About the Academic Advisory Committee

Stephen Balch
Director, Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Texas Tech University

Dr. Balch became the director of the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in 2012. Before coming to Texas Tech, Dr. Balch served for twenty-five years as founding president and chairman of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), a Princeton, New Jersey, based organization of higher education professionals dedicated to the traditional principles of liberal arts education.

During his years at NAS, Balch worked to encourage universities and colleges across America to develop new academic programs dealing with Western civilization, “the Great Books”, and the study of free institutions. He also played a major role in the founding of a variety of other academic organizations devoted to enriching scholarship and public discussion of higher education issues. In 2007, he received the National Humanities Medal, bestowed by President George W. Bush in a White House ceremony.

Alan Charles Kors
Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Professor Kors specializes in European intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with a special teaching interest in the deep intellectual transformation of European thought. He has published several books and many articles on early-modern French intellectual history and was editor-in-chief of the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Kors served for six years on the National Council for the Humanities. In 2003-2004, he was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar. He has won the Lindback Award and the Ira Abrams Memorial Award for distinguished college teaching and several national awards for the defense of academic freedom. In 2005, at the White House, he received the National Humanities Medal. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Historical Society and on the executive committee of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In 2008, he was awarded the Bradley Prize.

Kors has worked to uphold academic freedom. In 1993, Kors defended University of Pennsylvania student Eden Jacobowitz in the infamous “water buffalo case.” That led to the writing of The Shadow University (1998) with Harvey Silverglate. Together they founded FIRE, the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, a national organization devoted to the protection of free speech. Kors’ bachelor’s degree is from Princeton and his M.A. and Ph.D. are from Harvard.

Alston Chase
Independent Scholar

Alston Chase is a well-known scholar and writer who established a national reputation through his writing on environmental policy. His books include Playing God in Yellowstone (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich), In a Dark Wood: The Fight over Forests and the Myths of Nature (Houghton Mifflin), and Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist (W. W. Norton). The winner of several magazine awards, Chase has written on education, the history of ideas, and the environment for the Atlantic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other newspapers and magazines. He has contributed scholarly papers to the Educational Record, the Rockefeller Foundation Working Papers, Academic Questions, and the National Science Foundation’s Division of Policy Research and Analysis.

Chase, who lives in Montana, holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford and a Ph.D. from Princeton. He has taught at numerous colleges and universities including Harvard and Princeton. He served as chairman of the department of philosophy at Macalester College in Minnesota and has held fellowships at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs.

John Moore
President Emeritus, Grove City College

John H. Moore came to Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, in June 1996 and soon led the college through its withdrawal from federal student loan programs, which completed the college’s break from federal ties. Soon after, Moore helped lead the college’s first public campaign, Change and Commitment, which raised $60 million and made possible the Hall of Arts and Letters, the Student Activities Center and an addition to the Pew Fine Arts Center.

An experienced international educator, Moore also encouraged the college to prepare students for Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships, and he instituted student exchanges in Japan and South Korea. Moore also kept the college at the forefront of technology. He and his wife, Sue, were instrumental in the college’s 125th anniversary celebration in 2001.

Moore earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan. His doctorate in economics came from the University of Virginia in 1966. Moore has published books and articles on subjects such as science policy and European economic systems. He has been a Procter & Gamble research chemist, a professor at well-known universities, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, and President Reagan’s deputy director of the National Science Foundation. The Moores have two grown sons and a grandson and now reside in Florida.

Anne Neal
President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Anne Neal is the President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and manager of the Fund for Academic Renewal. She is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College with an A.B. in American history and literature. She received her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School where she served as the first woman editor of the Harvard Journal on Legislation

From 1980 to 1982, Ms. Neal specialized in the First Amendment at the New York City law firm of Rogers & Wells. Subsequently, she has served as general counsel of the Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President; associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley & Rein; senior vice president and deputy general counsel of the Recording Industry Association of America; and general counsel and congressional liaison of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Neal was formerly co-editor of the American Bar Association’s publication Communications Lawyer and currently edits the quarterly newsletter Inside Academe. She is the co-author of The Intelligent Donor's Guide to College Giving (with Jerry L. Martin) and author of numerous articles on intellectual property rights, trade, and telecommunications.

John Shelton Reed
Professor Emeritus, Sociology, UNC-Chapel Hill

John Shelton Reed is the William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was director of the Howard Odum Institute for Research in Social Science for twelve years and also helped found the university's Center for the Study of the American South.

