Latest News and Commentary: National

May 31, 2023
By Holly Lawford-Smith

Excerpt: Kathleen Stock tweeted recently that ‘Many philosophers have existed only in their own minds, but I think I may well be the first to exist only in other people’s.’ She was responding to the latest outbreak of leftist moral panic about gender-critical feminism, in this case a series of actions taken by student activists at the University of Oxford in protest against her being invited to participate in a debate hosted by the Oxford Union—which describes itself as ‘the world’s most prestigious debating society’.

In commenting that she exists only in other people’s minds, Stock meant that the version of herself and her views being objected to by the student activists was unrecognizable to her.

May 31, 2023
By Piper Hutchinson
Louisiana Illuminator

Excerpt: The president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System did not mince words Wednesday while testifying on a resolution that requested all public schools in the state — K-12 and colleges — submit reports on programs and activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion, critical race theory and social emotional learning.

“At its core, this is a racist instrument,” LCTCS President Monty Sullivan said.

May 30, 2023
By Todd J. Zywicki
Minding the Campus

Excerpt: Identifying the problems does not answer the more important question: what is to be done? What practical, real-world policy responses are available that might arrest, then reverse, the decline of modern American higher education? And, equally important, what policy proposals will not have unintended consequences that will actually make matters worse?

Consider, for example, the origin text of the modern academic reform movement, William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom” (1951). To say that the ideas Buckley critiqued are still prevalent on modern American campuses would be an understatement. Less appreciated is that Buckley’s proposed reform—electing CEOs to the board—has likely exacerbated rather than reversed this trend.

May 29, 2023
By Sebastian Kozuch
Heterodox STEM

Excerpt: For reference, I am a half Argentinian - half Israeli chemist; I think of myself as a center-left liberal both in an economic and political sense; I hate fascists and racists, and I believe that STEM direly needs more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Having said that, I would like to tell you a small story from a chemical laboratory that can serve as a useful analogy for the point I want to raise. Please bear with me.

May 28, 2023
By John Jiang
American Spectator

Excerpt: Affirmative action in higher education is set to face the judgment of the Supreme Court. The moment is quietly exhilarating. This is an injustice that has been hoisted upon so many, for so long, and with the patronage of so many powerful institutions that it seemed perhaps too big and too heavy to ever remove. Yet the same was true of Roe v. Wade, and now Roe v. Wade is gone.

A ruling against affirmative action would only begin a much more difficult fight. The proliferation of liberal policies at universities is, after all, not some historical accident: it is the product of an increasingly large and powerful administrative class in academia. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, these people will remain, as will the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda that they uphold.

May 24, 2023
By Jonathan Turley
Jonathan Turley's Blog

Excerpt: University of Pennsylvania Anthropology Professor Theodore Schurr is apparently an academic recidivist in allowing a diversity of viewpoints in a classroom. For that offense, Dr. Schurr is again the subject of complaints and a call for suspension. Tolerating, let alone encouraging, such diversity of viewpoints in a classroom is now considered harmful and abusive.

May 24, 2023
By Mitch Dudek
Chicago Sun Times

Excerpt: Former University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer led the South Side institution for 15 years as a champion of free speech on campus at a time when the notion was being widely challenged.

Under his leadership, students were put on notice in 2016 that the university did not support canceling speakers because their topics might prove controversial or condone intellectual “safe spaces” where students could retreat from ideas at odds with their own.

May 24, 2023
By American Association of University Professors

Excerpt: Earlier this year, the AAUP established a special committee to review the apparent pattern of politically, racially, and ideologically motivated attacks on public higher education in Florida.

Today, after interviewing dozens of faculty members at multiple public colleges and universities in the state, the committee has released a preliminary report concluding that academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance in Florida’s public colleges and universities currently face a politically and ideologically driven assault unparalleled in US history. If sustained, this onslaught threatens the very survival of meaningful higher education in the state, with dire implications for the entire country.

May 24, 2023
By Hannah Natanson
The Washington Post

Excerpt: Books about LGBTQ people are fast becoming the main target of a historic wave of school book challenges — and a large percentage of the complaints come from a minuscule number of hyperactive adults, a first-of-its-kind Washington Post analysis found.

The Post analyzed the complaints to determine who was challenging the books, what kinds of books drew objections and why. Nearly half of filings — 43 percent — targeted titles with LGBTQ characters or themes, while 36 percent targeted titles featuring characters of color or dealing with issues of race and racism. The top reason people challenged books was “sexual” content; 61 percent of challenges referenced this concern.

May 23, 2023
By Kate McGee
Texas Tribune

Excerpt: It was going to take Keith Schnakenberg a lot to leave his tenured position at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has worked in the political science department since 2016. But when he got a message from a professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s business school encouraging him to apply for a faculty position in the business, government and society department, he decided to throw his hat in the ring.

After a whirlwind visit in March, Schnakenberg got the job offer earlier this month. It came with tenure and a competitive salary. The university offered to cover moving expenses and provide money for new equipment. But last week, he turned down Texas’ top research university.