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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On Gene Editing and the Free Market

In December, Dr. He Jiankui was sentenced to a three-year prison term, fined $430,000, and fired from his position as Associate Professor of Biology at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. Did he grope a patient? No. Poison a client? Again, no. According to the official Chinese Xinhua News Agency, Dr. […]

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Don’t Bail Out Colleges. Help Students Instead.

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing devastating financial damage throughout the economy, and higher education is no exception. Colleges worry about a decline in enrollments from students newly wary of gathering in close quarters, cuts in state funding that historically accompany recessions, and declines in the value of endowments. These dangers are real, but they don’t […]

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The New Title IX and its Challengers

The last four years have witnessed a series of desperate attempts to frustrate Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ goal of creating a fair Title IX adjudication framework to replace the one-sided guidance she inherited from the Obama administration. In 2017, when DeVos rescinded what one federal judge deemed the “infamous Dear Colleague letter,” accusers’ rights organizations […]

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Scheming to Revive Racial Preferences in California

California’s deep-blue legislature has been itching to repeal Proposition 209 for years. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, legislators are giving that effort priority over the state’s plainly more urgent concerns. Shame on them. Adopted by voters in 1996, Proposition 209 amended California’s constitution to prohibit the state from engaging in preferential treatment […]

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The American University and the End of the Enlightenment

America is arguably the most magnificent manifestation of the Enlightenment that transformed the world after 1500. Our nation was discovered and settled by adventurers and risk-takers embracing change and discovery. Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were curious about the world, innovative and creative, and believers in the emerging democratic ideal who […]

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Murders, Riots, and Liberal Education

St. John’s College, the so-called Great Books school, has provided a sanctuary for liberal education since 1937. All students study the same prescribed assignments at the same time as their classmates. Except for a few classes in the final two years, there are no electives. The readings comprise many of the world’s most intellectually challenging […]

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NAS Critiques AAUP Response to New Title IX Regulations

On May 6, the Department of Education (ED), under Secretary of Education Betsy Devos, released new Title IX regulations. Title IX was first written into law as part of the Higher Education Act of 1965 with the purpose of banning sex discrimination at colleges and universities receiving federal funding. It was last amended by ED […]

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An Announcement for Our Readers

Dear Reader, Thirteen years ago, I founded Minding the Campus under the auspices of The Manhattan Institute. Eight years later, MI gave me start-up capital to continue the site on my own, and I’ve had the privilege of writing, editing and working with outstanding MTC contributors ever since. Today, as I near my 85th birthday, […]

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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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Who Succeeds, and Why?

This is the third of a three-part review of Charles Murray’s latest book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race and Class. Self-identified progressives–who make up the great bulk of North America’s coastal and urban government, business, media, and academic elites–are great champions of equality, even at the expense of freedom, justice, and prosperity. But […]

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University of California Dumps SAT for Diversity

On the same day that my recent article discussing the new attempt to repeal California’s prohibition of racial preference was posted here, William McGurn had a terrific article in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the University of California’s decision last week to drop the SAT and ACT admissions tests. “During the debate among the California […]

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Another Scheme to Justify Racial Preferences

In 1996 55% of California voters shocked Democrats by approving Proposition 209, which added a provision to the state constitution prohibiting state agencies from “discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or […]

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Culture, Not Biology, Tears Us Apart on Race

In his new book, Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class, Charles Murray’s view is not that the 21st century orthodox rejection of the 19th century European concept of race is wrong, but that it goes too far in rejecting the biological basis of human variation. He thinks, however, that the term “race” […]

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The Real Differences Between Men and Women

For half a century, the push for gender equality has driven America’s social and political agenda and cast women as victims of male bias and repression. Make no mistake—business, entertainment, science, and academia needed reform, and eventually, the hammer that could break the glass ceiling was handed to qualified women who sought the top job […]

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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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COVID-19 Bites Identity Politics

As I write this, I am surrounded by silence: not only the silence of a small university town on lockdown but, also, the silence of the feminists and postmodernists as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken over. Where are the usual attacks on white male-dominated science? Where’s the “standpoint epistemology” to tell us how different is […]

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Can the Integrity of Our Colleges Be Restored?

Half a century ago, our colleges and universities were liberal in their orientations and policies. Generally, they treated students and staff as individuals who were judged by their academic achievements and potentials. (Where they existed, the exceptions were numerically minor: children of alumni and athletes.) Students and staff were free to associate with one another […]

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The Language Arts Are in Steep Decline

When I entered graduate school in English in the mid-1980s, I didn’t understand the importance of undergraduate enrollments in the field. I was so caught up in scholarship and research and theory that the junior and senior classrooms didn’t much count. The freshman and sophomore classes were even more remote. They registered to me only […]

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Wanna Teach? Submit a Killer ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Statement

George Will’s column last month on leftist bias in faculty hiring got to the heart of the practice but showed that conservatives can’t do a damn thing about it. He cites the policy at the University of California of requiring all applicants in every field to submit, along with their CV and letters of recommendation, […]

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