Author: David Randall

David Randall is Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars.

Schools of Intellectual Freedom: Coming to a University Near You?

An increasing number of states have created, or are considering creating, autonomous schools within public universities, where depoliticized scholarship can flourish with institutional protections from the radical, illiberal monoculture of the higher education establishment. In 2016, the Arizona legislature created the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) at Arizona State University (ASU). […]

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Going Woke Isn’t Hard When You’ve Got a Library Card

American school districts need new policies to guide their librarians in their acquisitions practices. New policies, which provide explicit guidelines on political pluralism and obscenity, as well as reaffirming librarians’ deference to parental preferences for their minor children, would do a great deal to defuse the political battles that have flared up about the contents […]

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Disordered Aesthetics, Disordered Morals

Civic Architecture In May 2021 and April 2022, the Biden administration removed five members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. They did so as part of their fervid campaign to remove from the federal government all appointees of the Trump administration—even appointees in components of the federal government which previously presumed bipartisan comity. In […]

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Defund Gender Studies

The Wyoming State Legislature recently considered a bill to defund gender studies at its public universities—although they ultimately did not turn this bill into law. The bill followed parallel efforts abroad, notably in Hungary, to defund gender studies. A previously unthinkable extension of the government into university affairs has now been mooted. Gender studies (a.k.a., […]

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Peer-Reviewed History is Dying of Wokeness

What is the state of academic history? Take a look at the latest issue of the American Historical Review, the flagship journal of the academic discipline. It doesn’t publish bread-and-butter research articles; those go to specialist journals and fill published essay collections. Instead, its articles illustrate entire schools of historiography, using research as an entrée […]

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Open Access and Intellectual Freedom: Linked Meditations

Open Access The University of California signed an open-access agreement with the publisher Springer Nature this past week. That’s an improvement on the status quo—although it’s not yet clear how much of an upgrade it will prove to be. The new agreement responds to a dysfunctional status quo in the world of academic publishing. Academic […]

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Virus ‘Stress’ Prompts Students to Demand Easy A’s at Harvard

America’s students will get a lot of pass/fail grades during the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Pennsylvania, Lehigh University, and Haverford College have allowed students to choose whether to be graded pass/fail for classes this semester. Duke University announced, “all spring courses at the university will default to a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade scheme.” The Massachusetts Institute […]

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Europe: The Disappearance of a Continent

What the College Board did to American history two years ago it has now done to European history: erase and contort. Writing at the National Review Online’s The Corner, Stanley Kurtz makes clear what is at stake: “The curriculum will shape textbooks and the way in which all high school and college students are taught about […]

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