Author: Peter Wood

Peter Wood is president of the National Association of Scholars and author of “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project.”

An Action They Never Committed

On June 15, 1774, Boston citizens held a meeting in Faneuil Hall to debate how the townsmen should respond to the blockade that the British had just imposed on the port of Boston.  At issue was whether the citizens should pay for the tea that some radicals had dumped in the harbor back in December. […]

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Stacy Hawkins, I Said So

Stacy Hawkins, a former vice dean and law professor at Rutgers Law School, recently wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The article’s subtitle reads, “If critics have a problem with the goal of diversity, they should say so”—I’ll come to the main title later. As one of these critics, I’ve been vocal […]

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April 1774: The Pendulum Swings

The nation’s 250 Anniversary is only 29 months away. The National Association of Scholars is commemorating the events that led up to the Second Continental Congress officially adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This is the sixth installment of the series. Find the fifth installment here.  “His Majesty trusts that no opposition […]

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True North

The nation’s 250 Anniversary is only 29 months away.  The National Association of Scholars is commemorating the events that led up to the Second Continental Congress officially adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This is the forth installment of the series. Find the third installment here.  Joe Biden — Photo by Gage […]

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DEI-vestment: University of Florida sheds ‘inclusion’ for innovation

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Blaze Media on March 7, 2024 and is crossposted here with permission. The Sunshine State is now the test case of whether anti-DEI laws can have a meaningful effect in turning back these neo-racist programs. The University of Florida boldly advanced to the front of the academic line last […]

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Privy Council Disses Franklin

The nation’s 250 Anniversary is only 29 months away.  The National Association of Scholars is commemorating the events that led up to the Second Continental Congress officially adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This is the second installment of the series. Find the first installment here.  In December, we celebrated the anniversary […]

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Tea and Feathers

The nation’s 250 Anniversary is only 29 months away.  The National Association of Scholars is commemorating the events that led up to the Second Continental Congress officially adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This is the second installment of the series. Find the first installment here.  Last month, we celebrated the anniversary […]

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After Claudine: How to Repair American Higher Education

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by National Association of Scholars on January 24, 2024 and is crossposted here with permission. In the aftermath of Claudine Gay’s defenestration as president of Harvard, many conservatives, libertarians, and un-woke liberals see an opportunity to rally public support for an operation to rescue higher education. The idea has caught […]

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Claudine Gay Was the Embodiment of Woke Academia

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The American Conservative on January 14, 2024 and is crossposted here with permission. One might think the world had tilted an additional 40 degrees on its axis on January 2. Judging from news accounts, the northern hemisphere was plunged into darkness, and an even more bone-chilling cold than […]

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Harvard will reap the damage caused by Claudine Gay

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Spectator World on January 3, 2024 and is crossposted here with permission. In the end Barack Obama, Penny Pritzker, 700-some members of the faculty, the mighty voice of the Harvard Crimson and the entire nomenclature of the DEI movement could not save her from herself. Claudine Gay resigned as […]

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Why Plagiarism Matters

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Spectator World on December 24, 2023 and is crossposted here with permission. Harvard president Claudine Gay’s troubling history of appropriating other people’s idea and words and passing them off as her own has a well-worn name: plagiarism. Every college and university in the United States prohibits plagiarism. Most present students with […]

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Invitation to a Fancy Dress Party

Author’s Note: The nation’s 250 Anniversary is only 30 months away. The National Association of Scholars can hardly wait. Over the interval, we will post short commemorations of the events that led up to the Second Continental Congress officially adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Some events are familiar to most Americans, […]

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Copy That, Claudine: She is flagrantly guilty of plagiarism.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The American Spectator on December 14, 2023 and is crossposted here with permission. Academic dishonesty strikes many people as boring. After all, it is academic. It is not like Sam Bankman-Fried, the “crypto king,” making $8 billion disappear into thin air. It is not like Florida dentist Charlie Adelson […]

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DEI and Anti-Semitism

How much do the diversity—equity—inclusion (DEI) movement and anti-Semitism feed on one another? There was a time when DEI advocates thought it was part of their remit to fight anti-Semitism too. In fall 2017, the University of Washington’s Department of Epidemiology issued a glossary of DEI terms that along with “ableism,” “birth assigned sex,” and […]

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Thanksgiving Arms

The Pilgrim’s treaty with the Wampanoag lasted fifty years. This would not have happened had the Wampanoag felt imposed on or exploited. Indeed, at that first Thanksgiving—a three-day feast-The Wampanoag numbered about ninety, while only fifty of the settlers were still alive. Had the Wampanoag decided to end the peaceable encounter, things would not have […]

