Talk:National Association of Scholars/Archive 1

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Archive 1


This organization has a very strong POV. There's nothing wrong with that in principle (most organizations have their own POV), but this should be explained in more detail. For instance, "Discrimination based on race, gender, and other identity preferences" is mentioned as one of the "Issues" that concern the NAS (not to be confounded with the other NAS - the National Academy of Sciences), so it should probably be specified that this means that the NAS is opposed to any form of affirmative action. Etc.

--Crusio (talk) 15:33, 3 March 2008 (UTC)


Dear Crusio,

Thank you for your comment. My hope is to make this page as neutral as possible, and I am working toward that goal. And while I appreciate your suggestion, I can't write it on the page because NAS does not oppose all forms of affirmative action. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adebter (talkcontribs) 21:38, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Adebter, I think the current text is already an improvement. Concerning affirmative action, you have written that "While NAS does not oppose all forms of affirmative action, it strongly opposes racial and gender preferences." Even though I lived at one point in the US for several years, I still am not familiar with all fine points of US life... So for my education, what other forms of affirmative action than those based on race and gender exist?? --Crusio (talk) 12:34, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
The re-insertion of the illustration bothers me, because (aside from copyright issues) it aligns us with the NAS' assertion that they are the true custodians of the tradition of the original Academy. --Orange Mike | Talk 22:22, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that many organizations can claim that they want to follow the example of the original Academy and see no real problem with that. What is needed here is a figure caption that explains this. Of course, if the NAS claims that they are the "only real" custodians, that would be a legitimate topic for the article, as long as the article would keep an NPOV on the question of whether this is true or not. --Crusio (talk) 12:34, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to settle the dispute about neutrality. Is the page now ready to be called neutral? If not, please specify exactly which passages are problematic. If I don't hear back from anyone, I will assume that the dispute is resolved. Thank you --Adebter (talk) 14:07, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Looks pretty good to me. --Crusio (talk) 17:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi, as someone who just happened to be cruising by and had some (limited) knowledge of the NAS, I feel the need to question the structure of the article in that there seems to be a bit of an over emphasis on controveries surrounding the organization. The controversy section is 7 paragraphs long. The main text of the article (minus the controversy & reference sections) is only 8 paragraphs and also includes controversies. So about half the whole article consists of describing controversies involving the organization. That would appear to create an unbalanced article. It would seem that some of the controversies could be simply removed while retaining the thrust of the article, thus improving the article. In particular the Duke case is repeated.

I would also repeat earlier criticism of the inclusion of a link to People For the American Way as a reliable source. Pmw2cc (talk) 21:12, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article should describe its subject as presented by reliable sources. It would appear that most coverage of this association involves controversies related to the political stances taken by the association. If there are reliable sources that have been missed, additions are of course welcome and encouraged. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 02:06, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

My criticism is not of any particular controversy, but of the balance of the entire article. When ~50% of an article consists of "controvery" and includes numerous quotes that are little more that smears by political opponents it ceases to be an article "on" the subject and starts to become a roundabout criticism of the subject. If you simply compare this article to the article on "People for the American Way" the difference is stunning. That is also an ideological/partisan organization that engages in controversies, and yet it doesn't even have a controversy section. And please, nobody say, "Well you should add some there", the editors will block it. Pmw2cc (talk) 04:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, let's start trimming. Where do you want to start? – Lionel (talk) 06:20, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Membership in the Nat'l Association of Scholars

Membership in this NAS is open to anyone who submits a yearly fee. The NAS website makes this quite clear. Being a scholar or in any way associated with academia is not a prerequisite for membership. I have reverted the text to the last version with accuracy on this point. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:03, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Membership in NAS is NOT open to anyone. The website clearly states on its membership page under the heading "Who May Join?"([1]) "NAS membership is open to current and former college and university faculty members, administrators, and trustees; current graduate students; and independent scholars who share our basic principles. NAS also offers other forms of affiliation for individuals primarily interested in K-12 education and for laymen interested in higher education reform." And further down the page, it says, "All present and former university or college faculty members, administrators and trustees, current graduate students, and independent research scholars are eligible for membership." The NAS brochure also states this, word for word. In addition, on the NAS membership form ([2]), the only categories available for selection are, "Full-time Faculty, Administrators, and Independent Scholars," "Graduate Students," and "Retirees."

