A New Tactic to Undermine Free Speech?

“The anarchic left” may be adopting a new tactic to stifle free speech on campus: rather than direct shout-downs of speakers they oppose, thus risking arrest and punishment, they may be turning to persistent heckling, says Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars. On April 18, the conservative activist group Turning Point USA […]

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Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump

Why Do Colleges Admit Students Who Can’t Do the Work?

QUICK READ… Every year, American schools get their annual report card, the National Assessment of Educational Progress(NAEP), and like all depressing report cards, it is whisked out of sight as quickly as possible. The nation’s public schools are a mess. Only 37 percent of 12th graders tested proficient in reading and only 25 percent in […]

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paperwork-research-overload

Publish and Perish: The Zero Sum Game of Literary Research

Several years ago, I did a study on the costs and impact of literary research. The point was to show how much research was published and how often it was consulted. The answer to the first part was this: piles and piles of it, fully 70,000 items of scholarship each year in all the fields […]

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College Graduates

Welcome to the New Look of Minding the Campus

Dear Reader: We’ve chosen a cleaner and more modern design and made a number of small changes that we think make the site more readable and easier to navigate. –We’ve eliminated the distinction between essays and short takes. –We’ve added a feature in the right rail called ‘Notable’—short items we think you should see. –‘Commentary,’ […]

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A Conservative Argues Some ‘Free Speech’ Is Assault

It has become familiar among conservatives, on and off campus, to cast up the warnings about “moral relativism” as they gnash their teeth about the state of the culture. And yet we often find conservatives with a libertarian bent backing into a soft version of relativism. That tendency has been especially pronounced among conservatives who […]

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Why ‘Implicit Bias Training’ Makes No Sense

Does it make sense for Starbucks to put its workforce through “implicit bias training”? Maybe as a public relations gesture to apologize for the arrest of two peaceful black men who were there for a meeting without buying anything at a Philadelphia Starbucks and then asking to use the restroom. But if the company’s goal […]

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Jordan Peterson

12 Reasons I Like Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules

I’m standing in line outside the Beacon Theatre. As the sun goes down, I find myself wondering why I made the drive from Philly to attend a Jordan Peterson (JP) presentation in Manhattan. As a junior in college, I sit through lectures every day. Do I really need another one? Yes, apparently, because I feel […]

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The Last-Ditch Battle to Protect Racial Preferences in California

California voters made racial preferences illegal by passing Proposition 209 in 1996, but many university officials have ignored the law, especially at the state’s top law schools. Among such officials, it is a deeply ingrained belief that social justice demands measures to close statistical gaps between “underrepresented” groups (particularly blacks and Hispanics) and “overrepresented” groups […]

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The Decline and Fall of Sociology

As totalitarian modes of rule continue to decline throughout the world, readers of Minding the Campus will recognize the insidious strain of totalitarianism that has emerged on many college campuses—one that is characterized by the bullying, and sometimes silencing of faculty and students who deviate even slightly from the prescribed progressive campus politics. Most recently, […]

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The Overthrow of the Great Books

Many years ago, in the late ‘90s, three professors and I met with the undergraduate dean at Emory University to discuss a Great Books proposal. Steven Kautz, a political scientist, led the effort, and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Harvey Klehr, and I backed him up. The idea was to build a Great Books track within the undergraduate […]

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Amy Wax - National Review

Why Was Professor Amy Wax Punished?

Nearly 10 years ago, Penn law professor Amy Wax wrote an excellent book, Race, Wrongs, and Remedies: Group Justice in the 21st Century. Last summer she co-authored a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed arguing that all cultures are not equal. It provoked a virtual implosion at Penn and beyond. Now she’s done it again, becoming a larger […]

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Achilles and the Wyf of Bath Compete in Oklahoma

Mark Bauerlein, an English professor at Emory University, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the course W.H. Auden launched at the University of Michigan in 1941. It’s 6,000 pages of the most powerful literature in the canon: The Divine Comedy in full, four works of Shakespeare, Pascal’s Pensées, Horace’s odes, Volpone, Racine, Kierkegaard’s […]

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