UCLA’s Discrimination Office Targeting Professor Threatens Academic Freedom

When a political science lecturer at UCLA read to his class Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and showed clips from a documentary on racism, he found himself in hot water. The reason: Both the letter and the documentary included the N-word. Many students complained, which in turn pitted UCLA against the … Continue reading “UCLA’s Discrimination Office Targeting Professor Threatens Academic Freedom”


The Time Is Now: Abolish the Department of Education

There are now 15 United States federal executive departments. Here they are, in order of their dates of inception: State, 1789 Treasury, 1789 Interior, 1849 Agriculture, 1862 Justice, 1870 Commerce, 1903 Labor, 1913 Defense, 1947 Health and Human Services, 1953 Housing and Urban Development, 1965 Transportation, 1967 Energy, 1977 Education, 1979 Veterans Affairs, 1989 Homeland … Continue reading “The Time Is Now: Abolish the Department of Education”


Did You Know? The NC Colleges Getting the Most Coronavirus Aid

On April 10, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis announced that $378 million from the Department of Education will go to North Carolina colleges to help them weather the fallout of COVID-19. The 142 North Carolina colleges, public and private, that will receive the funding are required to use about half of the amount for cash grants … Continue reading “Did You Know? The NC Colleges Getting the Most Coronavirus Aid”


Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans

The federal government has grown in importance for higher education for decades. The most long-lasting effect could be its status as the lender of first resort for student loans. The vast majority of federal spending on colleges and universities comes in the form of making loans, dwarfing all other activities. Of the $120 billion supplied … Continue reading “Did You Know? Majority of Federal Funding for College Is for Student Loans”


How Bad Is For-Profit Higher Education, Actually?

For about fifteen years, from 1995 to 2010, enrollments grew rapidly in the for-profit higher education sector, but since then have fallen substantially. The reason for the decline is mainly the overt hostility to for-profits during the Obama administration. The Department of Education killed off two of the largest for-profit competitors (Corinthian and ITT), and … Continue reading “How Bad Is For-Profit Higher Education, Actually?”


Why Shouldn’t College Students Have the Equivalent of Miranda Rights?

Colleges and universities need rules defining unacceptable behavior and how students accused of infractions of those rules will be treated. Because determinations of guilt can have serious, long-lasting consequences, schools ought to ensure that their procedures are fair, approximating the due process of law accorded to defendants in our courts. Crucial to due process is … Continue reading “Why Shouldn’t College Students Have the Equivalent of Miranda Rights?”


The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos

No one can accuse Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of inaction. Just within the past few weeks, her Department of Education announced the overhaul of two major Obama-era regulations. The next stage of DeVos’ agenda will review several of the rules governing which higher education institutions and programs are eligible for federal funding, with an eye … Continue reading “The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos”


Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?

The Department of Education is poised to replace Obama-era regulations on for-profit colleges and universities with more broad-based transparency measures. On August 10, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed her plan to fully repeal the “gainful employment” regulations that required for-profit colleges to publish information on their graduates’ student debt levels and post-graduation earnings. Under the … Continue reading “Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?”


The New Head of the Office for Civil Rights Charts a Very Different Course

Last month, the Senate voted to confirm Kenneth L. Marcus as assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education. The vote was 50-46, with not one Democrat supporting him—a point I will return to presently. In that position, he will head up the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). This is the second … Continue reading “The New Head of the Office for Civil Rights Charts a Very Different Course”


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?”