Adebter (talk) 13:44, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

My point exactly. An "independent scholar" is self-identified. Anyone can consider herself an independent scholar. I like to read The Economist, and I write letters to the editor of my local paper. Based on these activities, I claim status as an independent scholar and send in the membership dues. Will the NAS check out my bona fides? If so, what are the bona fides for an "independent scholar"? If there are reliable sources for a vetting process at NAS, please provide them. Otherwise, I stand by the conclusion that anyone can join the NAS. I will amend the language, though, to "anyone who claims to be an independent scholar". Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:21, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

"Independent scholar" is defined as a person who does research and is published in a particular academic field. It is not an arbitrary label, nor is it merely self-identified. Independent scholars who wish to join NAS provide writing samples to show themselves as such. Therefore, please leave the membership description to quote the NAS brochure and website as, "NAS membership is open to current and former college and university faculty members, administrators, and trustees; current graduate students; and independent scholars."

Adebter (talk) 19:15, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source for "Independent scholars who wish to join NAS provide writing samples to show themselves as such"? If so, then I am clearly mistaken and will support your proposed reversion. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:20, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

More issues

2015 May 13: I can never remember my log in and do not want to be supposed as anonymous with the post made in the funding section on the new piece President Wood released March 2015. Philip S. Webster 2015 May 14: the addition to funding was removed. Would the remover like to discuss. I put it back in. Is there anything wrong about it. It is factually correct with good references. Please explain who you are and why you removed it. Thanks.

I've reverted this series of edits. There are multiple issues:

  • NAS is a controversial group. They participate in controversial issues. This is a major, salient aspect of the group and needs to be covered in the lede, per WP:LEAD. The Duke case is an illustration; I suppose a blanket statement that the organization is controversial could be substituted, but I think this is more detailed and useful to the reader than such a blanket assertion.
  • The expansion of the UT Austin stuff relies on a New York Times article which makes absolutely no mention of NAS. It also relies on I think this site is self-published and not a reliable source; however, if we are going to use it, then we need to use it accurately. The reverted edits use this source oddly, completely obscuring the fact that it's highly critical of the NAS.
  • The NAS is clearly and accurately described as a "conservative" organization. This is on the basis not only of its agenda, which is self-evident and hardly concealed, but of its inclusion (for instance) in the American Conservatism in the article by William Donohoe, for instance. MastCell Talk 20:50, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for the reminder about the edit summaries. I removed "strident" from the description of Rauch's article, but left "ideological." "Strident" doesn't seem an accurate or neutral description of Rauch's opinion of Academic Questions. The 2 quotations and "ideological" get the point across. And, no, MastCell, I am not Adebter.Azaleas (talk) 18:05, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the removal of "strident", as it's overly editorial. As to Adebter, it's not so much whether you are the same person as whether you're violating the relevant policy, which states: "A new user who engages in the same behavior as another user in the same context, and who appears to be editing Wikipedia solely for that purpose, shall be subject to the remedies applied to the user whose behavior they are joining." For instance, if you were asked by Adebter to register and participate in this specific dispute, that would violate the policy regardless of whether you're physically two separate people. MastCell Talk 18:15, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Questions were also raised

The final passage of Controversy manifests an excuse to assert in this article, yet again, that NAS is partizan and ideological, not only by labeling it as such but also by contrasting it to a hypothetical assertion by its critics that there are non-ideological organizations that would have performed an equally exhaustive review for free, without any but purely altruistic motives. Those motives themselves are arguably ideological if not often de facto partizan. Indeed, if the passage bears direct enough relevance to NAS to be a part of an article defining it, the most substantial and NPOV issue that it raises is whether $25,000 should have been spent on something that could have been done (per opinion of cited sources) for free. Weasel words or not, the passage appears motivated to posit more POV than it purports to report. Moreover, when reduced to the NPOV kernel in re who should have been hired, the statement is a critique more of CCHE than of NAS, and perhaps it belongs in their article. (talk) 14:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

