Blackmail Added to Mob Rule on UNC Activists’ Resumes

The proper term for the actions of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate student assistants and instructors threatening to withhold grades unless Silent Sam—a statue of a Confederate soldier who was pulled off his pedestal by a mob of activists in August—is removed from campus is not “strike,” as the activists claim. … Continue reading “Blackmail Added to Mob Rule on UNC Activists’ Resumes”


The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained

Explaining higher education policy is never easy (even to people who are involved in it). Over the years, while training young writers for the Martin Center, I have come up with a model that has proven useful. One way to produce clarity among the confusion is to apply a model having four basic perspectives rather … Continue reading “The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained”


Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents

The sudden departure of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents a unique opportunity to address academia’s most serious problem. The problem is intellectual, not operational or economic. Recent UNC presidents have focused on issues such as access, efficiency, and economic development, as did Spellings. All of these require … Continue reading “Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents”


The Chancellor’s Dilemma: Finding Silent Sam a Home

There’s a monumental decision coming soon. Not one to decide the future of the nation, such as the midterm elections, but about an actual monument. The monument is Silent Sam, the statue dedicated to University of North Carolina students who fought in the Civil War that was pulled off its pedestal on the UNC–Chapel Hill … Continue reading “The Chancellor’s Dilemma: Finding Silent Sam a Home”


Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform

The surprise resignation of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents an opportunity to improve the system’s insufficient governance policies. The key to this improvement is to hire an independent staff member for the Board of Governors, subject only to the board. The state legislature has already recognized this … Continue reading “Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform”



UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy

Reliable information is a prerequisite for good management. How can you make intelligent decisions if you are basing them on shaky information? This has been an ongoing problem for the University of North Carolina system, in which many high-level decisions are made by a governing board composed of part-time members. The main problem is that … Continue reading “UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy”


No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute

The Raleigh News & Observer recently published a contentious exchange between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s history professor Jay Smith and vice chancellor of communications Joel Curran concerning Smith’s course “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956-Present.” The course, History (HIST) 383, grew out of Smith’s involvement in UNC’s lengthy … Continue reading “No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute”


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

Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series on faculty roles in higher education. Part I by Fabio Rojas is here and Part III by John Wilson is here. 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 … 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’”