Reality Checks

Peter Wood

                Higher education in America today is a world of illusions. Sometimes they are comforting illusions, as in the pleasant thought that everybody can profit intellectually from college. Sometimes they are self-serving illusions, as when colleges and universities justify their soaring tuitions as a good investment on the part of students.   Sometimes they are scary illusions, as when students are taught that Mother Earth lies crushed beneath their carbon footprints.

                Hollywood specializes in illusions too, but movies of course declare their illusoriness. One of the pleasures they offer is seeing the impossible made to look almost real. Legendary special effects master Ray Harryhausen gave us a Gulliver who seemed perfectly scaled to the Lilliputians and a giant octopus that devoured part of San Francisco.   American higher education, by contrast, steadfastly maintains its Lilliputian version of scholarship is the real thing, and that its monstrous depictions of America are plain truth.

                The National Association of Scholars works hard to dispel these illusions.   We spot the new illusions in the making—such as indoctrination programs in the dorms packaged as “educating the whole person;” and volunteering for political campaign as a college-credit-worthy substitute for actual courses—and call them out. We spot the mischief that particular colleges conjure to hide their more dubious actions. We offer de-mystifications of higher ed’s icons, such as Toni Morrison. We provide in-depth analyses of higher ed’s place in American life and synoptic overviews. And we do it all in good cheer

                Want more? Of course you do! But to keep the NAS website in top form as the puller-back-of-wizardly-curtains and the puncturer -of-pretentious-balloons, you should do your part. Every day we send reality checks to higher education. Now we ask you send a year-end reality check to us. Or credit-card donation if you prefer. 

                Small is beautiful; large is pulchritudinous. 

                Click here to make a tax-deductible gift to the National Association of Scholars.         

  • Share

Most Commented

July 16, 2020

1.

An Emeritus Professor Under Siege Once Again

The case of Stuart Hurlbert is a grim reminder that not even emeritus professors are safe from the continual onslaught of heterodox views by higher ed censors....

July 28, 2020

2.

Exclusive: UT Austin Proposes Political Litmus Tests for Hiring and Promotion

The University of Texas at Austin has proposed the “Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Strategic Plan," exchanging merit-based success for identity-based dive...

May 15, 2015

3.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

Most Read

May 15, 2015

1.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

September 10, 2020

2.

College Board Corrupted by Chinese Government Funding, Report Finds

In exchange for generous Chinese government funding, the College Board has given China strategic access to American K-12 education, concludes a new report from the National Association of Sc...

September 8, 2020

3.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....