The source is quite clear: the state of Colorado paid $25,000 to NAS, "known for its right-wing political views" (there's your partisan ideology). NAS produced a report blasting "diversity education" and recommending that UC's highly-ranked school of education be suspended for spending too much time on social justice. The report's partisan tone led the dean of the school to resign, calling the report "misleading", "unfair", and a "scandalous attack". That seems notable and relevant to NAS. Can you clarify which aspects of the article you have a problem with? I'm having difficulty parsing both the edit you keep inserting and your comment above. MastCell Talk 19:30, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
A sentence with two qualifications isn't much of a "thicket." However, my rewording did end up awkward as I tried to be too charitable to the original edit. Your points have merit, and I'll simplify the issue, here. The problem is that the passage uncritically employs the critics' POV in order to label NAS. To the same end, it contrasts NAS against unspecified, hypothetical organizations that the cited critics imagine would have been more favorable to (or at least turn a blind eye toward) diversity ideology in higher education, while somehow remaining neutral about the problem. It employs the terms, "partisan" and "non-ideological," using the factual implication that the editorial voice can yield. Worded as it is, the edit functions to assert as fact what is actually the viewpoint of the critics listed. Labeling NAS as an ideological or conservative organization was already addressed above in the article, and this subverts the concensus that was reached there. Can you suggest wording to fix this? (talk) 20:37, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I see the problem. You believe that "critics" are labeling NAS as a ideological and partisan. In fact, the Denver Post article notes that the organization is "known for its right-wing political views." The Denver Post is not a "critic" of NAS; it's an independent, reliable source. I do agree, sort of, about the contrast with other unspecified non-partisan organizations; that might be extraneous. MastCell Talk 20:41, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
When the The Denver Post uses weasel words, there isn't much in Wikipedia protocol to screen their manipulation except for the discernment of conscientious editors. That's an asset encountered less frequently in Controversy sections than elsewhere in the articles. As the passage stands, the sentence is an editorial dig against NAS, defensible though the device used may be. It seems you see where this runs afoul of the Wikipedia spirit. Would you like to mend it, or should I have another shot at it? (talk) 21:12, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems that your argument is with the characterization of NAS as partisan. NAS is partisan, as verified by the reliable sources used in this article. There is little or nothing to argue about on this point. Wikipedia editors are not tasked with deciding whether a statement in a reliable source is "an editorial dig" by the author of the source.
May I suggest that you establish an account on Wikipedia? You seem to be quite familiar with the encyclopedia, and it would be easier to address you (and to be sure you were one person) if you had a username, not just a Stony Brook IP. Of course, that's entirely up to you. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 22:12, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I've been using an account from around 2005, but since this began with a quick edit while not logged in, I'm happy to let this thread continue that way. Were I to puppet on NAS from anywhere on Long Island, it would be pretty obvious. Yes, with respect to the articls's current bent on labeling NAS as partizan and conservative, both directly and indirectly through contrast, I think the problem may lie in its repetition. The article begins by raising this controversy in the introduction, then revisits it, and then, as if just to make sure the reader gets what NAS critics have been trying to drive home, a Controversy section has been added wherein to toss the labels around a little more. I suppose a little consolidation under the appropriate section is more in order than simply working one sentence to death. (talk) 19:25, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I propose the cleanup linked here to address the above redundancy et al. It comprises a reordering and categorization of the existing information. Very little has been deleted that was not repeated. The Controversy section functions properly, and the article does not come off from the start as a roller coaster of sundry spins.
An interesting thing about how looks in taxonomically correct form is that this article contains a real preponderance of negative contributions. This is odd. A look at the edit history may helps explain it. Edits with overwhelmingly negative POV come from [two ] of the the page's primary editors. Adebter was obviously enthusiastic enough about NAS to create an account and start a new article on a noteworthy subject. That editor subsequently taylor it apparently in good faith such that it would meet standards of style and documentation. The tone of the stub began as basically positive, but certainly by virtue of that editor's interest in the group and not by some overbearing or manipulative intention. It does not appear that Adebter's goals with this article were at all dishonorable, yet the history reflects a story of this lone editor being besieged by as many as three very deliberate opponents of NAS. Some of their POV is in evidence on their talk pages a well as concerted assaults on this article. So let's see how we can portray NAS fairly. The proposed cleanup, I think, would help.
There remain issues that I didn't address in the cleanup. A section or list of "writings" about NAS constitutes a bibliography (or, at best, a literature review) and not an encyclopedic article. It looks like Adebter started that section, but a literature review is original research. As a bibliography, the information on the list is definitely valid, but probably belongs in a standard External Links section at the end of the article. Such a section would make a nice addition to the page in any case. (talk) 23:16, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Long Island (I'm sorry, I don't know your username), I strongly disagree with your assertion of POV on my part. Since you don't know me, my background, or my politics, I urge you to quote from my talk page before you make additional charges such as: "Some of their POV is in evidence on their talk pages a well as concerted assaults on this article".
Okay, as you request (insertion by (talk) 22:17, 22 September 2008 (UTC)):
Many of my edits have overlapped those of MastCell, but MastCell and I apparently have numerous interests in common, including the influence of politics on academia. I do not know MastCell (although I have great respect for her/his impartiality and editing skills), and I have never communicated off-Wikipedia with MastCell on this issue.
For my part, I found this article as what I would call a puff piece, based largely on information from the organisation itself. At least one comment from an earlier editor had stated this as well. Wikipedia, as you may know, draws its information preferably from third-party, reliable sources, such as the New York Times or the Denver Post. Editors' interpretation of that coverage as negative is irrelevant, since editors are tasked with reporting from reliable sources, not assessing the objectivity of what have already been accepted as such.
Wikipedia also has a policy of NPOV. In some cases, both sides of a controversy may be addressed in an article, such that if a controversial organisation's web site is used as a source, information from an opposing, partisan organisation (here, the People for the American Way) may be used to achieve balance.
I will examine your proposed edits and reply. However, if you object to my edits here and feel I have unduly injected POV, I encourage you to request comment or take other actions to ensure that my edits are reviewed by uninvolved editors. Thank you, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 00:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Keepcalmandcarryon, the reference to cited charges of what you describe as "ideological slant and associations of NAS" is legitimately moved from the core definition in the article's introduction to its appropriate section.
  • If the assignment to NAS of a conservative, liberal, or other identity were basically uncontested, or even self-proclaimed, and not so controversial, then certainly it would fit in the introduction. However, it does not define NAS as centrally as it defines one of sereral topics of controversy related to NAS. If you can prove that that topic is the first and foremost of those controversies, then I'd agree it is appropriate to list it first in the Controversy section. I think most folks would ascribe that primacy to certain other controversies, though.
  • Left unchanged, that section says in the intro what is reiterated elsewhere on the page, in a more appropriate place. This gives it undue weight, and is also the kind of POV repetition that the cleanup seeks to avoid. (talk) 21:45, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Every, and I mean virtually every, independent source that discusses NAS pigeonholes it as "conservative", "right-wing", etc. That goes for everyone from William Donohue to the Denver Post to the New York Times. This is not a "controversy"; NAS is an ideologically conservative group, as attested by virtually all independent sources, and its ideological stance is its main defining attribute. It would be grossly inappropriate to exclude that from the lead. MastCell Talk 22:58, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
In the reliable sources I've read, those who are quoted as disagreeing with descriptions of a right-wing NAS are invariably members of the NAS itself. For example, Stephen Balch tells Time that NAS is...I forget the exact language...following its own "lights", despite being funded by indisputably right-wing foundations. There's nothing wrong with reporting how NAS views itself, but weight is given to independent sources. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 01:10, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
MastCell and Keepcalmandcarryon, your collective point to this end is well taken. Preponderance of evidence can certainly prevail (though not above common sense and consensus) concerning citations on Wikipedia. Though NAS disputes the partizan and conservative labels, the media thus far disagrees, and Wikipedia properly edited tends to reflect the media view. This article, therefore, is not in error to do so.
I would add that it is also noteworthy enough for an article about NAS that NAS be primarily defined as an organization that assiduously posits, or at least fronts, the assertion of non-Conservative status (and I think that is because they consider themselves to be liberal in the classical sense--a set of values frequently confused with contemporary conservatism by the deadline-limited researcher. I may be mistaken in how I apprehend their asserted political philosophy, though.)
If the two of you negative editors are dead-set to centralize the conservatism controversy in the article's very introduction, it might at least be more fair to the subject to add their own position to your paragraph that lists their connections to purportedly conservative organizations and board members. (talk) 19:53, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


