Stephen Balch

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This article is about the conservative scholar. For the early American minister, see Stephen Bloomer Balch.
Stephen Balch receiving National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush

Stephen H. Balch is an American conservative scholar. He was the founding president of the National Association of Scholars from 1987 to 2009.[1][2][3]


Early life[edit]

Stephen Balch was born in New York City and grew up in Brooklyn.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College. He received masters and Ph.D.s, the latter in political science, from the University of California, Berkeley, where his dissertation supervisor was Nelson W. Polsby.[1][2][4] It was during the Berkeley riots that he became a conservative.[4] He now identifies as a Republican.[5]


He taught at John Jay College, City University of New York for fourteen years.[1][2][4]

Think tanks[edit]

He joined Midge Decter's Committee for the Free World and, by 1982, he founded the Campus Coalition for Democracy.[4] In 1987, he left his academic position and founded the National Association of Scholars, a conservative think tank against political correctness in higher education.[2] He also started the journal Academic Questions.[4] In 1992, he founded the American Academy for Liberal Education, an alternative accreditation body focused on the liberal arts.[4]

He is a founding member and a trustee of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.[3] He has been involved in founding the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, and the Association for the Study of Free Institutions.[1] He was also for a time a Trustee of the Philadelphia Society.[6] He is also a member of the History Association.[3]

In the fall of 2012, he founded the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.[7][8] He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Academy on Capitalism and Limited Government Foundation.[9]

Public service[edit]

He served as chairman of the New Jersey State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1985 to 1990, and was a member of the Committee from 1990 to 2005.[2] He was also a member of the National Advisory Board of the United States Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education from 2001 to 2004.[2]

He is the recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medals.[1][10] His award cited him "for leadership and advocacy upholding the noblest traditions in higher education" and went on to say that "His work on behalf of reasoned scholarship in a free society has made him a leading champion of excellence and reform at our nation's universities."[11] In 2009 he received the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.[1]


He has written for PJ Media, The National Review, Commentary, The Wall Street Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, etc.[3][12][13]


Book chapters[edit]

  • 'The Route to Academic Pluralism', in The Politically Correct University: Problems, Scope and Reforms, AEI Press, 2010, pp. 227–40.

Journal articles[edit]


External links[edit]