No, There Is Not a “Neoliberal” Poltergeist in Higher Ed

Higher education suffers from a multitude of flaws. University marketing departments habitually over-promise the benefits of their degree programs to unsuspecting high-school students. Mandatory “general education” classes extract sizable tuition fees from students while delivering little discernible benefit in knowledge or critical thinking skills. A student-debt crisis leaves college graduates in the financial hole for … Continue reading “No, There Is Not a “Neoliberal” Poltergeist in Higher Ed”


Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning

Over the years, American universities and colleges have slowly drifted away from their central concerns, teaching and learning. This shift is perhaps best seen in the increased number of administrators in higher education and the exponential growth in the portion of institutions’ budgets dedicated to administrative salaries. The educational data service IPEDS categorizes administrators as … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning”


The US Test Mess

Standardized educational tests do not perfectly measure student aptitude or achievement, and no one argues that they do. But they can differ from all other available measures in two respects: their standardization and their independence of education insider control. To be truly standardized, the same content must be administered in the same manner to all … Continue reading “The US Test Mess”


Why faculty members make poor administrators

To the editor: Here is why faculty and faculty administrators make poor administrators that is not related to peer governance that shrinks from decisions. Very few are trained or self-trained in: 1. Basic management practices: delegation, supervision, finance, budget practices, communications 2. Designing and evaluating a full curriculum and relating it to the mission 3. … Continue reading “Why faculty members make poor administrators”


The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Administrators?

Academics sometimes have a bit of an unfortunate reputation of being big picture thinkers, with our heads in the clouds (or ivory tower) and disconnected from the realities of everyday life. As a PhD student pursuing a career in academia, I’ve certainly had my fair share of experiences starting a research project, then getting excited … Continue reading “The Academic Bait-And-Switch: Do Professors Make Good Administrators?”


Sheep No More: the Alumni Rise

In my nearly 15 years as a higher education journalist and analyst, I have, unfortunately, witnessed too few victories for the reform movement. In that time, and certainly for several decades before, academia has continued moving in bad directions. On one hand, it has increasingly submitted to the “alphabet soup” mentality —CRT, DEI, AGW, LGBTQ…,  … Continue reading “Sheep No More: the Alumni Rise”


On Boiling Frogs And Forked Tongues: Alumni Fight Back at Davidson

At Davidson College, the frog finally realized that it’s being slowly cooked alive. As the theory goes, if you put a frog into boiling water, it will immediately jump out, but if you put it in lukewarm water and gradually raise the heat, it will not realize what is happening until it’s too late. The … Continue reading “On Boiling Frogs And Forked Tongues: Alumni Fight Back at Davidson”


Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic

An ill wind has buffeted higher education in the year of the plague. Workers have been laid off, the ranks of the professoriate have shrunk, and enrollment declines across the industry threaten the long-term finances of all but the most prestigious institutions. While the pain has not been as deep as some experts feared, a … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic”


College Reform: Build Lifeboats to Escape the Sinking Ship

In their recent Martin Center policy brief, Joy Pullmann and Sumantra Maitra get much right about the activist professor problem in academia. These professors are dominating the profession in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible three or four years ago. Their control has led to an ideological monoculture, which suppresses freedom of thought and … Continue reading “College Reform: Build Lifeboats to Escape the Sinking Ship”


Professors Fight to Save Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in Arkansas

In March 2018, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees adopted new rules that fatally undermine academic freedom. We authored this piece for the Martin Center explaining the damage the amendments would inflict on higher education in the state. Unfortunately, the Board of Trustees ignored our warning, a warning reiterated by numerous other faculty and … Continue reading “Professors Fight to Save Free Speech on Campus and Academic Freedom in Arkansas”