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’”


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”