Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?

“Dartmouth falls out of an exclusive group,” declared a 2016 headline in The Washington Post just days after the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education released its 2015 classifications that moved Dartmouth College from the R-1 (that is, Research 1) to the R-2 (Research 2) category. “A Key Survey Indicates that Dartmouth May Be … Continue reading “Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?”


Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards

I became interested in academic accountability within the university because I had no choice: the lack of accountability I experienced at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington obligated me to act. I had become embroiled in a situation where I was morally bound to report wrongdoing. But I had no idea that being a … Continue reading “Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards”


How to Stop Student Aid from Driving Up Tuition

The Department of Education’s method for awarding college students financial aid has many perverse effects. It contributes to rising tuition, keeps students in the dark about their aid eligibility for too long, gives some colleges unfair special treatment, and does not incentivize colleges to improve. But a small tweak would address those problems: replacing the … Continue reading “How to Stop Student Aid from Driving Up Tuition”


The Skills Gap: Employers Expect More Than What College Grads Offer

National surveys have consistently found that businesses have difficulty finding employees with the right skills. Even among college graduates searching for work, employers have found them lacking employable skills. Research that examines how college graduates transition into the workforce has intensified since the 1990s when researchers connected graduates’ career success with the quality of their … Continue reading “The Skills Gap: Employers Expect More Than What College Grads Offer”


Master’s Degrees in Janitorial Science?

There has been mounting evidence that the financial payoff from the traditional bachelor’s degree is declining, particularly for men. For example, Census Bureau data suggest that, from 2005 to 2016, the average earnings differential for male workers holding bachelor’s degrees compared with those holding high school diplomas fell from $39,440 to $37,653 (in 2016 dollars)—at … Continue reading “Master’s Degrees in Janitorial Science?”


The Furor Over Student Loan Forgiveness

Once again, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has kicked the hornet’s nest, this time by changing the rules for deciding if a student will be relieved of his or her obligation to repay federal college loans. The way our higher education finance system works, the federal government makes it easy for students to borrow money for … Continue reading “The Furor Over Student Loan Forgiveness”


Secretary DeVos Begins to Rectify the Title IX Mistake

It is very rare for a federal agency to admit having made a mistake and rarer still for the secretary of a cabinet department to announce a U-turn in policy in a heavily publicized speech. But that is exactly what Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did on September 7. Speaking at George Mason University, Secretary … Continue reading “Secretary DeVos Begins to Rectify the Title IX Mistake”


Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans

Student loan debt, now totaling roughly $1.3 trillion, is the second largest source of debt in the United States. This is especially concerning given that there are presently eight million people in default on their student loans. Under federal law, colleges, especially those with open enrollment such as two-year technical schools, face severe consequences if, for … Continue reading “Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans”


Can the Feds Do Something to Protect Campus Free Speech? Should They?

That free speech on college campuses is under attack cannot be denied. We find invited speakers being disinvited or shouted down, “bias incident” reporting systems that encourage students to complain when they hear anything they don’t like, and professors who demean students who dare to question their assertions. In the fairly recent past, most higher … Continue reading “Can the Feds Do Something to Protect Campus Free Speech? Should They?”


Are Full-Time Faculty Being Adjunctified? Recent Data Show Otherwise

The “adjunctification” phenomenon is a familiar concern to most recent Ph.D. graduates, as well as a recurring criticism of perceived trends in faculty employment. One professor recently wrote that it was a professional “shame.” This issue seems to have hit a boiling point in the past few years, with a multitude of articles and reports … Continue reading “Are Full-Time Faculty Being Adjunctified? Recent Data Show Otherwise”