The End of an Era

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Stanley Rothman, April Kelly-Woessner, and Matthew Woessner, The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011).

  2. 2.

    Robert Maranto, Fredrick Hess, and Richard Redding, eds., The Politically Correct University: Problems, Scope, and Reforms (Washington, DC: AEI Press, 2009).

  3. 3.

    Stanly Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, “The Vanishing Conservative: Is There a Glass Ceiling?” in Maranto, Hess, and Redding, Politically Correct University, 60–76.

  4. 4.

    The NAAS study, commissioned by Stanley Rothman, Everett Ladd, and Seymour Martin Lipset, was the first-of-its-kind examination of the competing views of academia’s primary stakeholders, utilizing a large-scale national representative sample of students, faculty, and college administrators.

  5. 5.

    Matthew Woessner and April Kelly-Woessner, “Left Pipeline: Why Conservatives Don’t Get Doctorates,” in Maranto, Hess, and Redding, Politically Correct University, 38–59.

  6. 6.

    Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte, “Politics and Professional Advancement among College Faculty,” Forum 3, no. 1 (2005): 1–16,

  7. 7.

    Robin Wilson, “Conservatives Just Aren’t into Academe, Study Finds: Divergent Life Choices May Explain the Dearth of Right-Wing Scholars,” Chronicle of Higher Education, February 22, 2008, text available at

  8. 8.

    The first reviewer actually criticized us for using the term “the American university”: “The reference to ‘the American university’ strengthens the impression that the authors think, once they have excluded technical and community colleges, they are dealing with an archetype, not with the confusing actuality and variety of American higher education.” In our point-by-point rebuttal to the editor, we identified at least seven major texts on higher education that use the phrase “American University” in the title. Although the reviewer would raise more substantive objections to the draft, this created the distinct impression that we were being extraordinarily micromanaged.

  9. 9.

    At least one other exchange made us suspect that our critical examination of research on the benefits of race-based admission harmed our standing with the reviewers. Several months after a summary of “Left Pipeline” appeared in Science we received a congratulatory email from an eminent political science professor. As he was something of a fan of our politics in higher education research, we sent him a copy of our manuscript, hopeful he would write a blurb for the book’s back cover. Several days later he apologetically wrote that as a strong supporter of affirmative action, he couldn’t in good conscience write us an endorsement. Admirers of his work, we were very disappointed, although at this point not surprised by his decision. It was especially disheartening, since the book did not take a position on affirmative action, but questioned the evidence used to support race-based policies, and suggested that given the federal court’s application of strict scrutiny standards on all race-based statutes, the future of affirmative action was very much in doubt.

  10. 10.

    To place the personal nature of the review process in stark relief, note that in responding to our book proposal, the first reviewer even raised questions about the order of the authorship. Arguing that given Stan’s “ill health,” his contribution would be secondary and the “Woessners” should receive first billing. We fired back that Stan had contributed substantially to the work. While trying not to alienate the reviewer, we nevertheless hinted that this insertion into questions of authorship, based on an outsider’s assessment of Stan’s health and well-being, was inappropriate.

  11. 11.

    Matthew Woessner, April Kelly-Woessner, and Stanley Rothman, “Five Myths about Liberal Academia,” Wall Street Journal, Outlook and Opinions, February 25, 2011,

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Matthew C. Woessner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Woessner, M.C. The End of an Era. Acad. Quest. 28, 464–471 (2015).

Download citation


  • High Education
  • Affirmative Action
  • Personal Belief
  • Glass Ceiling
  • Professional Success