Today's edits (as of 18:53, 22 September 2008) further emphasize the need to replace with a standard External Links section the Writings About NAS section. It currently constitutes a literature review, and is therefore Original Research. The section has shown the clear propensity to lengthen ad nauseum as the competing inserts of positive and negative POV writings mount in number.

I look forward to comment from all parties on this suggestion as well as changes in the previously proposed cleanup. (talk) 18:56, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The sources in "writings" could be better integrated, but the section is more a dump for random sources than a literature review: sloppy, but not OR unless editors are drawing their own conclusions beyond what's in the sources. I suggest integrating the sources into other sections. Shunting them into External Links or dividing the writings into those critical of NAS and "other" (as you proposed in your test edits) are possibilities, but I vote for integration.
On the proposed edits, I don't see why the verifiably reported ideological slant and associations of NAS should be removed from the lead. These are a large part of what NAS is in reliable source coverage. (Your proposal also includes some unsourced and possibly OR statements.) By the way, you may find that using asandbox in your user subpage makes it easier for you and other editors to suggest and analyze proposed changes. Thanks, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:43, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks; I used the Sandbox to formulate the edit but decided to paste-post it the way I did because it was easier. I agree with your appraisal that the section is a sloppy dump for random sources. Your proposed remedy is a good one, especially provided that the sources are integrated into their proper sections and are not used to repeat or overweight points that are made elsewhere in the article.
Today MastCell made an edit comment that happens to highlight another problem with the section. Each writing that is referenced is accompanied by a summary accentuating some sort of POV. I think an honest evaluation of what has been going on in that section is that the writings largely have been used to serve as vehicles for contributors' spin, well-documented or not. It goes some way toward explaining why so many of the writings are easy to categorize in a separete section of negative writings, which probably wouldn't solve the problem. (talk) 21:00, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

recent removal of reliably sourced information

An organisation such as NAS is made up of people. It is of interest and relevance to include information about notable members when reliable sources report on those individuals as members of the organisation. I'm not familiar with "coat tracking", but it's presumably similar to coatracking. Noting the professional and political background of an organisation's president and the notable accomplishments of notable members is not coatracking.

