CounterCurrent: Week of 12/29
Our New Year's Resolution is to fight even harder for academic freedom and the disinterested search for truth in 2020 than we did in 2019. Our universities' illiberal enemies rage with even greater fury, so we cannot cease the struggle. We're confident that we can work well because we can build on a good year—and a good decade. We're proud of what we accomplished as we close out the 2010s.
What did we do this decade? What did we do this year?
13 Research Reports
We released many reports over the last decade documenting the growth of worrying trends and taking stands to define and illuminate academic freedom at length: What Does Bowdoin Teach, Sustainability, Inside Divestment, The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom, The Disappearing Continent, Making Citizens, Outsourced to China, Charting Academic Freedom, The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science, Neo-Segregation at Yale, Beach Books 2018-2019 (including one every year since 2010), and Social Justice Education in America.
3 Awards and Honors
In October, NAS President Peter Wood received the Jeane Kirkpatrick Prize for Academic Freedom at a gala sponsored by Encounter Books. The award, named for the champion of academic freedom and first female U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is given annually to an individual who defends “Western values against the forces of illiberalism.” Wood also received an Impact Award in late 2018, an honor bestowed to “unsung warriors in numerous fields outside of government service.”
Meanwhile, earlier this month, President Trump announced his intent to nominate prominent classical composer, professor of music, Daniel Asia, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts. Professor Asia is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars.
NAS’s podcast Curriculum Vitae introduces listeners to key people and issues in higher education—as well as some of the important ideas, books, works of art, and intellectual disciplines that higher education today too often ignores. NAS President Peter Wood interviews professors, policy experts, artists, writers, and other key figures who seek to rebuild the cultural and intellectual excellence that higher education needs. Since the podcast’s inception, we have released 48 episodes.
Since 2004, the Chinese government has sponsored Confucius Institutes on college and university campuses around the world. In April 2017, the National Association of Scholars released Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education, a comprehensive report on the way the Chinese government infiltrates American colleges and universities to enhance its own image. Since the report’s launch, 25 Confucius Institutes have either closed or announced their upcoming closure. We are encouraged that many colleges and universities have removed China’s insidious institutes from their campuses.
5 new staff additions
The NAS is pleased to have hired five staff members this year:
Teresa R. Manning - Director of the Title IX Project
Stanley Young - Director of the Shifting Sands Project
Neetu Arnold - Research Associate, Student Debt and Administrative Growth
David Welch - Development Associate
John David - Communications & Administrative Associate
We are excited that the NAS family continues to grow, and are confident that these new additions will continue to strengthen our organization in the year to come.
We could not do our work without your steadfast support. Together we will continue the needful fight in 2020—to restore higher education to its proper place as the cradle of American learning and liberty.
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications & Administrative Associate John David. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.
Image: Chris Gilbert, Public Domain