The liberally educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worthy of consideration.— Allan Bloom
When Allan Bloom wrote The Closing Of The American Mind more than two decades ago, he probably never imagined that the absence of intellectual pluralism he decried would still be upon us. There is an undeniable divide between the Academy and the larger society. The curtain that has been drawn around colleges and universities no longer protects intellectual exchange and a search for the truth. In the modern academy, many certainly do not know all of the ideas worthy of consideration.
Minding the Campus hopes to change that by fostering a new climate of opinion that favors civil and honest engagement of all ideas, offering an engaged debate for readers concerned with the state of the modern university and the society it serves. We provide a simple central resource, featuring fresh original content from professors and academics and we draw upon the best from established magazines and publications, as well as from less-visited corners, from professional journals to blogs and student publications. In connecting resources from disparate worlds, we hope to connect their readers, fostering potential for real discussion and change. A conversation about America’s Universities is needed; look for it here.
Minding the Campus Board of Directors
James Piereson, Chairman of the Board of Minding the Campus, is president of the William E. Simon Foundation and serves on the boards of many other non-profits, including the Pinkerton Foundation, the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, the Center for Individual Rights, the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Foundation for Cultural Review, the American Spectator Foundation, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Donors Trust. Trained in political science, he taught courses in political thought and U.S. government at Iowa State, Indiana University and the University of Pennsylvania. Jim’s most recent book is Shattered Consensus: the Rise and Decline of America’s Postwar Political Order.
Debra S. McEneaney, Director and Treasurer, is a partner in Hopeworks Ltd, a consulting company. She has applied over 40 years of marketing, management, and strategic planning know-how to a spate of non-profits including the East Hampton Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game, where she grew the annual donations from $20,000 to $202,000 over nine years. She is currently Marketing and Community Advisor for the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center.
Mark Bauerlein, Director and Vice President is an English professor at Emory University and the author of the 2008 book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30), which won the Nautilus Book Award. Bauerlein worked at the National Endowment for the Arts, serving as the Director of the Office of Research and Analysis. Bauerlein contributed to the NEA study, “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America.”
Daphne Patai, Secretary, is a scholar and author. She is professor emeritus in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her Ph.D. is in Brazilian literature, but her early work also focused on utopian and dystopian fiction. She is the daughter of the anthropologist Raphael Patai. After spending ten years with a joint appointment in women’s studies and in Portuguese, Patai became highly critical of what she saw as the imposition of a political agenda on educational programs. She has oversight and supervision of charitable activities, including corporate records and minutes.
John Leo, Editor, is a former senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor at the Institute’s City Journal. His popular column, “On Society,” ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years, and appeared in 140 newspapers through the Universal Press Syndicate. Leo has worked as a senior writer for Time magazine, and as a staff reporter for the New York Times specializing in intellectual trends and the social sciences. Other positions he has held include assistant administrator of New York City’s environmental protection administration, editor of a Catholic newspaper in Iowa, associate editor of Commonweal, book editor of the social science journal Trans-Action (now Society), and “Press Clips” columnist for the Village Voice. He is the author of three books, most recently “Incorrect Thoughts.”