Education with a Vision: A Curriculum Worth Following

At the start of students’ college careers, there are both good and bad unknowns. The good unknowns are the people they will meet, the different instructors, courses on subjects they have heard about but never studied, and experiences that expand their perspectives. The bad unknowns include the problem that they do not know is brewing, … Continue reading “Education with a Vision: A Curriculum Worth Following”


Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist

During the last year, many universities throughout North America have declared “anti-racism” to be their official policy. Consider this sample of quotations. “We must ask how Princeton can address systemic racism in the world, and we must also ask how to address it within our own community.” —Christopher L. Eisgruber, president, Princeton University. “The University … Continue reading “Why Universities Should Not Be Anti-Racist”


Leaving the Blight of Higher Education: Part II–Farewell, Faculty

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part essay; part I can be read here. The previous essay dealt with the moral decline of the student body in higher education—one of the motives behind my recent retirement after three decades of teaching college English. When I began teaching, most of the English faculty members, … Continue reading “Leaving the Blight of Higher Education: Part II–Farewell, Faculty”


Essential Knowledge: Students Should Study the Classical World

Countless students begin and graduate from college with an impoverished humanities education, a reality that should disturb any proponent of the liberal arts. According to a recent report by the Independent Institute entitled Is it Time for a “490 B.C. Project”? High Schoolers Need to Know Our Classical Heritage, “schools are undermining the humanities” by … Continue reading “Essential Knowledge: Students Should Study the Classical World”


Religion on Campus: A Marketable Skill, or a Diversity & Inclusion Fight?

Across higher education, campuses have changed how they deal with religion. It used to be seen as something at odds with academic freedom and science. Now, however, some campus administrators and advocates want students to learn more about religion, and to see policy changes on the institutional level. One argument is for colleges to teach … Continue reading “Religion on Campus: A Marketable Skill, or a Diversity & Inclusion Fight?”


agcreativelab - stock.adobe.com

Save the Humanities by Flipping the Curriculum

For more than two decades, professors have been “flipping” classrooms to move course material online and use classroom time for student-centered activity and more complex, collaborative thinking. This flip strikes me as a good analogy for a needed reform: Flipping some required humanities courses from the first half to the second half of a college … Continue reading “Save the Humanities by Flipping the Curriculum”


How Political Indoctrination Destroyed the Promise of Learning in College Writing Courses

By wide agreement of writing professors and composition scholars, new freshmen arrive not only ill-prepared for college writing but many show little improvement after four years of undergraduate education. In 2002 the College Board established the National Commission on Writing, which found “growing concern within the education, business, and policy-making communities that the level of … Continue reading “How Political Indoctrination Destroyed the Promise of Learning in College Writing Courses”


How Does a University Advance an ‘Athlete-friendly’ Curriculum?

Remember the huge University of North Carolina athletics scandal, whereby the university’s athletics department managed to arrange for star football and basketball players to get preferential treatment to such an extent that many graduated with college educations in name only? That scandal began to break in 2010 and hit with full force for the next … Continue reading “How Does a University Advance an ‘Athlete-friendly’ Curriculum?”


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”


The Chairman of the Board Speaks

The winds of change have blown through the University of North Carolina System’s Board of Governors in recent years. In a state historically dominated by the Democratic Party, the board is now solely composed of members appointed by a Republican legislative majority. The board diminished in size in the last year—dropping from 32 to 28 … Continue reading “The Chairman of the Board Speaks”