Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from NAS!

Kali Jerrard

CounterCurrent: Week of 12/18/2023

Christmas is just a few days away—cue frantic last minute gift hunting. 

Whether you are traveling near or far, or staying home this holiday season, we hope that you have a joyous time with your loved ones! I’m looking forward to beginning new holiday traditions with my little family, while still honoring traditions of the past. 

Here at the National Association of Scholars (NAS), we are certainly grateful for this past year and all of the achievements and progress that has been made in academia—all made possible with your support.

2023 was a busy year for NAS. This summer, a major Supreme Court case decision was handed down after a decade of waiting and working to defend merit over racial preferences in admissions—Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina et al.—which was consolidated into one opinion. This decision caused shockwaves in academia as it tore down established pillars of racial preference, and even raised questions about the continuance of legacy admissions. (NAS facilitated a symposium of viewpoints on this topic, which can be read on our website.)

After the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, and the following onslaught of anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions across college and university campuses, certain higher education leaders were called into question regarding their lax or “no comment” stances. In the aftermath of the House committee hearing on campus anti-Semitism, Elizabeth Magill of the University of Pennsylvania tendered her resignation. Claudine Gay of Harvard is still in the hot seat, after NAS called for her resignation based on her conduct as president and as a scholar—if you can call her one

But there’s plenty more to be done to ensure the future of academic and intellectual freedom.

As always, we are monitoring new developments in higher education and keeping track of developments in ongoing cases. There's still no justice for Scott Gerber, after his dismissal from Ohio Northern University, nor for 291 academics who have fallen prey to cancel culture. John D. Sailer’s exposés of Ohio State University and the University of Washington are gaining traction. And just yesterday, the Virginia Supreme Court decided in favor of high school French teacher Peter Vlaming, after his unlawful dismissal by the West Point School Board—thus protecting his intellectual freedom.

This is merely a high-level view of a few happenings over the past year, and by no means an exhaustive list. Our website hosts the plethora of works, news, and more that NAS has done. We thank you for your support and readership in 2023, and look forward to what 2024 will bring! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Until next week.

CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by the NAS Staff. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

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