I have accordingly reverted the recent deletions by the multiple IP using single purpose account editor. I would caution this individual to avoid deleting sourced information. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:59, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

No matter how you source it, it is prohibited. But as predicted, POV editors will deny these are coatracks. Editors who haven't vested a personal interest in the deleted coatracks wouldn't mind how this edit changes the article, and in fact might appreciate the streamlining of the clunky thing. (talk) 22:17, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Please see the talk page of the IP address you're currently using. Thank you. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 22:24, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
This is not "coatracking". The article is not being used to make any sort of point about Jeanne Kirkpatrick, or Stanley Fish. What the IP has removed are short, descriptive phrases that indicate who these people are and why they might be relevant. I suppose you could strike Balch's party affiliation - I wouldn't have a problem with that - but the remainder of the material is relevant context and not coatracky in the least. As to POV and vested interest, I don't think that's a road that the IP editor really ought to go down. MastCell Talk 22:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
MastCell, you're really pushing the limits of credibility with this one. The reason those introductions are there is quite clearly to POV the passages, and they are the editor's own side observations about the individuals. It is commentary about the people for the purpose of reflecting indirectly on the subject of the article. Such commentary is coatracking, sly and subtle though it is. I'm not surprised you would be fine with striking Balch's affiliation; it was the only edit that didn't remove the unfair POV with which you and your friend have demonstrated clear intent to trash the subject of this Wikipedia article. (talk) 20:02, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Board Members and External Links

Hello folks, I'm back. In the interest of contributing to a neutral POV, which is what we are all aiming for, I'd like to propose two changes to the article. First, along with Kristol and Kirkpatrick, two notable NAS board members in the past and present are Richard Lamm and James David Barber. Lamm is on the NAS board of advisors, and has served three terms as the Democratic Governor of Colorado. He ran for U.S. president with the Reform Party (along with Ross Perot) in 1996. Barber, who passed away in 2004 and was also on the NAS board of advisors, was a lifelong Democrat who studied the personality traits of U.S. presidents. These two names should be added to the sentence about notable board members.

Second, there seems to be much angst over the "Writings about NAS" section. I take responsibility for starting that section, and for the way I worded each entry to describe what was in each writing, rather than listing the writings and letting readers make their own judgments. But at this point, I believe it would be more conducive to a neutral point of view to do the latter, rather than having Wikipedia characterize each writing. Readers can look at the documents and see for themselves what is written and each author's point of view. To that end, I propose that all "Writings about NAS" be revised to an "External links list."

I will wait for everyone's response about the writings. In the meantime, I will add Lamm and Barber to the notable board members.

Adebter (talk) 14:29, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source for these additions? Kirkpatrick and Kristol were added because they are specifically mentioned in reliable news sources. Thanks, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 16:02, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Here are some sources (besides NAS sources):,,, —Preceding unsigned comment added by Adebter (talkcontribs) 14:56, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
FrontPage mag and Human Events are far to the right of the US political spectrum and are generally not reliable sources. "" takes information from the web and links it together without any clear fact-checking policy or reputation I'm aware of; its sources would include (or be limited to) the NAS website itself. Frontpagemag was the subject of this discussion on the reliable sources noticeboard. The conclusion was that its reliability is at best extremely limited and that it should not serve as a main source for information. In any case, the source you included in the article does not state that Lamm and Barber are Democrats. It says that Lamm was a former Democratic governor of Colorado; Lamm has in fact left his former party. The Human Events article, even if we agree that its use in the article is acceptable, supports the characterization of NAS (as reported in more reliable sources) as a partisan, anti-affirmative action, anti-political correctness organisation. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 18:31, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
If Frontpage Mag and Human Events are to be classified as unreliable because of their political stance, then People for the American Way should also be deemed an unreliable source. People for the American Way is a progressive, politically liberal advocacy group. Adebter (talk) 20:05, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree. At most, these obviously partisan sources should be used only secondarily to other sources or as sources for their own views. I've added a news source for the funding statement in the lead. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 20:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Your opinion that FrontPage Mag is not a reliable source does not disqualify it from citation. It appears that you hope your subjective assessment of material being "far" to the right of the US political spectrum will directly equate to extremist material, and render unreliable the source you don't like. However, in reality FrontPage Magazine is merely conservative. Nothing wrong with it for Wikipedia purposes. To people who live on the left end of the U.S. political spectrum, anything truly conservative looks "far" to the right, and perhaps vice-versa: most conservatives would need a telescope to see People for the American Way, or entities like The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and MSNBC in their respective spectral neighborhoods. Adebter, your sourcing is fine here. A source like is not fine, though. (talk) 20:42, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
My opinion of these sources is just as irrelevant as yours. The "far right" designation is also not my opinion; it is from this RS discussion, which I already linked above. FrontPage Mag is described there as among other things a "fake" news source and a blog. Overtly political and arguably non-journalistic "news" sources are generally not reliable, and should not be used as the only source for claims about living persons like former governor Lamm. As a possible BLP violation, I will remove this information for now. If you disagree, you are welcome to get the input of outside editors at the reliable sources noticeboard. Thank you, Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 02:16, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Buying a Movement

