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”

A Tweet Too Far

When Drexel University political science professor George Ciccariello-Maher tweeted “All I want for Christmas is white genocide” on Christmas Eve, he handed the Philadelphia school an opportunity to play an integral role in our national intellectual dialogue. Drexel could have helped to clarify an important academic freedom issue and, in doing so, earned a reputation … Continue reading “A Tweet Too Far”

The Novel A Theory of Nothing Says Something

The college novel is a staple of Anglosphere literature; academia is an especially target-rich environment for social critics and satirists. Yet, the best-selling college novels usually aim at a relatively small subset of that environment. Most merely use the campus as a backdrop for stories that could take place almost anywhere: coming of age stories, … Continue reading “The Novel A Theory of Nothing Says Something”

Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma

Recently I attended a meeting of a committee of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors that has a mission of “setting goals for economic impact.” Higher education’s role in the economy cannot be ignored; the extent of that role is, however, highly debatable. Some people believe that academia is the place to … Continue reading “Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma”

Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness

In 2010, a seemingly insignificant event in a far-off land caught my eye. The Israeli academic world was having a fracas over the actions of “post-Zionist” faculty that raised important questions about the principle of academic freedom. Briefly, Zionism is support for a religious Jewish state; post–Zionism refers to the desire for Zionist Israel to … Continue reading “Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness”

Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness

The current consensus on academic freedom in higher education is crumbling and a new framework that more equitably represents all stakeholders – faculty, students, administrators, and society – is urgently needed. “Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness” examines the dominance of faculty over the academic freedom debate over the last century and recommends … Continue reading “Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness”

Ed School Students Must Become Social Justice Warriors to Gain Licensure

According to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro catalog, the course “ELC 381, The Institution of Education” is “required of students seeking student licensure.” Unfortunately, the course often goes far beyond what is politically acceptable for an education course at a public university. When one looks at the section of ELC 381 taught by Revital Zilonka in the Spring of 2016, it becomes clear that the degree of politicization completely violates the spirit of free inquiry that is supposed to govern our schools.

A Million Dollars More? Only for Some

We’ve all heard the refrain: “college graduates make a million dollars more in their lifetimes than high school graduates.” The “college premium,” as it is called, is used to justify a wide variety of personal and policy decisions. But the real college premium is an exceedingly complex concept that cannot be captured by a single number. As Margaret Spellings takes the leadership role in the University of North Carolina system, let us hope that she does not fall for the simplistic rhetoric concerning the benefits of college attendance that has led her predecessors to push for expanded enrollment—and that she has at times fallen for as well.