During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump argued that requiring wealthy universities to spend more of their endowment funds on tuition aid would reduce students’ financial burdens. Whether implementing that idea—which has floated around Congress since 2008—would lower college costs on the whole is doubtful. And, in my view, the federal government is already meddling too … Continue reading “For University Endowments, There’s No Time like the Present”
Many people believe that the nation’s college campuses have become hotbeds of sexual assault. In June, after a student at Stanford University was convicted of rape but given a light sentence, Vice President Joe Biden wrote an open letter to the female victim: You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one … Continue reading “Is There Really a Rape Culture on Our Campuses?”
Ever since the 2008 financial crash, American business schools have been reeling from criticism. There is a widespread feeling that the financial meltdown was caused by graduates of elite business schools who created fortunes through hedge funds, derivatives, and other financial tricks. While that view is more fiction than fact, it has spawned conferences, books, … Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Business Schools?”
A few years ago, I went back to school. I was in my 60s and nearing retirement as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. In that position I had been observing universities, faculty, administrators, and students for five or six years and I thought I knew a lot about academia. I was aware that many students are slackers, that a lot of faculty members have a leftist bias, that college costs too much, that there’s grade inflation and a lot of administrative waste and red tape. But I wanted to study again, and North Carolina State University was less than a mile away from where I lived. So far, I have taken five courses, three of them since I retired last February.
Over the past eight years I have experienced a rich and sometimes tumultuous education about the economics, politics, and culture of today’s campuses.
George Ehrhardt, one of the few avowed conservative political scientists at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, has published an article that attempts to explain to the political left what the political right’s views are on higher education.
Looking back at Ross’s first four years at the helm, we see leadership marked by tentativeness and preservation of the status quo. But as Ross begins his fifth and final year as president, there are opportunities for him to champion meaningful changes and to leave a positive legacy.
Imagine that a UNC Center for Western Civilization (which, of course, does not exist) were to co-sponsor a conference with the Heritage Foundation.
In a few months, I will retire as president of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. I know that my successor, whoever it is, will continue the Pope Center’s commitment to improving higher education.
Ever since it was created in 1995, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has been trying to help trustees do a better job. ACTA has issued readable, thoughtful reports advising trustees on topics such as advancing intellectual diversity, dealing with grade inflation, measuring academic effectiveness, criticizing accreditation, and cutting costs. But turning the ship of higher education around is a herculean task.