The UNC System Can—and Should—Be More Open with the Public

The UNC system needs to improve its transparency—an argument that the Martin Center has been making for about as long as it has been in existence. More specifically, the UNC system and the Boards of Trustees (BOT) of each of the 16 universities should have some key information more readily accessible to the public.  By … Continue reading “The UNC System Can—and Should—Be More Open with the Public”


Surprise: The UNC System is Moving!

Last week, the UNC Board of Governors met at NC State’s Hunt Library for its November meeting. In meeting at one of its constituent institutions, the Board is returning to a tradition that was put on hold during COVID: occasionally traveling to each institution in turn in order for Governors to engage with each campus. … Continue reading “Surprise: The UNC System is Moving!”


Did You Know? The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Voted Against Ending Discrimination in University Admissions

Last week, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees considered a resolution to end discrimination and special preferences in all the university’s activities. The Board ultimately rejected the resolution, but it has already sparked public discussion around the state. On Nov. 4, 2021, UNC-CH Trustee Marty Kotis offered the following resolution: “The university shall not discriminate … Continue reading “Did You Know? The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Voted Against Ending Discrimination in University Admissions”


Is it Time to Rethink Tenure?

In a recent article for the Martin Center, Duke professor Mike Munger asked an important question: should “a political board composed of nonacademics…be empowered to evaluate faculty proposals on hiring and curriculum in the first place?” He argued that, in practice, boards have already ceded that authority. For many years, shared governance, at least on … Continue reading “Is it Time to Rethink Tenure?”


Academic Freedom and Tenure: It’s More Complicated Than People Think

This essay is based on a talk given by Professor Munger at a Martin Center luncheon on July 15, 2021. What is academic freedom, and who has it? The question is raised by the recent controversy sparked by a process that is usually boring and bureaucratic: an academic tenure case. Nikole Hannah-Jones, Hussman School of … Continue reading “Academic Freedom and Tenure: It’s More Complicated Than People Think”


Did You Know? New UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Members

There are six new members on the Board of Trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill.  The new members are: Rob Bryan III Perrin Jones Malcolm K. Turner Ramsey White Marty Kotis  Vinay Patel Patel was appointed by House Speaker Tim Moore, and Kotis was appointed by North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger. The other four members were … Continue reading “Did You Know? New UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Members”


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”


Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?

Public higher education was once America’s great enabler, permitting young people from lower-class backgrounds to attend college for very little money and to rise as far as their abilities and drives would take them. That may no longer be the case, according to economists James Koch and Richard Cebula. In their 2020 book, Runaway College … Continue reading “Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?”


It’s Not About ‘Politics’—The Brouhaha over Nikole Hannah-Jones

Last week, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees came under fire for “viewpoint discrimination” over its decision not to offer tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, who will join UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism in July. An anonymous source reported that the decision was “a very political thing.” But politics needn’t have come into … Continue reading “It’s Not About ‘Politics’—The Brouhaha over Nikole Hannah-Jones”


UNC’s 1619 Project Hire: A Case Study of Failed University Governance

The recent hiring of New York Times columnist Nikole Hannah-Jones as a faculty member in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism raises serious red flags about how the university is being run. Last week, the Martin Center’s Jay Schalin reported on Hannah-Jones’s appointment to the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism at UNC. Hannah-Jones … Continue reading “UNC’s 1619 Project Hire: A Case Study of Failed University Governance”