The Corner


A Few Professors Remain Who Resist the Politicization of Higher Education

In the February 20 Wall Street Journal, writer J. Peder Zane interviewed John Staddon, who has taught neurobiology at Duke University for many years. (I should add that I have known Professor Staddon very well since 1999.)

Demands for “woke” policies are sweeping through American higher education, including science. Staddon won’t bend to the pressures. When Duke’s president declared last year that the university had to become “antiracist” in order to salve the supposed pain felt by African Americans, Staddon had this rejoinder: “Your reassurance is fine as an expression of empathy. I daresay you feel better, and possibly your African American audience does as well. But feelings differ: Unless the discussion can be moved from feelings to facts, no harmony is possible. Empathy, guilt, and good intentions are a dodgy basis for sweeping resolutions.”

The sad fact is that few college professors dare to question the politicization of higher education. It is just too easy for the “woke” zealots to ruin their careers.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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