Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses

It can be tempting for college leaders to focus solely on data that support their policy initiatives—to the exclusion of other relevant information. Unfortunately, intentionally or not, University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings seems to have given in to this temptation. At Spellings’ last meeting of the UNC Board of Governors with her … Continue reading “Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses”


A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform

Many colleges are setting up their student-athletes for failure. Whether one looks to the long-term neurological health risks that young athletes are subject to, or the myriad cases of academic dishonesty within athletics departments, it appears that the personal and academic well-being of student-athletes is often compromised for the sake of “the game.” Fortunately, the … Continue reading “A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform”


A Tale of Two Alumni Associations

An important voice is missing in today’s colleges and universities: that of their alumni. Their absence does a disservice to both students and the general public because, in many ways, alumni are the missing link that connects universities to the larger communities they serve. After all, alumni work in the “real world” after graduation and … Continue reading “A Tale of Two Alumni Associations”


A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings

Although Margaret Spellings will be leaving her post as president of the University of North Carolina system prematurely on January 15, she started several programs in her three years on the job. One of those programs is NC Promise, which went into effect this fall semester. NC Promise lowers the cost of tuition to $500 … Continue reading “A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings”


Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time

Americans’ trust in higher education is crumbling. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 48 percent of American adults have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education. That number is down from 57 percent in 2015—the largest decline in confidence of any other institution. In efforts to rebuild that trust, … Continue reading “Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time”


The Liberal Arts Are Important: But Whose Liberal Arts?

Over the decades, the conception of a liberal arts education appears to have slowly lost its meaning. Just because students may attend a “liberal arts” college does not mean that they will receive a liberal arts education as it was traditionally conceived. One person who decries this transformation of the liberal arts is author and … Continue reading “The Liberal Arts Are Important: But Whose Liberal Arts?”


Can Higher Ed Revive Rural North Carolina?

Many rural counties in the United States—including those in North Carolina—are on life support. They are struggling with shrinking and aging populations, shuttered businesses, disappearing job bases, and a general sense of hopelessness. While their plight may be common knowledge, there is little consensus about how this situation can be resolved. Some policymakers and researchers … Continue reading “Can Higher Ed Revive Rural North Carolina?”


A College Grows on Black Mountain

One of higher education’s perplexing questions is why, in a nation as diverse geographically, demographically, and philosophically as the United States, do most colleges and universities seem so much alike? One answer is that there is so much oversight: from accrediting agencies, from government bodies, and from professional associations, that conformity is assured. But that … Continue reading “A College Grows on Black Mountain”


University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight

As public institutions funded by taxpayers, state colleges and universities are limited in the kinds of commercial activity in which they can participate. This is particularly so when it comes to university land or property. However, through the use of institutionally affiliated—but still private—non-profit  “foundations,” universities have found a convenient way to bypass these restrictions … Continue reading “University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight”


A Monumental Question

Today’s radical left has embarked on a quest to purge college campuses of their controversial histories. These “social justice warriors” not only believe themselves licensed to tear down statues—they view it as their sacred duty to rid universities of monuments that do not meet their standards of political correctness. But merely removing statues they deem … Continue reading “A Monumental Question”