Let freedom be cherished that learning may flourish.

Davidson Freedom Roundup

Freshman Orientation: A Welcome Change on Free Speech

Princetonians for Free Speech

We have been quite critical of Princeton's orientation a year ago, which contained not one word about Princeton's robust free speech rule and in fact contained a section on racism at Princeton that suggested free speech is a tool for racists. We will not revisit those criticisms here.

Wokeness in all its self-flattering moral vanity comes for a statue at Princeton

The Washington Post

Squalls of indignation gust across campuses so frequently that they seem merely performative — synthetic, perfunctory, uninteresting. Princeton’s current contretemps, however, fascinatingly illustrates how wokeness, which lacks limiting principles, limits opposition to itself.

How DEI Is Supplanting Truth as the Mission of American Universities

The Free Press

An obsession with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion threatens students, professors, and the very credibility of higher education in the U.S.

In June 2020, Gordon Klein, a longtime accounting lecturer at UCLA, made the news after a student emailed him asking him to grade black students more leniently in the wake of the “unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.”

America’s True Divide: Pluralists vs. Zealots

Wall Street Journal

Stop making politics about partisan identities and tribalism and get back to persuasion and policy.

The most important divide in American politics isn’t red versus blue. It’s civic pluralists versus political zealots. This is the truth no one in Washington acknowledges but Americans must realize if we’re going to recover.

Jonathan Haidt on the ‘National Crisis’ of Gen Z

WSJ

The phrase “generation gap” became popular in the late 1960s, as baby boomers were coming of age. To hear social psychologist Jonathan Haidt tell it, today’s generation gap has widened into a chasm. “We have a whole generation that’s doing terribly,” he says in an interview at his professorial office, book-lined and hushed, at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He calls it a “national crisis.”

The woke university implosion — and what comes next

New York Post

In a famous exchange in the “The Sun Also Rises,” Ernest Hemingway wrote: “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

“Gradually” and “suddenly” applies to higher education’s implosion.

During the 1990s “culture wars,” universities were warned that their chronic tuition hikes above the rate of inflation were unsustainable.

Kissinger Sees a Global Leadership Vacuum

Wall Street Journal

A dearth of statesmen has left the world misruled by populists and technocrats.

Is the quality of world leadership declining just as humanity’s need for great leadership has become more urgent than ever? As I learned over a long lunch this month, Henry Kissinger thinks that is exactly where things stand, and he worries that civilization may be imperiled as a result.

Failing Introductory Economics

The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

A Davidson professor bemoans the state of his classroom.

In June 2014, I wrote a piece entitled “Reform Intro Economics” for Inside Higher Ed. There, I argued that then-current introductory economics courses were little changed from those of decades past. I further stated that the students of 2014 found the unrevised course somewhat unsatisfactory:

Campus civility declines as attention turns to groups, not individuals

James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

I recall vividly in the early 1980s spending fifteen minutes walking two hundred yards with my older faculty mentor from our offices to Davidson’s post office. Along the way, he greeted or was greeted by Davidson students, staff, other faculty, and townspeople. For each there was a hearty “good morning” or a “you are looking so well,” or to an advisee, “how is your calculus class going?”