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Niall Ferguson

I'm Helping to Start a New College Because Higher Ed Is Broken

Institutions dedicated to the search for truth have ossified into havens for liberal intolerance and administrative overreach.

John Harvard was not woke.

John Harvard was not woke.

Photographer: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images 

If you enjoyed Netflix’s “The Chair” — a lighthearted depiction of a crisis-prone English Department at an imaginary Ivy League college — you are clearly not in higher education. Something is rotten in the state of academia and it’s no laughing matter.

Grade inflation. Spiraling costs. Corruption and racial discrimination in admissions. Junk content (“Grievance Studies”) published in risible journals. Above all, the erosion of academic freedom and the ascendancy of an illiberal “successor ideology” known to its critics as wokeism, which manifests itself as career-ending “cancelations” and speaker disinvitations, but less visibly generates a pervasive climate of anxiety and self-censorship.