I met Paul T. Yarbrough through my daughter, Diana, and her husband. My son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel Craig Pascoe, was stationed at the Air Force base near Albuquerque, and in due course he and Diana became acquainted with the Yarbrough family. They found they had much in common, including their religion and politics. Yarbrough, an attorney in New Mexico, eventually became a supporter of the mission of Free Congress Research and Education Foundation (FCF). Over the years we engaged in a lively e-mail exchange.
Three years ago Yarbrough called me and asked if I had a recommendation for a good college or university, as his family was considering possibilities for their son, who now attends the University of Dallas. Years ago Diana was on the board of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, and I once took a course there, but while I am confident that Christendom College has not succumbed to political correctness, I could not provide much reliable information beyond that. Yet his question was not unique. In an average year roughly a dozen parents contact me to inquire whether a specific college is sound. I always try to oblige them but am never confident about much of the information I pass on.
While U.S. News and World Report for years has published its evaluation of American institutions of higher learning, the magazine assesses the entire spectrum of schools. Thus, a small college competes with Harvard and Princeton.
More recently, National Review published an evaluation, but it also covers a broad range of institutions. Yarbrough and I lamented the lack of a separate report about smaller institutions which are not trapped in the academic diseases of quotas, political correctness and the suppression of ideas. What was meant to be a five minute conversation turned into a forty minute discussion about what parents need to evaluate institutions morally and intellectually. During the conversation I asked Yarbrough to undertake an evaluation of institutions which are sound in every respect. He agreed to do so. Over a period of several months he obtained catalogues, examined curricula and asked many questions.
The result of this conversation will be published as a special Notable News Now on Thursday, July 3. It will be available on our website thereafter. We are able to recommend nine colleges-some Roman Catholic, some Protestant, some secular. In addition, we commend a number of emerging institutions which appear promising, but about which we lack sufficient information to ascertain whether young minds will be corrupted intentionally or encouraged to lose their faith on campus.