Respect the University

My university, Saint Mary’s in Halifax, Nova Scotia, makes a lot of noise about respect. We have a Safe and Respectful Saint Mary’s working group that issues reports and recommendations now and again, a Policy on Conflict Resolution that directs members of the university community to contribute to a respectful environment, and even a senate-approved […]

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Memorializing A Dragon-Slaying and A Civil Rights Movement Reborn

In 1996, Californians passed by a wide margin a citizens’ ballot initiative, the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI), also known as Proposition 209, that disallowed use of race and sex preferences by state and local governments in hiring, public contracting, and admissions to public universities. Authored by philosopher Tom Wood and anthropologist Glynn Custred, it […]

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Higher Education Needs to Share the Blame for National Disunity

Editor’s Note: National Association of Scholars Board Member Richard Vedder originally published this piece with Forbes on January 7, 2021. It has been removed from the Forbes website. Minding the Campus proudly republishes Professor Vedder’s article, slightly reformatted for the length preferences of our site. The National Association of Scholars, the publisher of Minding the Campus, […]

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They Must Fear Us: A Modest Proposal

Details aside, it is hard to conclude that our side is winning the campus battle. If we were a publicly traded firm, stockholders would be furious. That unpleasant reality acknowledged, let me suggest a key but never articulated explanation for our failures: universities are not afraid of us. Machiavelli got it right: “Ideally, a prince […]

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The University of Virginia’s Off-Center Miller Center: Whose Reality Is Alternative?

The Miller Center, an affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history, has long prided itself — with some reason — on being “non-partisan” and striving “to apply the lessons of history and civil discourse to the nation’s most pressing contemporary governance challenges.” Recently, however, like so […]

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Prejudice Under the Microscope: The Implicit Association Test (Part I)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. A collective groan could be heard around the world as Stars Wars fans finished viewing the eagerly anticipated Episode I: The Phantom Menace (TPM) — released approximately […]

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Do Our Woke Universities Live Up to Their Own Values?

Each of our great universities used to have official mottos that were meant to stand for their values. For example, McGill University’s was “Grandescunt Aucta Labore,” ‘by work, all things increase and grow’; Western University’s was “Veritas et Utilitas,” ‘truth and usefulness’; Queen’s University’s was “Sapientia et Doctrina Stabilitas,” ‘wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times’; […]

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In the Wilderness, with Igal Hecht

For one full year I lived in the Negev Desert. I made my home in the tiny town of Mitzpeh Ramon, perched on the Makhtesh Ramon desert crater. In 1980 it was still a small town. Forty years later it is not much bigger. Then, there was no internet and no cell phones, only landlines, […]

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Liberal Education and Politics

Editor’s Note: The following piece is the text of informal remarks by David Bolotin, tutor emeritus at St. John’s College Santa Fe. He delivered them on December 9 as part of a panel discussion sponsored by the College’s Student Committee on Instruction on the topic of “Politics, Liberal Education, and the [St. John’s] Program.” St. John’s […]

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Lecturer Emeritus Canceled for Saying Jill Biden Should Not Be Called ‘Dr.’

I am a lawyer with a “Juris Doctor” degree from Harvard Law School. But calling myself “Doctor” would be misleading, because I don’t practice medicine. Indeed, it would be insufferably pompous. As law professor Eugene Volokh notes, lawyers don’t call themselves “doctor,” even though the word “doctor” is in their degree. Jill Biden has an […]

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A Letter to Principals on Free Discussion

On June 20, 2017, I vehemently opposed the censorship of my college president, Adam F. Falk, when I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in room 224 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. I fought my college president cerebrally, aggressively, and with rhetorical firepower for over two years. Six months before my graduation in June, 2018, President Falk announced […]

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Why Scholar-Activists Made Everything About Identity and Why This Goes So Badly Wrong

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing symposium on white fragility and its related concepts. To view all of the essays in this series, click here. Liberalism vs “Social Justice” Social justice is a good thing. It is almost unheard of for anyone to say they would not want a just society. Humans […]

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The New Anthropology

In their recent “Open Letter Demanding the Overhaul of McGill’s Statement of Academic Freedom,” the Anthropology Students Association and the Anthropology Graduate Student Association of McGill University have schooled us about the new anthropology. Here are some of its dimensions: The benighted old anthropology began with questions and engaged in research to find answers. Cultural […]

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Trump and the Fight for the History Classroom

If the Trump Presidency has taught national conservatives anything, it’s that we must take the offensive in the culture wars and not lay supine, politely beseeching tolerance from our foes; it’s that the libertarian strategy of enlightened pluralism will not be brooked by an ever more implacable foe. This is why President Trump’s September 17th […]

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Academic Freedom Entails Both Individual and Social Responsibility

Periodically, professors drop their commitment to objective truth to pursue political agendas. When this occurs, they become prisoners of their own ideologies. In a publication by Professors Ole Wæver and Barry Buzan, the authors reveal that some scholars within critical studies deliberately mislead readers by utilizing deepfake methodology. The authors refer to this deceptive practice […]

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Why the Wokerati Are Cultural Marxists

In an otherwise excellent article ridiculing another journalist who was “canceling” restauranteurs with the wrong ethnicity for the ethnic food they were producing, Jonathan Kay expressed his perplexity about the meaning of “cultural Marxism.” “These battles [such as those about ‘cultural appropriation’ of cultural features by people with incorrect genes] are often described in left- […]

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Get Smart: A Review of Kenneth Stern’s “The Conflict over the Conflict”

Kenneth Stern, author of The Conflict over the Conflict, carries credentials. From 1989 to 2014, he served the American Jewish Committee as an expert on antisemitism. In 1999-2000, Stern helped defend Deborah Lipstadt when she was sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving. Amid an increase in antisemitic hate crimes in Europe after 2000, […]

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Add Me to the List of Canceled Professors

Eight McGill University student societies have taken offense at the classical liberal views I have expressed in articles on matters of public interest. In a petition dated November 30, 2020, entitled “Open Letter Demanding the Overhaul of McGill’s Statement of Academic Freedom,” these students have demanded that the McGill Administration revoke my Emeritus status, so […]

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We Don’t Need Your Condescension

Personal Reflections on Election Reactions in Academia and Society In this essay I will briefly discuss some of my post-election (2016 and 2020) experiences in academia as a right-of-center faculty member at an (501c3, allegedly “non-partisan”) institution composed of hardcore leftists, as well as how this relates to attitudes found in the broader American society. […]

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Farewell to Affirmative Action?

After a long and contentious journey from Bakke, it appears that we have come to a fork in the road on affirmative action (inevitably recalling Yogi Berra’s famous advice: When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!). On November 3, by a resounding 57% to 43%, the people of California voted to […]

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