The article "Buying a Movement" appears to have moved or to have been removed since People for the American Way's website renovation. I suggest that those who used "Buying a Movement" as a source find a working link to the document as soon as possible. Without sourcing, statements resting on citations from the report will be removed. Adebter (talk) 16:14, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I will look into it. For now, please take a look at an internet archive program to confirm that the article does/did exist. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 17:49, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Update: I changed the reference to the original 1996 publication. I will also supplement the PFAW source with news sources where appropriate. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 19:29, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
While I am aware that Wikipedia protocol suggests sources should preferably be linked, I am not so sure it's mandated, so long as it's published somewhere and meets reliablity guidelines. There's a lot more out there that's not on the Internet than there is that is. The "Buying a Movement" attack is a legitimate source as long as it has been published and can be accessed digitally or otherwise. (talk) 20:53, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

the end of the "writings"

I attempted to integrate the "writings" material into the article. The results may be rough, but I think an improvement. The PFAW source is already in the article, so I simply deleted that. Others were condensed. I wasn't quite sure what to do with the following, especially since it borders on OR in my estimation (counting how many times something was mentioned somewhere also seems like trivia). If others feel it should be included, please find a good place for it:

    • The Chronicle of Higher Education has mentioned the National Association of Scholars in 272 articles. In 1997, the tenth anniversary of NAS, the Chronicle ran a piece by Denise Magner titled "10 Years of Defending the Classics and Fighting Political Correctness." [1]

That's it for now. Keepcalmandcarryon (talk) 21:46, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


  1. ^ The Chronicle of Higher Education. "10 Years of Defending the Classics and Fighting Political Correctness." 12 December, 1997.

National Academy of Sciences

Probably needs a "not to be confused with National Academy of Sciences" at the top William M. Connolley (talk) 19:33, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


Recently I received a link to an article published at the NAS Web site. Before I forwarded the link, I thought I'd find out a little more about the organization, and of course, as seemed by now natural to me, I went to the Wikipedia. After having recently read the goals of the Wikipedia, in particular, the NPOV, I was a little surprised to see that in the opening sentence of the article what seems to be an analysis or an opinion (which would be original research, and not appropriate for the Wikipedia, no?) of the NAS, and only in the second sentence is there a mention of what the organization itself says about itself.

'The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is a non-profit organization in the United States that opposes multiculturalism and affirmative action and seeks to counter what it considers a "liberal bias" in academia.[1][2] The NAS describes itself as "an independent membership association of academics working to foster intellectual freedom and to sustain the tradition of reasoned scholarship and civil debate in America’s colleges and universities." ' (emphasis mine -- from Wikipedia article on the NAS)

I've also read through the Talk page on this article, and hope I've been thorough in understanding all the reflection and work that's been done on it. However, could someone explain why that first sentence might not be opinion or analysis?

Thanks. (btw: This is one of the first time's I've participated in a Talk section, so please forgive if I've failed any of the pro formas on it.)

Neutral Point of View NPOV [1]

Bseegmiller (talk) 17:14, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Good catch. It is extremely biased. Feel free to fix it. – Lionel (talk) 07:46, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't quite understand where the bias lies. NAS is clearly described - and clearly describes itself - as focused on opposing multiculturalism and affirmative action, combating a perceived leftist bias in academia, and supporting the primacy of the Western intellectual tradition in higher education. As far as I can tell, the lead conveys this agenda in reasonably neutral terms. More to the point, this is an encyclopedia. We strive to present a neutral account of our subjects based on independent, reliable sources. While we can certainly convey an institution's self-description, we shouldn't simply regurgitate it in lieu of an independently sourced description. MastCell Talk 23:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ NPOV

Funding, See also

Funding sections by convention go at the end of an artile. Provision for See also sections is at WP:SEEALSO. Please state objections to individual entries in this section... – Lionel (talk) 06:49, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


This entry is one-sided. It construes the organization as standing against affirmative action, but the organization’s mission says nothing about that and it is best known for its studies of college curricula, such as its project on Bowdoin College. NAS has conducted some research on affirmative action, but it’s clearly not their main focus.

