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Can Our Universities Be Fixed?


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Power Line

Steven Hayward

May 14 2024

Last Friday evening I had the occasion to team up in Los Angeles with Dean Pete Peterson of Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy (where I just finished a very congenial semester filling the large shoes of the late Ted McAllister) to discuss the state of higher education before an audience of about 90 citizens alarmed at the current scene. Our conversation was unscripted and spontaneous, but here are some highlights, in service of setting up some further reflections:

Dean Peterson: Universities have long leaned left, but it seems universities have gotten a lot worse in the last few years. Is this correct? How and why has this happened?

Me: Universities have leaned left for decades—actually for centuries. In one sense universities ought to be “left,” in the sense that universities should be critical institutions, challenging the conventional wisdom, and thus being agents of progress, rightly understood, when they produce new innovations in science and the humanities. Recall that Thomas Aquinas was a dangerous radical at the University of Paris in the 13th century, but when a challenge survives subsequent criticism and the test of time, it deepens and extends our civilization. And thus, you can draw a straight line from Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Jefferson—the “two Tommys,” as I like to say to students—and you can make out important the continuities between parts of Tommy Aquinas’s Summa Theologica and the second paragraph of Tommy Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.


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May 14 2024

Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” joins a panel with Christopher Rufo and Stephen Blackwood, the founder of Ralston College, to discuss the importance of saying no in order to protect and uphold the values of higher education institutions; Rufo’s experiences at New College of Florida, where he facilitated the exit of 40% of the faculty in an effort to change the institution's direction; the need for leaders to set limits and exercise their power to maintain the integrity of their institutions; why liberals often struggle to say no and resist radical changes; and much more. The panel is followed by an hour of Dave Rubin, Chris Rufo, and Stephen Blackwood taking questions from the students.


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May 11, 2024

Conservative Student SCHOOLS University Professor and students on the 2nd amendment

full 1 hour video live stream:   yt_favicon.png • Soc 119 Live Stream - Class #1: Intro...  


00:00 - the intro


03:37 - My Thoughts

05:12 - WHY DO YOU OWN GUNS? part 2

9:25 - My final thoughts


BTW 0:58 I Think I'm In Love!

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