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Gerber For Faculty Positions

The law school deans at places such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Penn rarely turn to me for advice. Ok, never. That’s partly because I am not a lawyer but mostly because I am the head of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), an old organization that is known as one of the conservative voices […]

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A Safe Space for Liberals

Once upon a time, liberals and conservatives could converse easily. I know that sounds implausible, but it is true. Now, I am fairly old. Fred Flintstone was just two grades ahead of me at Bedrock High. Back then we could debate questions such as whether it was a good idea to let dinosaurs turn into […]

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Academia Needs Builders, Not Burners: What Charlie Kirk Gets Wrong About Higher Education

American higher education is in crisis, but persuading students to avoid it won’t fix the underlying problems. Charlie Kirk’s new book, The College Scam: How America’s Universities Are Bankrupting and Brainwashing Away the Future of America’s Youth (Winning Team Publishing, 2022), is based on the faulty premise that America can survive without higher education. No […]

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In Memoriam, John Leo, MTC Founder

John Leo passed away on May 9. This website, Minding the Campus, was founded by John Leo, I believe around 2007. He had recently taken a position at the Manhattan Institute, and he and I met around that time. He asked me to write for MTC, and I responded with an article that he posted […]

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The Mandatory Banality of University Presidents

The president of Harvard University, Larry Bacow, has joined numerous other college presidents in a rush to declare how upset he is over the killing of George Floyd and lamenting how divided the country has become. Brian W. Casey, president of Colgate University, wrote to alumni to express his “horror of watching the killing of […]

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The Collapse of the Fourth Estate

  The Pulitzer Committee has awarded Nikole Hannah-Jones a prize for her lead essay in The New York Times’ “The 1619 Project.” The news doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. It was widely rumored that Hannah-Jones was under consideration, which raised the tantalizing question of how the Pulitzer Committee might find its way the past […]

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The Humanities Throw in the Towel

The humanities are troubled – and that means the way of looking at the world is also distressed. Broadly conceived, the humanities are a filter to one’s view of the world, a way that emphasizes and celebrates what it means to be human. As a collection of academic departments that cover history, English, foreign languages, […]

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Should We Abandon the Concept of Merit?

Here we go again—yet another book denouncing merit and meritocracy. Merit is such a useful idea that it is hard to think that a society could do without it, and probably none does. That, however, hasn’t restrained a burgeoning industry of people who are fed up with the whole idea. “Abolish merit!” they thunder. “It […]

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Has Harvard Lost Its Taste for Western Civilization?

The official greeting of Harvard president Larry Bacow to the members of the Harvard Community — a typical welcome to new students, faculty, and parents — has touched a political nerve. Stina Chang, writing on the Asian-American news site AsAmNews picked up Bacow’s pitch to legislators to ease restrictions on international students who want to […]

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Teaching That America Is Hopelessly Racist

Many more college students have read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ anti-white screed Between the World and Me (2015) than have read, say, works by the Nobel economist Robert Fogel, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Slavery (1974) or Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery (1989). I can say that with […]

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The Assault on Free Thought

The academic left’s efforts to suppress opposing views is fierce, agile, and determined. It can summon an angry mob at a moment’s notice, get the undivided attention of a busy college president, or turn on the tears over the anguish a student feels when oppressed. Whether the goal is to bar a speaker, deface a […]

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As Alaska Slashes Funds to Higher Education, Will Other States Follow?

The state of Alaska has unleashed a grizzly bear of a problem for the lower forty-eight. By slashing public spending on the University of Alaska by 41 percent, the governor and the legislature have defied one of the settled rules of American politics: Thou shalt not threaten public higher education. What if other states follow […]

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How Oberlin Played the Race Card and Lost

Are Oberlin College officials serious when they say they were defending students’ free speech? That remains the college’s defense even after a jury found the college guilty of libel and interference with business in its dealings with Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery. Gibson’s Bakery felt defamed by Oberlin College’s involvement in a campaign accusing the […]

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The Final Corruption of the SAT’s

The College Board, ever alert to cultural signals, has decided the SATs can be improved by adopting what might be called McNeil methods. In the 1930s, Charles K. McNeil, a math teacher at Riverdale Country School in New York, indulged a not very respectable hobby of gambling on the side. Growing bored with picking winners […]

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Google, Facebook Censorship ‘A Mistake’

Last week Google told the Claremont Institute that the Institute’s advertisements for its annual conference were banned. This act of censorship by the internet giant followed Facebook’s announcement that it was banning Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Paul Watson. Ryan P. Williams, the president of the Claremont Institute, posted his account of what […]

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