Defining Faculty Roles: Scholarship Only, Activism on Your Own Time

One of higher education’s enduring questions is about the proper role of faculty. The debate is growing hotter, as increased activism by some faculty is causing pushback from many quarters. A week ago, the Martin Center published an article by Fabio Rojas in which he described the proper role of a faculty member as one … Continue reading “Defining Faculty Roles: Scholarship Only, Activism on Your Own Time”


We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’

University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings recently outlined her plans for higher education to drive economic prosperity in the News & Observer. Her “Two North Carolinas” class rhetoric was remarkably reminiscent of that of another North Carolina public figure with ties to the University of North Carolina. That is, failed (and disgraced) former … Continue reading “We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’”


Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar

The college diploma has long been regarded as the ticket to the good life. And most well-paid jobs require some kind of academic credential. But academia is not the only place to learn valuable skills and reasoning. The United States armed forces also have a long track record for training young people for demanding tasks. … Continue reading “Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar”


Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests

Today’s protest-ridden climate on college campuses might lead one to suspect that they are hotbeds of political disruption controlled by social justice warriors.  All over the country, speakers are shouted down, professors are harassed and even assaulted, students are intimidated—while administrators grovel, patronize, pander, and quake.  Fortunately, the situation isn’t quite so dim on most … Continue reading “Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests”


Opportunity Lost: UNC’s Board of Governors Rejects a Helpful Innovation

Wise decision making depends on knowledge of the full range of options and information, not with rhetoric designed to push a specific agenda. And leadership that seeks out only one side of the story will not produce good governance. Sadly, the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors seems to prefer limiting its information … Continue reading “Opportunity Lost: UNC’s Board of Governors Rejects a Helpful Innovation”


Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances

Editor’s note: This is the second part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The first part can be found here. The ideological imbalance of American university faculties is not new. Whether one looks at faculty voter registrations, publications, course syllabi reading lists, or merely … Continue reading “Faculty Hiring Needs Proper Checks and Balances”


Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives

Editor’s note: This is the first part of an essay on how to restore ideological balance in universities without affirmative action for conservative scholars. The second part can be found here. Legislating a problem away is an extremely tempting option, when available. Why not try to fix the most intractable problem in public higher education—its intensifying … Continue reading “Vote No for Affirmative Action for Conservatives”


stop bias, promote free speech

North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias

Yesterday, I came to bury Caesar. That was a mistake, so today, I’m going to praise him. By “Caesar,” I mean the North Carolina Legislature. I wanted to “bury” them—in rhetorical fashion—for removing institutional neutrality out of the otherwise outstanding North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act (HB 527). After we published that article, I reread … Continue reading “North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias”


The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff

The University of North Carolina was founded with an excellent governance structure—with one glaring flaw that allows power to be concentrated in the General Administration rather than dispersed between the several branches. That flaw is the Board of Governors’ dependence on the administration for information. In 2013, I proposed that this problem could be corrected … Continue reading “The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff”


In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups

I pose a simple question: can free and civil discourse survive inclusion of those who would silence that discourse by any means possible—including violent intimidation? That seems to be a straightforward question deserving of a straight answer: no, civil discourse will not, except under special circumstances, survive when participants seek to undermine or destroy it. … Continue reading “In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups”