Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
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The mission of the Manhattan Institute's Center for the American University (CAU) is to draw attention to the condition of the contemporary university. The CAU highlights the major challenges facing today's universities, including rising costs, the lack of intellectual pluralism, and the failure to provide students with a substantive education.

Prescriptions for reform that will restore the best traditions of liberal education on American campuses are set forth in the CAU's unique initiatives:, the VERITAS Fund, the Capitalism Project, and the newly created Adam Smith Society. Read more about CAU projects...

The Fainting Couch at Columbia Heather Mac Donald, Commentary Magazine, 08-25-15

Elizabeth Warren Finally Has The Right Idea On Higher Education Judah Bellin, Time, 06-19-15

Don't Blow Up All For-Profit Colleges, Just The Bad Ones Judah Bellin, Washington Examiner, 04-30-15

A N.Y. Success: For-Profit Colleges Judah Bellin, New York Daily News, 04-18-15

It's The Poor Who Get Short Shrift On College Subsidies Judah Bellin, Los Angeles Times, 01-21-15

Obama's Free Community College Plan: Why It Could Hurt More Than Help Judah Bellin,, 01-09-15


Minding The Campus newsletter
Summer 2013

Minding The Campus newsletter
Winter 2013

Minding The Campus newsletter
Summer 2012

Minding The Campus newsletter
Spring 2012

Minding The Campus newsletter
Winter 2012

Minding The Campus newsletter
Fall 2012

Communications Department

James Piereson

John Leo

Herb London


Herb London, John Leo and Anne Neal of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni discuss the role of trustees in light of the recent Penn State scandal.

Herb London and Howard Husock discuss the recent AEI report, "College Rankings Inflation: Are You Overpaying for Prestige?".



The CAU's web magazine, Minding the Campus (MTC), includes daily commentaries, original essays, and a blog. MTC draws upon the best from established magazines and publications, as well as from professional journals, blogs, and student publications. It provides transcripts and videos of CAU events; podcasts and book reviews; and "must reads"—an archive of key documents, research, books, and articles on campus issues.

Minding the Campus actively fosters a free exchange of views—one of fair and balanced discussions instead of polemical monologues. The magazine is edited by John Leo, former U.S. News and World Report columnist and current CAU senior fellow. Leo's popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S. News & World Report for 17 years, and was syndicated in 140 newspapers.


While thousands of young people continue to flock to MBA programs and go on to become entrepreneurs and talented executives, it remains far from certain that many will be able to defend, let alone comprehend in a meaningful sense, the political-economic system that enables their own success.

To address this failure, we launched the Adam Smith Society —— a national organization for business schools akin to what the Federalist Society has been for law schools. The Adam Smith Society is a community of business school students dedicated to exploring the links among the economy, government, and society. The Society believes that business, entrepreneurship, and commerce are wellsprings that keep this country vibrant, creative, prosperous, and free. Through debate and discussion, the Society aims to advance this idea on campus and among business leaders.

In fall 2011, the Adam Smith Society sponsored a pilot program at Harvard Business School. By the close of the 2012 academic year, we grew this program to five chapters at our nation's leading business schools. In the years to come, we hope to continue to launch chapters at other top-tier business schools across the country—growing the national organization.

To become involved or for more information, visit


In 2007, the Manhattan Institute created the VERITAS Fund for Higher Education at DonorsTrust.

The VERITAS Fund at DonorsTrust is a donor-advised fund that seeks out professors at top-tier universities who are committed to bringing intellectual pluralism to their institutions. Working with these professors, we fund "centers of academic excellence" within universities that help introduce a new generation of students to broader perspectives than are available on most campuses with regard to our three main issue areas: western civilization, the American founding, and political economy. The general objective of these programs is to give students a different view of Western Civilization and American economic and political institutions than the critical approach taken toward these subjects in most college curricula.

The objective of the Fund is, therefore, to reform to higher education by underwriting programs and courses in subjects which until now have been neglected on the campus or have been out of favor within the largely one-sided professoriate. This is a constructive strategy that allows us to work in cooperation with colleges and universities to bring something new and badly needed to their campuses. In this sense, we are not attacking higher education for its flaws but rather working with it to improve and strengthen its offerings.

Success Stories

The VERITAS Fund's lodestar is Professor Robert George's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. The Madison program, which is dedicated to studying American constitutional law and Western political thought, was founded in 2000 and is a powerful example of how relatively modest funding, employed tactically, can drive the development of new institutions on campus.

In its inaugural year, the VERITAS Fund raised and largely committed $2,500,000 to seeding centers on the campuses of Boston College, Brown University, the University of Colorado, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Emory University, Georgetown University, New York University, the University of Texas, and the University of Virginia. Of these programs, five were established programs that used VERITAS funds to help augment their existing efforts—often significantly. The remaining five were created from scratch, made possible only by the promise of three years of VERITAS Fund support. Click here for more information on VERITAS-funded programs.




The Manhattan Institute, a 501(c)(3), is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas
that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

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