Author: Adam Kissel

Adam Kissel is an independent scholar living in Arlington, Virginia.

Freshmen: Here Are the Friends and Values We Want You to Have

For years, some colleges assigned new students roommates from different regions, races or classes. The idea, not very controversial, was to broaden the horizons of freshmen. Now a more intrusive version of that plan has turned up via the University of Denver, where the chancellor believes a bit of social engineering will push students toward […]

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The Salaita Case—Academic Blacklisting?

You should formulate your response to the case of Steven Salaita cautiously. Salaita, a professor at the University of Illinois, was unhired following public outcry over his declamations against Israel, Jews, and defenders of Israel on Twitter. If you don’t defend him, you can’t defend right-wingers who express themselves in similarly strong language. “No individual loses […]

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More Decline in the U. of Chicago Core

Five years ago, I told the sad tale of curricular decline at the University of Chicago, whose core curriculum changes had met widespread national criticism ten years earlier. I am disappointed to report that the university’s offerings have declined further since 2009. The University of Chicago’s Core was once the gold standard in higher education. Though it went through many changes, when it […]

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‘Disinvitation Season’ Begins on College Campuses

A college commencement is a splendid time to celebrate student achievement. But it’s “disinvitation season” again, as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education observes: the time when intolerant students and faculty advocate against their school’s choice of commencement speaker, sometimes causing the speaker to be disinvited. These power-hungry protesters demonstrate how little they have learned […]

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Champlain Is a Good Innovative College, But…

Champlain College in Vermont has been receiving national accolades for its thoughtful curriculum. For many of those unhappy with the vagaries of more famous colleges and universities, Champlain is starting to pop up in parental discussions, right after the question, “Then where would you be willing to send your son or daughter?” The college combines a decent core curriculum with career-oriented […]

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Harvard Won’t Stop Pushing ‘Community Values’

After pushing freshmen to “pledge” to official Harvard values last year, this year the college is training students that there is One Right Ethical Way to Live Here at Harvard. “We did not have [freshmen] sign pledges,” Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman told The Harvard Crimson for a Sept. 7 article, “but we pushed every bit as hard on how […]

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The University Of Chicago – What’s Been Lost

The University of Chicago met widespread national opposition ten years ago after it instituted a new, less demanding core curriculum to make way for more electives. It was part of a plan to make the curriculum significantly less demanding (more “fun”) to attract more students and improve the school’s bottom line. Instead of 21 required […]

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Unsustainable? No, Wilson Is Wrong

[Read John K. Wilson’s defense of Delaware ResLife here] The University of Delaware Office of Residence Life has tricked another outsider, John K. Wilson, into believing that its proposal to run a highly politicized indoctrination program for over 7,000 students in the school’s residence halls is actually just a free exploration of diverse views in […]

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