One of the bravest, most astute, and honest scholar/journalists in the land is Naomi Schaefer Riley, who has written brilliantly about such touchy but crucial topics as the harm wrought by professorial tenure and the peculiar world of seriously religious universities. Ms. Riley has just been fired from her "brainstorm blogger" role by the Chronicle of Higher Education because she wrote the truth about another touchy topic, namely what passes for post-graduate scholarship in "black studies" departments on U.S. campuses. You can get some of the flavor of this squalid episode by reading her posts (here and here) and some of the hundreds of comments thereon. You can also read an account of the controversy here and can glimpse a sample of the vitriol heaped on Ms. Riley here. You can read the Chronicle's obsequious apologia on its blog. The editors obviously yielded to the (dare I use this phrase?) mau-mauing they received from commenters and "on-line petitioners." This is a truly reprehensible episode in the annals of American journalism, the more so for an influential and widely read publication that's been around since I was a graduate student myself and that boasts of its "vibrant discussion forums." Wrong. Vibrancy, it seems, has been replaced by political correctness and intimidation.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., scholar, educator and public servant, has devoted his career to improving education in the United States. At Fordham, he is now Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus. He’s also a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution.

Finn served as Fordham’s President from 1997 to 2014, after many earlier roles in education, academe and government. From 1999 until 2002, he was John M.…

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