purdue shakeup

Purdue Shakes Up Academe (Not All Presidents Are as Innovative as Mitch Daniels)

Five years ago, higher education was abuzz over distance learning, a “disruptive technology.” The big question was whether traditional colleges and universities could incorporate the new technology or if they would be crippled because they couldn’t adapt to it. The rapid growth of for-profit online schools and the advent of MOOCs (massive open online courses) … Continue reading “Purdue Shakes Up Academe (Not All Presidents Are as Innovative as Mitch Daniels)”


What the Feds Can Do for Higher Education: Appoint Richard Vedder

Assuming that Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of education, has sufficient commitment and stamina, she will change how her department addresses K-12 education. Her support of school choice through charter schools and voucher programs is well known. DeVos’s department is also deeply involved in higher education, but the issues are different. What roils higher education … Continue reading “What the Feds Can Do for Higher Education: Appoint Richard Vedder”


For University Endowments, There’s No Time like the Present

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”


Is There Really a Rape Culture on Our Campuses?

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?”


What’s Wrong with Business Schools?

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?”


What I Learned by Going Back to College

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.