable and cultivated human beings” making this a better America, or something else. The quoted words are from the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill in a graduation address he made, and my worry has to do with postmodernist campus leftism.
The well-documented inability of American colleges and universities to reverse the several-decades-long curtailment of free speech on campus is a matter of considerable public interest. Whether the federal government is capable of producing effective reform is another question. President Trump seems to believe Washington is up to the task.
A few years ago I asked a friend and business owner why he put value on a college diploma when talking with entry level talent who had majored in subjects incredibly tangential to his job descriptions. . . .
A program at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, will bring together 25 of the country’s best and brightest students in August in an effort to train the next generation of leaders in the principles of liberal democracy and the ideas that constitute the foundation of the state...
For several decades, the number of students attending college in the United States has been growing rapidly: Over the last 20 years or so, enrollments have risen by about 50 percent, and over the last 50 years they have more than quadrupled. During this time, especially the last two decades, the polarization of our politics has markedly intensified.
The never-ending controversy over Peyton Manning’s backside has several uncomfortable tensions at work: factual uncertainty, failed accountability and the urge to seek a correction now for something 20 years ago. But all of it amounts to a supercharged distraction from the real question: Why aren’t we talking about current events at Tennessee instead of a murky one 20 years ago?
On May 8, the Duke University student newspaper published a stirring letter addressed to the school community that was co-signed by 101 students and former students. The letter protested the decision of the university’s Sanford School of Public Policy to decline to renew the contract of Evan Charney, associate professor of the practice of public policy and political science, and called on the provost to reverse the decision.
More than 140 years after Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, his theory of evolution is still generating controversy. Although Darwinism is championed by the majority of the scientific community, some have claimed that Darwin's theory is bad science and have put forward their own, even more controversial theories. What should we make of these arguments? Is one such theory, known as Intelligent Design, merely creationism by another name, or is it a legitimate scientific alternative to Darwinism?
Did life on earth unfold by chance or by design? According to the natural sciences and Darwin's theory of evolution, it was by chance. According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, it was by divine design. On this crucial question, science and religion appear to be irreconcilable. But are they? Does Darwinism encourage atheism? Must Christians be anti-Darwin?
In the United States, affirmative action policies, first implemented to address the historical grievances of black Americans, have long been controversial. But the debate over affirmative action has generally ignored such action as practiced by other countries around the world. Has affirmative action proven to be more or less effective in other countries? What common patterns do these programs share? How can the study of these programs help our understanding of affirmative action in America?
Does Homer still matter? For more than 2000 years, the ancient Greeks and Romans have had a special place in the canon of western civilization and their writings have been studied by generation after generation of scholars and students. But are the classics still relevant in twenty-first century, multi-cultural America? Or are the ancient Greeks of no more importance to us than other ancient cultures such as the Aztecs, Egyptians, or Chinese?
Another high-profile act of campus censorship -- amid a coast-to-coast spate of student assaults on free speech the last two years -- occurred in late September at the College of William & Mary. Undergraduates there shut down a lecture on “Students and the First Amendment” by chanting, among other things, “Liberalism is white supremacy.” President Taylor Reveley promptly issued a statement affirming the college’s “powerful commitment to the free play of ideas.” That did little to disturb the eerie silence of most faculty and administrators around the country in the face of free speech’s travails.