One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Desk

The Washington Post recently ran an exposé criticizing Yale’s policy of requiring suicidal students to withdraw from school, get treatment, and then apply for reinstatement. This article treads on familiar ground. Criticism of this policy—particularly (indeed, exclusively) at elite colleges—has been building for years and has been published in many other outlets. Why are universities […]

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The Sign in Lee Jussim’s Window

The psychologists are burning another witch. A mob of professors, graduate students, and miscellaneous luftmenschen denounced Klaus Fiedler, the editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science, for “racism, general editorial incompetence, and abuse of power.” The Board of Directors of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), craven accomplices to the mob, swiftly told Fiedler to resign […]

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Anthropology in Ruins

From November 10 to 13, I attended the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), which was held in Seattle, Washington. The AAA is the largest anthropological association in the world. It is a scholarly and professional organization, and three-quarters of its members are academics—either professors or students. The AAA, unlike the other major anthropological […]

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The Woke Academy’s Rejection of the Rule of Law

In her piece on the problems of diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives in the sciences, University of Southern California chemistry professor Anna Krylov compares the USSR, which she left in 1991, and modern universities. Krylov notes that universities are plagued by an “atmosphere of fear and self-censorship” and “an intolerance of dissenting opinions.” This, she […]

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A Republic if You Can Teach It

President Biden has a civics lesson that he is fond of and regularly repeats. It is about how the United States is unique in the world because of the founding ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. “Unlike every other nation on Earth, we were founded based on an idea,” he notes before adding that […]

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Colleges Helped Cause the Enrollment Crash

There is considerable talk these days about the enrollment crash in higher education, especially in liberal-arts education. The Chronicle of Higher Education has been expressing worry about this crisis for several years and has provided evidence supporting it. In 2019, Bucknell University’s former vice president for enrollment management, Bill Conley, penned one such article, describing […]

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Perspectives on Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda

Radical Individualism and the Renaissance (for Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo) “By the side of the farm must early spring up a wide circle of industries …” – John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (6.6) The egalitarianism that has dominated American education since the 1960s needs rethinking in order to remain the engine of our […]

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Taking David Horowitz Seriously

The Academic Bill of Rights revisited David Horowitz is a controversial fellow. Born into a communist family in New York and involved early on with the Black Panthers, he remained on the Left until he was repulsed by the murder of a woman friend, a killing for which he held the Panthers responsible. He describes […]

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Was Shakespeare Right? Should We Kill All the Lawyers?

I always thought that William Shakespeare was a bit too harsh when, in Henry VI, Part 2, he said “Let’s kill all the lawyers.” Given the antics of our nation’s leading law schools and the American Bar Association (ABA), however, perhaps Shakespeare was onto something when he penned those words over four centuries ago. In […]

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The 2022 MTC Lysenko Award: And the Winner Is…

Fall is in the air, which means it’s time to award the annual Minding the Campus Trofim Lysenko Award for the Suppression of Academic Speech (a Lysenko Award, for short). As detailed in the inaugural award announcement, the Lysenko Award is named after Stalinist agronomist Trofim Lysenko. Like so many in today’s woke colleges and […]

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Good News on College Affordability

While it’s understandable to get riled up about the latest outrage on campus, there is some potential good news that we shouldn’t fail to notice: After decades of continuously increasing, college tuition now appears to be trending down. While the level of tuition may still be too high (decades of sustained increases will do that), […]

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The 2022 ACT: It’s Not All Bad News

Soon after this year’s ACT scores were released, a number of articles appeared commenting on the one-half-point drop in the overall, average composite score. The Wall Street Journal correctly pointed out that this is the fifth consecutive annual decline, and the first time the average composite score has been below 20 since 1991. To put […]

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My Compelled Speech is Your “Academic Freedom”?

As Florida’s midterm victories by conservative candidates are celebrated across the country as a blueprint for the counter-woke movement, U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker rebuffed the trend. After issuing a preliminary injunction order in August against the employment provisions in the Individual Freedom Act (IFA), also known as the Stop Wrongs against Our Kids […]

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Woke?

Following the antics on today’s college campuses undoubtedly invites mental illness. It’s not easy watching a speaker at an Ivy League school get shouted down with chants of “No KKK, no fascist USA” or hearing about professors accused of bias for addressing students with the “wrong” pronoun. But, mental discomfort aside, must we really fear […]

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The Conspiracist Fantasy of University Bureaucracies

Paranoia as Policy Here’s a thought exercise for you: What if persons afflicted with persecutory delusions were to seek out other persons with similar delusions to form a support group identified primarily by the acceptance of the main delusion? Rather than receive treatment for their delusions, these persons are instead encouraged in their paranoia. Their […]

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Shearing Science to Atone for Imagined Sins of the Past According to journalist Christine Chung, writing for the New York Times, Harvard’s Peabody Museum will return hundreds of Native American samples. The samples, which were collected from 1930 to 1933 by George Edward Woodbury, will be returned to the tribes to which these Native Americans […]

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Why the Left Relies on Statistical Illiteracy

In September 2022, three researchers published the provocatively titled article, “Do Introductory Courses Disproportionately Drive Minoritized Students Out of STEM Pathways?” That article got loads of social media publicity for its conclusion that unequal withdrawal rates from STEM degree tracks are due to systemic racism. Co-authors Chad Topaz (“Data scientist/mathematician and activist” and co-founder of […]

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Breaking Up the Law School Monopoly: Part 2

A Two-Part Essay on the University Law School in the American Legal System “The logic of the common law is really economics. The teaching of law could be simplified by exposing students to the clean and simple economic structure beneath the particolored garb of legal doctrine.”  Richard A. Posner In Part 1 of this essay, […]

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Institutional Neutrality: Do not block the way of inquiry!

Universities are supposed to be institutions of inquiry. My university’s enabling legislation declares its goal to be “the pursuit of learning.” Were universities to impede inquiry, they would betray this goal. As philosopher Charles S. Peirce admonished, “Do not block the way of inquiry.” Now more than ever, we need Peirce’s words “inscribed upon every […]

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The Perils of University Indigenization

While attending the Academic Freedom Conference at Stanford University on November 4–5, I heard for the first time about the Kalven Report. In his presentation, University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot explained that the Kalven Report was part of the “Chicago Trifecta.” Along with the Chicago Principles (promoting free speech) and the Shils Report (defending […]

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