--AmateurPhilosopher (talk)

Our article is based primarily on coverage by independent, reliable sources, rather than a rehash of the NAS mission statement. It seems to me that independent sources generally view opposition to affirmative action (and, more broadly, to multiculturalism in education) as a central aspect of the NAS, although I'm open to revisiting the current sources or discussing new ones you turn up. MastCell Talk 00:29, 17 October 2013 (UTC)


This page reports on the NAS’s activities during the 1990s, but describes nothing of their work since then. Newer information on recent publications and activities would be more useful than 20+ year-old history.

--AmateurPhilosopher (talk)

Up-to-date information is always welcome. Please let us know of any newer independent, reliable sources you turn up which could be used to update the article. MastCell Talk 00:26, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

Overall View

This article is written terribly. (I'm in no way affiliated with the National Association of Scholars. I'd never heard of it before yesterday when I looked it up in Wikipedia to discover information about the organization. I have no interest in saying either good or bad things about the NAS. I just wanted to learn about it.) The problem is that the article is not about the NAS; it is solely about the author's opinion of the NAS. True, there is info about the NAS, but just things that support the author's opinion. All else is missing. In the sense that it is posing as an encyclopedia article, while it is in fact an opinion piece, it is dishonest. The quick way to make it an honest article would be to subtitle it "I think this is a bad organization and here's why:"

Specific points:

-- The opening full paragraph should be general about the organization, not just three narrow points out of many.
-- There is no evidence shown for "generally viewed as;" are there no other views?
-- The "advisory board of the NAS has included several notable conservatives" - Are there no other people on the board? Are the "notable conservatives" typical of the board? Curious minds want to know.
-- Are the positions listed as policy statements the only positions the NAS has taken? If not, why are only some of them mentioned here? The NAS web site lists many press releases, reports, "Issues & Ideals" and such. Presumably, these also might be considered positions. Are they? If not, why not?
-- Are the conservative funding foundations that fund the NAS the only organizations that fund it? If not, what are the others?
-- Under "Activities," the author brings up point after point of things the NAS has done that he or she considers as conservative, with little or no discussion of the views of others which might come to different conclusions. In fact, there is nothing in the NAS's positions like Affirmative Action, Sexual Harassment and Academic Freedom, or Curriculum that is inherently conservative. They are just different from the views the author holds. Rational, intelligent, informed people of all political stripes could easily come to various conclusions on these subjects, but one would not guess that based upon this article.

All in all, this article is an attack piece on the NAS. intending to put a scarlet letter onto that organization. It is painfully obvious that the author thinks conservatism is bad. (No, I'm not a conservative, either.) Then he or she brands the NAS as conservative, so that it, too, will be viewed as bad. This kind of article is appropriate in an OpEd piece or in a political newspaper or magazine. In an encyclopedia, however, there ought to be a well-rounded objectivity about the subject matter, concentrating on the subject itself, not on the author's opinion of the subject. The existence of this article is a blot on the integrity of Wikipedia. It needs to be completely rewritten, preferably with the help of someone who does not share the author's political opinions. --Baclark (talk) 01:36, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I get the same impression of serious NPOV violations, and will tag accordingly. The first sign o trouble was the lede summary of the NASch.'s purposes, cited to a dead link to the People for the American Way, a "modern liberal progressive advocacy group" that seems a poor choice to summarize the views of their political opponents.Pete Tillman (talk) 04:53, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
You're correct that PFAW isn't a great source, but I don't think it's very hard to find better sources (which should be part of the process before you slap a tag on an article). For instance, the New York Times quotes NAS as criticizing multiculturalism in higher education ([3]). The Denver Post calls NAS "a conservative education watchdog group... known for its right-wing political views." So in fact, we've watered down the content of independent reliable sources, calling NAS merely "conservative" when the sources suggest is is "known for... right-wing political views". MastCell Talk 09:08, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Removed funding content

Following up my revert of this addition by Psw808, prompted by a message on my talk page. The problems are that the sources don't back up what the text says, the sources are largely primary, the connections and evaluations are original research, the WP:TONE is in some places unencyclopedic, and the editorializing (from "lacks credibility" to "it would be interesting to know") make it a clear violation of WP:NPOV. What you would need are reliable secondary sources for the claims, connections, and evaluations, attributing opinions where opinions are appropriate to include at all, and including only that which can be presented with due weight. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 15:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

