North Carolina’s public universities have a problem with free expression, and it mostly doesn’t come from censorious administrators or biased faculty members. Instead, it’s the students themselves who muzzle free speech. “Many UNC System students do indeed have significant concerns about expressing political views on campus.” So state the findings of a comprehensive, carefully designed … Continue reading “UNC’s Free-Expression Survey Elicits Both Fear and Hope”
“Free college” makes for a neat sound-bite in Democratic primaries. But turning higher education into another middle-class entitlement isn’t going to improve outcomes, isn’t going to promote economic mobility, and isn’t going to encourage the kind of structural reforms that are long overdue.
We ought to send more people to college. Our country is rich enough, our lives are long enough, and our economy is productive enough to justify the costs of providing more opportunity for our citizens to think and read and learn a little longer.
Higher education policy must begin with a vision and a sense of purpose, without which it becomes an incoherent jumble that contradicts itself and pulls in conflicting directions. One problem facing academia today is that it has long been largely subject to one vision, and now a very different, competing vision is emerging that seeks grand reforms.