Wiser Universities

In Chapter 13, we organized our suggestions for creating and leading wiser universities into four categories. Here we repeat the outline of that chapter. We don't repeat the text from each item; rather, we use this page to add in links to resources mentioned in the book, plus we add links to additional resources and studies we discovered after we finished the book.


1. Entwine Your Identity With Freedom of Inquiry


A. Endorse the Chicago Statement on Principles of Free Expression. Or, for liberal arts colleges, perhaps the excellent statement created by Colgate University is more appropriate. 

B. Read Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger

C. Establish a practice of not responding to public outrage. (See this essay by Jon)

D. Do not allow the “heckler’s veto.”

2. Pick the Best Mix of People for the Mission


A. Admit more students who are older and can show evidence of their ability to live independently. Give a strong preference to veterans.


B. Admit more students who have attended schools that teach the intellectual virtues, such as the Intellectual Virtues Academy, in Long Beach California.


C. Include viewpoint diversity in diversity policies.

3. Orient and Educate for Productive Disagreement


A. Explicitly reject the Untruth of Fragility: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker. Show all incoming students this wonderful 4 minute clip of Van Jones speaking at the University of Chicago. Then speak often about the fact that students are antifragile. Without a common understanding of that concept, policies that promote growth and independence will sometimes be criticized as uncaring or insufficiently sensitive toward sudents' needs.

B. Explicitly reject the Untruth of Emotional Reasoning: Always trust your feelings.

C. Explicitly reject the Untruth of Us Versus Them: Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

4. Draw a Larger Circle Around the Community

A. Foster school spirit.

B. Protect physical safety.

C. Host civil, cross- partisan events for students.