Rachelle Peterson

Policy Director, The National Association of Scholars

 

Topics:

  • Legislation for Liberty: How to Protect Free Speech on College Campuses
  • Reforming Higher Education Policy: Tools for Policymakers
  • The Freedom to Learn Amendments: Reforming the Higher Education Act
  • Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education
  • Purchasing Influence: The Rise of Foreign Funding in American Colleges and Universities
  • Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism
  • Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels
  • The Deceptive Allure of MOOCs: Why Massive Open Online Courses Won’t Replace the Classroom
  • Education for Activism: The Rise of Class Credit for Protests
  • “Academic Justice”: Why Illiberalism Is Eroding Free Speech on College Campuses

Travels From:

New York

R
achelle Peterson is policy director at the National Association of Scholars, where she researches, writes, and speaks about higher education policy and campus culture. 

Rachelle is the author of three reports for the National Association of Scholars. Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education (2017) documented the rise of Chinese government-funded centers that teach distorted views of China’s history and culture. It was cited by Senator Marco Rubio and is the basis for proposed legislation to require greater transparency for foreign gifts to colleges and universities. The report has been cited by numerous outlets, including Politico and the New York Review of Books.

Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels (2015) provided the first comprehensive account of the international campus movement demanding disinvestment from fossil fuel companies.  Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism (2015) gave a top-to-bottom review of how sustainability and environmental studies are promulgated in American higher education. That report was widely covered, including in George F. Will’s nationally syndicated column, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and elsewhere.

Ms. Peterson was also an early commenter on the much-hyped but ultimately disappointing roll-out of MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses. She wrote a frequently cited series of articles documenting how MOOCs fail to replace the classroom, and is the author of a forthcoming piece on MOOCs in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education.

Ms. Peterson’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Review Online, Real Clear Education, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere. She has discussed her research on the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal and on numerous national and local radio shows.

She graduated from The King’s College (New York) with a degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. She resides with her husband and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.

Recent Speaking

  • “The Rise of Confucius Institutes,” Alliance Defending Freedom, Washington DC, April 24, 2017.
  • “Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism,” Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Oklahoma City, January 22, 2017.
  • “American College Presidents’ Intellectual Freedom Commitment,” American Legislative Exchange Council, Washington DC, November 30, 2016.
  • “Free Speech and Countering Socialism,” Private meeting at The Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, April 5, 2016.
  • “The Push for Fossil Fuel Divestment on College Campuses: Whom Is It Hurting?” The Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, November 13, 2015.
  • “Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels,” The National Association of Scholars, New York City, November 10, 2015.
  • “Should Colleges and Universities Divest from Fossil Fuels?” debate at Hamilton College, September 2015.
  • “Making Social Sustainability Sustainable,” Smart and Sustainable Campuses Conference, University of Maryland-Baltimore, March 31, 2015.

Past Presentations

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