OK. I understand some of what you say, WP:NPOV, but the links seemed pretty good. I need to go back and study exactly what the Wiki acronyms mean and try to make it better. I do not understand well the PRIMARY AND ORIGINAL differential, though it seems I should.
Thanks for the feedback and I apologize for the inconvenience. Take a look at funding again: I added what I think is a good statement with links before you responded (I didn't think you were going to respond). Are the statement and links there now ok? Regards, Psw808 (talk) 16:55, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
@Psw808: No need to apologize -- nobody's expected to know all the rules when they first start editing. The more recent edit seems largely ok to me. Basically you're just including another funder, which seems pretty standard. The remaining issue is that mentioning the connection between Rupe and Artex, while documented, is giving undue weight to that fact since you only cited primary sources and Wikipedia (Wikipedia shouldn't be used in citations, btw). In other words, why wouldn't all of the connections and sources for all of NAS's funders be listed? Why just that one? The answer, in this case, is that it was an editorial decision to highlight a potential conflict of interest / make a point. While the point seems valid, to include it wouldn't be representing facts in accordance with the coverage of those facts in the reliable secondary source. Find a good source that draws that draws attention to that connection and, assuming it's clear enough and reliable enough, we might be able to add something like "Jane Smith of the Reliable Source Times draws connections between NAS's positions and the oil connections of one of their funders, the Rupe Foundation". (Note that I hadn't even heard of the Rupe Foundation until you mentioned them, so my hypothetical quote shouldn't be understood as reflective of my opinion, research, or anything :) ). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Very interesting and appreciate the explanations. OK. I don't know. Of course your presumption is correct: I do wish to show the oil connection because the is a sham of what it perhaps was under the founder. The current president who took over in 2009, Mr. Wood, is a shill for the denier movement. The funding "proves" it. It's taken me too long to figure how these orgs work and how successful they have been deflecting the true scientific assertions regarding climate change (IPCC). This is an interesting phenomenon similar to the big tobacco dis-information campaigns.

BTW: Rupe was a blues guy going way back and apparently very successful. He should be 98 years old now. For the love the baby: I cannot believe he would approve of this travesty turning what perhaps once was a true scholarly endeavor into what is now simply another shill for big money, big oil mostly. I find it embarrassing; I think (or wish) he would tooPsw808 (talk) 13:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC).

NPOV March 2017

After a recent update, the Neutral Point of View of this article has been called into question. Specifically, the "Recentism" and "Unbalanced" nature of the added text. Please discuss the recent additions dated 10 March 2017. Operator873CONNECT 13:32, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Answer from updater. This article is about an organization which has classified itself, historically, as "interested in restoring traditional academic standards," but also, "opposed to the influence of leftwing politics in education." Historically, as the page says, the organization has claimed to be non-partisan and even "liberal" -- in response to characterizations of it as "a conservative advocacy group." The allegations and denials of that "conservatism" inform the entire article, from beginning to end. That material is essential to the article. For that reason, any change in NAS's attitude toward US political governance is relevant to the article. Researchers who search the added links will also find a statement of congratulations published by the NAS, in praise of the very-recently nominated Secretary of Education. Since the election just took place; and since changes in NAS declarations have just occurred, this is not "recentism," any more than updating the Turkey page after the recent coup was "recentism" in the weeks following its occurrence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Forseight (talkcontribs) 16:47, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

It's strange that most of the lede is concerned with the NAS's positions on Donald Trump. That kind of disproportionate treatment makes me wonder whether there are Neutral Point of View violations at play. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:147:101:405B:7D87:9736:71AD:E8AE (talk) 22:55, 21 April 2017 (UTC)

I agree with the above concerns. It's a matter of WP:RECENTISM and WP:UNDUE weight. The lead isn't for what an editor considers important but a summary of the rest of the article, which encompasses the entire subject, not just what it's done recently. The content is furthermore sourced almost entirely to primary sources and not to secondary source coverage (which is how we can determine WP:WEIGHT for including various positions). Here is a diff to the additions in question. To me, the lead was the most problematic. I didn't want to just remove the content wholesale, so I'm leaving the content below the lead to go through and see what makes sense to retain/rewrite/better source. For now, however, I've significantly reduced the lead, removing the paragraphs focusing on Trump. I've also (though this is not tied to the edits in question) rewritten the first paragraph to remove a direct quote of their mission (this isn't their website, after all) and so that it reflects what appears to be the consensus among reliable secondary sources -- that it's a conservative advocacy organization. The statement was already in the article, but separated in the following paragraph. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 23:39, 21 April 2017 (UTC)
Update: As of these edits today, a lot more of the primary-sourced content has been removed. Also, the positions and activities sections merged given the substantial overlap. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:05, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

Academic Questions redirected

I've redirected Academic Questions to its section of this article. At the time of redirect, this article has more information about this journal, and provides more context via coverage of the organization. The journal may indeed by notable, but WP:NOPAGE would seem to apply here. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:01, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

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