He has written or edited over a dozen books, including 1001 Things Everyone Should Know about the South, written with his wife, Dale Volberg Reed. His articles have appeared in professional and popular periodicals ranging from Science to Southern Living. He was a contributing writer for the Oxford American and he is a founding co-editor of the quarterly Southern Cultures.

Reed has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the National Humanities Center, and a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has lectured at over 200 colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad, including a number of universities in India as a Fulbright distinguished lecturer, and he has held visiting positions at many institutions, including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London, and St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He spent 1996-97 at Cambridge University as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions and fellow of St Catharine's College.

He has served as president of the Southern Sociological Society and the Southern Association for Public Opinion Research, and was appointed by President Reagan to the council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including election to the Fellowship of Southern Writers and honorary degrees from the University of the South and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

John W. (Jack) Sommer, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

John W. (Jack) Sommer, Ph.D., is Knight Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was a member of the boards of directors of the scientific research society Sigma Xi and the Charlotte Area Science Network. He is on the editorial boards of Conversations in Philanthropy and Cosmos and Taxis, an on-line journal of emergent orders.

Before joining the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Professor Sommer taught at Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Dallas. His past public service includes science policy analysis at the National Science Foundation and serving as senior advisor for science and technology for the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sommer received his A.M. and Ph.D. in geography and African studies from Boston University and his A.B. in geography from Dartmouth College. He lives with his wife, Diane, in Cornelius, North Carolina.

John E. R. Staddon
James B. Duke Professor of Psychology, Duke University

John Staddon is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and a professor of biology and neurobiology at Duke University. He conducts research on adaptive behavior, evolution, and learning; computational neuroscience; and the policy implications of psychobiology.

Staddon has worked at the University of Toronto, Oxford University, and the University of York (United Kingdom), the Ruhr University and the University of Konstanz (Germany), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Western Australia. He is an honorary professor at the University of York. Staddon’s Ph.D. in experimental psychology is from Harvard University.

Abigail Thernstrom
Former Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Abigail Thernstrom is the vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York from 1993 to 2009, and a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Education for more than a decade until her third term ended in November 2006. She also serves on the board of advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. She received her Ph.D. in 1975 from the Department of Government, Harvard University. In 2007 she and her husband, Stephan Thernstrom, were joint recipients of a Bradley Foundation prize for Outstanding Intellectual Achievement.

Thernstrom and her husband are the co-authors of the award-winning No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning (Simon & Schuster, 2003). They also collaborated on America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (Simon & Schuster), which the New York Times Book Review, named as one of the notable books of 1997.

They are the editors of Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity. Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights (Harvard University Press) won four awards, including the American Bar Association's Certificate of Merit, and the Anisfield-Wolf prize for the best book on race and ethnicity. Along with her husband, Thernstrom won the 2004 Peter Shaw Memorial Award given by National Association of Scholars.

Walter E. Williams
Professor of Economics, George Mason University

Walter Williams is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He holds a B.A. in economics from California State University, Los Angeles, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics from UCLA. He also holds a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Union University and Grove City College, a Doctor of Laws from Washington and Jefferson College and a Doctor Honoris Causa en Ciencias Sociales from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala.

Dr. Williams is the author of over 150 articles in both scholarly journals and popular publications. He has made scores of radio and television appearances, which include Nightline, Firing Line, Face the Nation, Milton Friedman's Free To Choose, Crossfire, MacNeil/Lehrer, Wall Street Week, and many more. He is an occasional substitute host for the Rush Limbaugh show.

He has written ten books, including America: A Minority Viewpoint; The State Against Blacks (later made into the PBS documentary "Good Intentions”); All It Takes Is Guts; South Africa's War Against Capitalism; More Liberty Means Less Government; Liberty vs. the Tyranny of Socialism, Up From The Projects: An Autobiography, and Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed On Discrimination? Williams writes a weekly syndicated column, which is carried by approximately 140 newspapers. “Suffer No Fools,” is a documentary based upon the autobiographical Up From the Projects.

Marty Zupan
President, Institute for Humane Studies

Marty Zupan is president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), based at George Mason University. IHS is an independent nonprofit organization that works with students and professors around the country to advance the principles of a free society in the academic arena. IHS conducts educational programs for college students, assists graduate students in launching academic careers, and offers resources to a broad network of scholars.

Prior to joining IHS as a vice president in 1989, Zupan was editor-in-chief of the monthly opinion magazine Reason. Her writing has appeared in Philosophy of Science, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, and Occasional Review, as well as the New York Times Book Review and various newspapers and magazines.

She has an undergraduate degree in philosophy and psychology and did a year of graduate work in economics before pursuing a career in journalism and non-profit management.

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