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Jonestown University

In the wake of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Bucknell University, the liberal arts school where I work, lost no time in issuing a statement. We were told that America remained a terrifying place for its black citizens, and that George Floyd’s death demonstrated “the fear and anger that Black . . . . Continue Reading »

Omaha

I enjoyed a very pleasant though sadly short visit to my former hometown. It was mid-April. The weather was mild, and Aeolus welcomed me with soft breezes rather than the usual rough winds of the Great Plains. The redbud trees were radiantly abloom in the spring sunshine. I had coffee with old . . . . Continue Reading »

Professors as Propagandists

Imagine that you recently discovered a book titled How Cancer Works, written by a respected professor from a prominent university. He promises to explain the disease and tell you how to avoid getting it. You would doubtless be interested. Cancer is, after all, an awful thing. With enthusiasm, . . . . Continue Reading »

Taking Power in the Academy

In September 2017, I published a peer-reviewed paper titled “The Case for Colonialism” in Third World Quarterly. Eighteen thousand people signed petitions against the paper, six thousand of them academics. One month later, the paper was withdrawn with my consent, because the editor had been . . . . Continue Reading »

They Have the Jobs

How will you improve diversity at our school?” That’s a question often asked in faculty job interviews today. A more elegant version appears in a University of California, Davis document quoted in an advice column in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “The University is committed to . . . . Continue Reading »

The Augsburg Concession

In 1869, the faithful of what was to be the Lutheran Free Church named their seminary and college in Minneapolis after the Augsburg Confession, because they believed the Confession aligned with biblical truth. They were shaped by a Lutheran pietism that emphasized conversion, service to the church, . . . . Continue Reading »

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