College Students Required to Detail Sexual History Before Registering for Classes

Colleges are increasingly demanding that students disclose details of their private lives in Title IX training. For example, Campus Reform reported that a “mandatory online course at the University of Southern California (USC) asks students to disclose the number of sexual encounters they have had over the past three months” as part of its “Title […]

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Our Sex Starts in the Womb, Our Gender As We Toddle On

Richard Feynman remarked “for Nature cannot be fooled,” hearkening back to Isaac Newton—a reminder that Nature’s laws are indifferent to what humans think or wish those laws might be. The same goes for biology, which we ignore at our peril. Sex genes appeared some 180 million years ago in mammals. Not only do they make […]

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I Just Made My Last Student Loan Payment—Here’s How to Improve the System

I borrowed over $30,000 for college, and after many years of repayment, I am now officially (student loan) debt-free. By a bizarre twist of fate, much of my professional life has been devoted to studying financial aid programs like student loans. In this essay, I reflect back on how my student loan experience compares to […]

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Educating Students About the Victims of Communism

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by RealClearEducation on October 15, 2021 and is crossposted here with permission. Many Americans today assume that the threat of Communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We continue to see Communist and socialist regimes pop up and spread not only in Latin […]

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The Exhaustion of “Antiracism”: Who has permission to quote MLK?

“Antiracism” guru Dr. Ibram X. Kendi strikes again. In an emotionally taxing column published by The Atlantic, a melodramatic Kendi laments the alleged misappropriation and distortions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the hands of conservatives opposed to critical race theory (CRT). Kendi disparages “Reagan Republicans then and Trump Republicans today” as King’s “modern-day […]

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PSLF Was Already Bad. The Biden Administration Just Made It Worse.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced new changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The changes make a bad program worse. PSLF was launched in 2007 and provides accelerated loan forgiveness for politically favored workers.  Other college graduates with student loan debt need to make payments for at least 20 years […]

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How Our Illiberal Universities Betray Liberal Democracy

The quest for knowledge at our universities has ended because knowledge is “settled”: science, philosophy, sociology, ethics, and politics are all settled. The time for questions is over; now is the time for action, for activism, for transforming society and culture. As John M. Ellis puts it in The Breakdown of Higher Education, “academia now […]

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Dear Outraged College Student

Dear Outraged College Student: I just read your op-ed in the student newspaper. I can see from it that you are distressed. A speaker with whom you disagree has been invited to come give a talk at the school you attend. You feel it is an outrage against decency, justice, and diversity that this speaker […]

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Campus’ Disappearing White Males: The MacArthur Awards

Next to the Nobel Prizes, possibly the most prestigious and lucrative awards given to American academics are the annual so-called “genius” awards from the MacArthur Foundation. Last week, the foundation announced 25 awards, totaling well over $15 million. I found it curious that only three (12%) of those recognitions went to white or Asian males, […]

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Socioeconomic Status—The Good Kind of Affirmative Action?

Lambasted from the Left and the Right and misused by universities to circumvent prohibited racial preferences, America’s core values demand reassessment of socioeconomic affirmative action. The Statue of Liberty proclaims: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” A basic tenet of American exceptionalism is our upward mobility. Just about […]

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Mao’s Red Guards and America’s Justice Warriors

On a warm day in the early fall of 1966, a 17-year-old former high school student led a group of local Red Guards in a struggle session to publicly shame members of the “Five Black Categories (landlords, rich farmers, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, and right-wingers)” in a small town near Shanghai. The teenager, who came from […]

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The Barefoot Boy’s Guide to Ownership

  Oh, for boyhood’s time of June, Crowding years in one brief moon, When all the things I heard or saw Me, their master, waited for …   Mine, the sand-rimmed pickerel pond, Mine, the walnut slopes beyond, Mine, on bending orchard trees, Apples of Hesperides!   John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy” is one of […]

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The Common Good Project

In our current political discourse, virtually any news story can instantly become a flash point for bitter partisan recriminations: COVID-related public health mandates, the January 6 mob actions at the Capitol, and now the Afghanistan pullout. Each of these cases have threatened the interests of the nation as a whole, and in other times, they […]

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King, Kendi, and the Good People of Guilford, Connecticut

Editor’s Note: This essay originally stated that the population of Guilford, Connecticut is “just over 77,000.” The population is, in fact, around 22,000. We have edited the piece accordingly. Like many readers of Minding the Campus, I am despondent over the corruption of K-12 education in America. It seems to have inherited all that is […]

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In Review: Philip Dwyer and Mark Micale’s “The Darker Angels of Our Nature”

Cancel culture has harassed Harvard professor Steven Pinker on more than one occasion. Not long ago, the witch hunters demanded the removal of Pinker as a fellow from the Linguistic Society of America. What was his crime? Pinker had the nerve to point out that modern Western Civilization is not the bogeyman social justice warriors […]

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Six Thoughts on Biden’s Free Community College Plan

Details are starting to emerge about the Biden administration’s plans for free community college. According to a story in Inside Higher Ed by Alexis Gravely, the key details include: States that opt-in must set community college tuition and fees to $0 and must maintain current spending on community colleges. To offset the loss of tuition, […]

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Vaccines in Food? UC Riverside Announces New Research on mRNA Veggies

One of the most alarming developments in the current COVID vaccine war appears in the form of a relatively harmless-looking September 16 press release from the University of California at Riverside (UCR). The press release begins, “The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC […]

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1776 Unites Curriculum Highlights the American Character

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by RealClearWire on September 17, 2021 and is crossposted here with permission. Teachers looking for a history and civics curriculum that focuses on America’s promise of securing liberty for all have a new resource: the 1776 Unites curriculum. A creation of 1776 Unites, an initiative of the Woodson […]

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In Defense of Liberal Culture

Kabul’s rapid collapse upon the withdrawal of U.S. troops teaches us at least two things about culture. Firstly, different cultures undergird vastly different forms of government. After 20 years of direct U.S. influence in regime-building, Afghanistan has failed to establish its own democratic government, largely due to illiberal political and civic cultural norms. The 20-year […]

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Why Professors Are Canceled

The cancellation of professors is overdetermined, that is, caused by multiple influences all contributing to the end result. Anne Applebaum reviews some prominent cancellations in her lengthy account in The Atlantic, entitled “The New Puritans.” Here are some of the contributing circumstances: One is that the targets tend to be successful, high-ranking, and often popular, […]

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