Category Archives: Colleges acting badly

A state university disinvites an anti-Semite

It’s a test of your adherence to free speech if you can stand up for the rights of speakers whose message you despise. And this is one case, as reported on December 24 in the Los Angeles Times (click on screenshot below). San Diego State, a public university in California, gave $170,000 to four of […]

UBC cancels free speech event on grounds of “risk”

Andy Ngo is a photographer and journalist who is widely viewed as a conservative. At least that’s what Wikipedia says, and so I’ll go with it, though he describes himself, when pressed, as “center-right”. But I also know he’s documented the excesses of Antifa, was beaten up by them, and has provided some useful coverage […]

More on authoritarian diversity statements at the University of California

Last month I reported on a controversial essay written by Abigail Thompson, chair of mathematics at the University of California at Davis. In that essay, posted in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society (NAMS), Thompson, while favoring initiatives to increase diversity in her field, decried the mandatory “diversity statements” that the University of California […]

Truman State rejects student clubs for no good reason, violating First Amendment

I once visited Truman State University (it’s in Kirksville, Missouri—Truman’s state) as a guest of Taner Edis, physicist, atheist, and anti-creationist. It was a pleasant visit, and Taner surely couldn’t have played a role in the latest shenanigans at This school, recounted in the article from FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) that […]

David Gibson of Gibson’s Bakery died

If you followed the fracas between Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio, and Oberlin College, as many of us did (see here), you’ll know that one of the plaintiffs in the civil suit against the College, David Gibson, had cancer. It turns out that it was pancreatic cancer, an almost invariably fatal disease, and Gibson died […]

Word of the Day: “lapidation”

by Greg Mayer Brian Leiter has drawn attention to a “working paper” by Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor and former Obama administration official. Entitled “Lapidation and apology“, Sunstein’s paper argues for a reinvigoration of the figurative usage of a rather obscure word: “lapidation”. Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “The punishment of stoning […]

Today’s reading: Pinker in Skeptic magazine on rationality and “post-truth” culture

The much- (and unjustly) maligned Steven Pinker wrote the cover story for this month’s Skeptic Magazine, which is available free at the link below (click on screenshot). The topic is the so-called “post-truth” era in which we live: an era in which reason is said to be expendable and the truth is only what is […]

The Annual College Halloween Follies: The University of Texas

Tomorrow is Halloween, and what better way to celebrate than by scaring you about how it’s celebrated at some American colleges? The institution at hand happens to be the venerable University of Texas at Austin, a public university and one of America’s better state schools. For Halloween, however, the Dean of Students Office chose to […]

Penn students deplatform former ICE director

According to the University of Pennsylvania’s student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, an event involving acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director Thomas Homan was canceled after Penn students disrupted the proceedings. The discussion, scheduled to involve several people (see below) was sponsored by Perry World House, self-described as “a center for scholarly inquiry, teaching, research, […]

The best and worst schools for free speech: an “experts'” take

At least for the time being, we have internet on the ship (we’re still in port), so you’re not rid of me yet. Today’s non-travel post is on a subject dear to my heart: free speech on college campuses. In particular, the website RealClear Education has published a survey of “expert” opinion about which colleges […]