Is Academic Reform for Insiders Only?

“Reform” is an appealing word, suggesting change intended for the better. It is frequently used in discussions of higher education. Critics, especially conservative ones, point out visible cracks in the Ivory Tower and demand that they be “reformed.” Politicians do the same. And deep-pocketed donors have their own ideas of what higher education should be, … Continue reading “Is Academic Reform for Insiders Only?”


Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado

A little over four years ago the University of Colorado, Boulder began a three-year pilot program that I believe has no precedent in American higher education. With the help of private donors, and the support of the university’s board, president, and chancellor, the school created the position of Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought and Policy. … Continue reading “Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado”


The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm

One of the ways the college curriculum has changed for the worse in recent decades is the rise of what David Randall terms “the New Civics” in a hefty report published in January by the National Association of Scholars (NAS). This is a development that should alarm Americans who care about the integrity of higher … Continue reading “The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm”


A Visiting Professor of Conservative Thought Takes on Boulder, Colorado

Several years ago, the University of Colorado Boulder did something pioneering in American higher education. It committed to bringing onto its faculty, on a rotating basis, a notable academic conservative in an endowed chair. I held this chair, the Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought & Policy, over the past academic year, following upon Bradley Birzer … Continue reading “A Visiting Professor of Conservative Thought Takes on Boulder, Colorado”



The Firing of Ward Churchill: A Good First Step

Last week, the University of Colorado terminated the employment of Professor Ward Churchill, the head of the “Ethnic Studies” department. It is an exceedingly rare thing for a university to fire a tenured professor and it took Colorado two years of investigation and hearings to finally determine that his employment would be ended.

Churchill’s firing was perfectly justified, but in my view is only the first step that the University of Colorado should take if it is to be truly accountable to the people of the state.

The case is well known, but let’s review the facts.


UNC Can Run More Efficiently

Recently, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems and the Pew Charitable Trusts released a study on higher education funding on the state level. The study is noteworthy because it questions whether high spending on public colleges and universities correlates with high quality.

Included in the study, “A New Look at the Institutional Component of Higher Education Finance: A Guide for Evaluating Performance Relative to Financial Resources” by Patrick Kelly and Dennis Jones, is a section where the authors discuss higher education spending and results. They focus on two state university systems – Colorado and North Carolina. According to the study, Colorado and North Carolina perform nearly the same on various measures. For example, 70.3 percent of Colorado’s students earn a bachelor’s degree and 68.5 percent of North Carolina students do.