Reinvigorating the Teaching of American History

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. —Cicero It’s no secret that many of today’s students are ignorant of American history and of how American democracy works. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, only 1 in 3 Americans would … Continue reading “Reinvigorating the Teaching of American History”


Did You Know? The Disappearance of Civic Education at Elite Colleges

Modern universities are ignoring their civic duty to teach their students how to become engaged citizens. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni released a report in 2018 that showed only 18 percent of universities required students to take a history course before graduation. This number is indicative of a growing historical ignorance among students. … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Disappearance of Civic Education at Elite Colleges”


North Carolina Colleges Shouldn’t Confuse Cafeteria-Style Curriculum with Strong Liberal Arts

There are a lot of good reasons to question the value of a traditional college degree. Tuition costs have been rising at a rate that’s almost eight times faster than wage growth, and yet survey after survey indicates graduates are still woefully unprepared when entering the workforce. While it’s tempting to blame poor preparation on … Continue reading “North Carolina Colleges Shouldn’t Confuse Cafeteria-Style Curriculum with Strong Liberal Arts”


Our Accreditation System Has Bennett College Struggling for Life

Founded in 1873 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Bennett College is one only two of historically black colleges just for women. It has been a four-year college since 1926, but in recent years it has, like so many other small, private colleges, found survival increasingly difficult. The school’s enrollment fell from 780 students in 2010 to … Continue reading “Our Accreditation System Has Bennett College Struggling for Life”


Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework

Though college leaders constantly remind the public about the value of a college degree, graduates sometimes leave without important knowledge. As Americans celebrate the 4th of July holiday, it’s a good time to reflect on just how little college students know about the Declaration of Independence and American history. The data are depressing. A 2016 … Continue reading “Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework”


Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus

The politicization of higher education is a huge societal problem. Even though there is an overwhelming consensus that universities’ ultimate purpose should be a search for the truth and that it is imperative that inquiry and dialogue be kept free and open, this is increasingly not the case. In many departments, acknowledged communists outnumber registered … Continue reading “Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus”


Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?

Among the duties of a university’s board of trustees, there is perhaps no bigger responsibility than helping to select the leader of the campus—the chancellor/president. Such an important responsibility requires diligence and a deep understanding of the needs and culture of the university. Many boards, however, have become increasingly reliant on private search firms to … Continue reading “Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?”


A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) advises trustees and alumni about higher education issues, identifies “oases of [educational] excellence,” and examines graduation requirements at various colleges to answer the question “What Will They Learn?” In that report, ACTA scrutinizes each college’s curriculum, looking for seven requirements: composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. history, economics, … Continue reading “A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade”


Now, here is something to wake up trustees

Ever since it was created in 1995, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has been trying to help trustees do a better job. ACTA has issued readable, thoughtful reports advising trustees on topics such as advancing intellectual diversity, dealing with grade inflation, measuring academic effectiveness, criticizing accreditation, and cutting costs. But turning the ship of higher education around is a herculean task.


Shh, I Found Some Conservatives

Don’t spread this around, but I’d like to see more of them at the Association of Core Texts and Courses meetings.