The Radical Experimental College in the Blue Ridge Mountains

North Carolina is widely respected for institutions such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, both research-intensive and high-prestige schools. But it’s less known for a radically experimental college that was tucked away in the Appalachian mountains more than half a century ago. Just east of Asheville, Black Mountain College … Continue reading “The Radical Experimental College in the Blue Ridge Mountains”


Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills

Often, the strongest criticisms of higher education come from insiders. One insider is Daniel Johnson, who retired as president of the University of Toledo in 2006 after an academic career that included several senior leadership positions. He has recently published a book, The Uncertain Future of American Public Higher Education, that illuminates many of the … Continue reading “Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills”


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 Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor

The final year of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration is noteworthy for all its carnage. In September, the large ITT Tech chain of schools, which had operated in 38 states, was forced to close when Department officials shut off its access to federal student aid. That decision, which I wrote about … Continue reading “The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor”


Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?

Accreditation is supposed to act as a quality guarantee for colleges and universities, but it works very poorly. Students can and regularly do graduate from accredited schools without having learned anything. It’s as if toasters with the Underwriters Laboratories seal were prone to shorting out and catching fire. We know, for example, that a large … Continue reading “Will We, at Last, Do Something About Accreditation?”