Firebrands, Critics and Seers

They came! They saw! They spoke!

At the 2007 Pope Center Conference on “Building Excellence into American Higher Education,” that is. They dissected higher education with the precision of surgeons, exposed collegiate absurdities and told tales of their battles with academic bureaucracies.

The conference is over, and the conference speakers are back fighting the good fight on campus. But their words live on! Just click on the links below to see to the conference speeches and panels:

What Does Excellence Mean?
Stephen H. Balch

Shakespeare’s Star Dims at North Carolina Colleges

Samuel Johnson called him the “immortal Shakespeare,” but his image is fading at colleges in North Carolina.

Nearly half the four-year colleges in North Carolina no longer require their English majors to take a course in the work of William Shakespeare, reports a new study from the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Only eight out of the 15 University of North Carolina campuses with English majors require a course in William Shakespeare. Of 34 private colleges and universities in the state, only 17 require Shakespeare for English majors.

N. C. State does not require a course devoted to Shakespeare; UNC-Chapel Hill does. Some of North Carolina’s best-known private colleges, including Duke, Davidson, and Elon, do not require Shakespeare.