Educate the Educators!

North Carolina schools have a serious literacy problem; most likely, that means it has a teacher education problem. The University of North Carolina system is exploring ways to correct the situation—yet questions remain whether they can effect much improvement. The 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed that less than 40 percent of the … Continue reading “Educate the Educators!”


Repairing Academia’s Crisis of Meaning

Traditionally, higher education introduced students to life’s most fundamental questions: “What is good?”; “What is true?”; “Do our lives have meaning beyond the material?”; and so on. The focus used to be on developing the whole person: To lift students morally and ethically, to pique their curiosity in all things, and to instill, as Cardinal … Continue reading “Repairing Academia’s Crisis of Meaning”


The Essential Ingredient for a ‘Deep Education’

About a year ago, Princeton philosopher Robert P. George came to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to speak about civil discourse and diversity of thought with the UNC system Board of Governors. He returned on February 8, but this time he came with Cornel West, a long-time friend and philosopher at Harvard University, as guest speakers … Continue reading “The Essential Ingredient for a ‘Deep Education’”


Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School

Few factors affect the long-term direction of students’ lives more than the quality of their K-12 education. For students who decide to attend a four-year university, their ability to keep up with college-level work is closely linked to how well their high school prepared them. Additionally, high school is the ideal time to consider what … Continue reading “Preparing Students for Life Beyond High School”


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?”