Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech? A Review of Campus Speech Codes

This report examines the speech and assembly protections for students and faculty members at North Carolina’s universities, both public and private. It is a follow-up to the 2010 report, “Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech? A Review of Campus Speech Codes.” In the eight years since the publication of that report, North Carolina … Continue reading “Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech? A Review of Campus Speech Codes”


Fixing the Divide Between the Public and Higher Ed

The partnership between America and its colleges and universities is broken. Americans are disappointed with higher education. A majority of Americans (57 percent) now say higher education fails to provide students with good value for the money they and their families spend, according to the Pew Research Center. Universities are equally disappointed with the students … Continue reading “Fixing the Divide Between the Public and Higher Ed”


Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?

The Department of Education is poised to replace Obama-era regulations on for-profit colleges and universities with more broad-based transparency measures. On August 10, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed her plan to fully repeal the “gainful employment” regulations that required for-profit colleges to publish information on their graduates’ student debt levels and post-graduation earnings. Under the … Continue reading “Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?”


The Future for Industry Credentials

“Industry credentials” are a popular trend in modern education. But the term is rarely defined. Industry credentials offer the promise of short-term training or retraining for an agile, 21st-century workforce. Community colleges offer the training programs to would-be skill-seekers and students have flocked to these programs. But data about what these credentials are and how … Continue reading “The Future for Industry Credentials”


A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law, inserting the federal government irrevocably into the inner workings of America’s colleges and universities. The bill increased federal money given to universities, provided scholarships, and created the federal student loan system—now a $100 billion yearly enterprise. Since then, the Act has been reauthorized … Continue reading “A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill”


The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’

Students in the United States have unprecedented options for postsecondary education: from brick-and-mortar liberal arts institutions and research-intensive doctoral universities to dual-enrollment high schools and online-only degree programs. Entrepreneurs are innovating continually to improve America’s higher education options. But a new report attempts to throw cold water on the higher education landscape. Entitled, “Disconnected from … Continue reading “The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’”


University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

By now, most Americans are aware of the widespread waste and decadence at many private and public universities. From lazy rivers to exorbitant chancellors’ salaries, examples abound. But those well-publicized cases, problematic as they are, can be easily addressed by parents and students who pay tuition and by legislators who control the purse strings. However, … Continue reading “University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”


How the North Carolina Legislature Can Improve Higher Education in 2018

Legislators returned to Raleigh last week for the beginning of a special session. Education was at the top of the agenda, with the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meeting Tuesday to discuss various changes to North Carolina’s K-12 programs. That’s as it should be. Here in North Carolina, education makes up roughly 40 percent of … Continue reading “How the North Carolina Legislature Can Improve Higher Education in 2018”


Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning

In the past, I’ve been critical of commercial activity on North Carolina’s public university campuses. It competes with private business, attracts unfair tax advantages, and may (in some cases) violate provisions of the Umstead Act. It’s also far outside a public university’s three-part mission of education, research, and service. In most cases, I think business … Continue reading “Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning”


Does the Bennett Hypothesis Still Matter?

It’s been 30 years since then-Education Secretary William J. Bennett took to the pages of The New York Times to chide colleges for their “greedy” behavior. He decried the negative effect federal student aid seemed to have on tuition, namely, that it allowed universities to raise prices without feeling the consequences of reduced demand or lower-quality … Continue reading “Does the Bennett Hypothesis Still Matter?”