One of Our Few Great College Presidents Retires

University presidents make a difference. The best of them can steer a university to new heights of greatness, while the worst of them can bring costly mediocrity or even extinction. A few weeks ago, Mitch Daniels of Purdue, arguably the primus inter pares of American university presidents, announced that he was stepping down at the … Continue reading “One of Our Few Great College Presidents Retires”

Who’s Afraid of a Little Data?

We’ve heard a lot, in recent years, about a free speech crisis on our college campuses. There are stories of speakers being shouted down and of students being afraid to voice their opinions, for fear of ostracism by their peers or retaliation from faculty and staff. Some have dismissed this talk as politically inspired rhetoric, … Continue reading “Who’s Afraid of a Little Data?”

The Very Model of a Modern University President

While American higher education often is rightly condemned for being inefficient, non-innovative, and resistant to change, there are exceptions, and there are some collegiate entrepreneurs whose success is worthy of commendation and emulation. To me, the top award for American higher education innovation must go to Mitch Daniels, who is just beginning his tenth year … Continue reading “The Very Model of a Modern University President”

Fire in Rome by Hubert Robert.

UNC Governing Boards Fiddle while Reason Burns

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles. Part I can be found here, Part II is here, and Part III is here. The “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) paradigm is sweeping through academia. Its increasing use as an ethical basis for enacting university policies is no small matter. Rather, it is monumental: … Continue reading “UNC Governing Boards Fiddle while Reason Burns”

Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’

The members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors are charged with a solemn duty: to oversee and guide the state’s public university system. Although some of their day-to-day responsibilities might seem mundane, many of the decisions they make shape the system’s standards, values, and the extent to which the university’s dual mission … Continue reading “Don’t Rock the Boat: UNC BOG Members Rarely Vote ‘Nay’”

Saving a Struggling College Starts with the Board

Before the COVID-19 pandemic walloped our colleges and universities, higher education had been facing threats to existing business models for years. A great deal has been written the past few years predicting the demise of large numbers of U.S. colleges and universities. Many higher education institutions are indeed threatened. But their demise may not be … Continue reading “Saving a Struggling College Starts with the Board”

An Open Letter to Duke President Price about Anti-Racism

Dear President Price: On June 17, you published a 1,400-word “Statement to the Community Regarding Anti-Racism.” The document contains many expressions of concern, fully in tune with the current national mood about the evils of racism and the problems of the African American community. Nevertheless, the measures proposed, and the assumptions made, in this document … Continue reading “An Open Letter to Duke President Price about Anti-Racism”

Are College Presidents Paid Too Much?

In a typical week, I get four or five inquiries from media relating to some higher education issue. Five years ago, perhaps five or ten percent of those inquiries related to university executive compensation, especially the salaries of presidents. Now, probably 40-50 percent of the queries are on that topic. The public is increasingly interested … Continue reading “Are College Presidents Paid Too Much?”

President Ross, it’s not too late for a legacy

Looking back at Ross’s first four years at the helm, we see leadership marked by tentativeness and preservation of the status quo. But as Ross begins his fifth and final year as president, there are opportunities for him to champion meaningful changes and to leave a positive legacy.