How Affiliates Engage the Debates
Host Guest Speakers
Some of our affiliates have regular speaker series; others invite occasional speakers. The aim is to provide a forum for “underrepresented” ideas. They invite authors of timely new books, as well as intellectuals who have enunciated interesting positions on intellectual and cultural issues. The groups are often small enough for lively discussion.
Call Out College Leaders
The higher education establishment has a hard time resisting political correctness. But those college and university trustees, presidents, provosts, and deans who cave in to political correctness hate to admit it. They feel obligated to acknowledge the importance of the traditional ideals of liberal education. That means they get embarrassed when someone articulately points out how far their campuses have wandered from the pursuit of truth, fair-minded debate, and the marketplace of ideas.
NAS affiliates have been effective at framing campus issues in ways that the establishment can’t easily dismiss or ignore. They have spoken out about issues such as “commitment to diversity” litmus tests for faculty; freshman book assignments; proposed admissions standards; and racial preferences.
Expose Illiberal Activity on Campuses
Sometimes more is needed than a letter to the president. Occasionally our members have uncovered institutional abuses in which campus administrations are complicit. In such situations, our state affiliates can play a crucial role in alerting the public, the media, and state authorities. Mobilizing against a campus establishment is best done with allies. Through your NAS affiliate, you can take on problems that might otherwise look insurmountable. A good example was the battle at the University of Delaware over its coercive indoctrination program in its residence halls. Members of our Delaware affiliate broke the story and helped bring the program to an end.
Many NAS members use social networking, and NAS as an organization has profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. We also encourage our affiliates to create official profiles on these networks. This will make it easier for members to get connected with the affiliate, meet others in the region, and find community.
While NAS members are usually busy writing scholarly work in their own specializations, a fair number of members find time to publish blogs, op-eds, journal articles, and books on needed reforms in higher ed. Our affiliates provide counsel and encouragement, and sometimes crucial connections to help members get the message out.