The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research

For most of the past century, the United States was the pre-eminent nation in science and technology. The evidence for that is beyond dispute: Since 1901, American researchers have won more Nobel prizes in medicine, chemistry, and physics than any other nation. Given our history of discovery, innovation, and success, it is not surprising that … Continue reading “The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research”


Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?

As director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Campus Free Expression Project, I am always eager to get beyond the DC beltway to learn how students understand free expression on their particular campus. So, to return to Duke University, my alma mater, was particularly welcome. Duke has a legacy of defending the expression of controversial views. … Continue reading “Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?”


Did You Know? The Law Schools That Pay Off for Graduates

New improvements in the College Scorecard data from the U.S. Department of Education have shown some of the specifics for how well degrees pay off. With those improvements, the public can see the median debt totals as well as the median earnings after a graduate’s first year in the labor force. Since 2008, for instance, … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Law Schools That Pay Off for Graduates”


The Continual Creep of Social Justice into Higher Education

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a December 6 speech at an event hosted by the National Association of Scholars and the Martin Center on social justice and identity in American higher education. Social justice activists say they want to bring about a golden age. The road to the golden city always requires more … Continue reading “The Continual Creep of Social Justice into Higher Education”


Did You Know? The Biggest NC Endowments Keep Growing

A college endowment is a fund where an institution keeps its financial assets and donations and can invest that money for the college’s long-term stability. In North Carolina, the largest college endowments saw their market value increase between 8 percent and 20 percent from 2017 to 2018. Endowment increases weren’t simply a case of the … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Biggest NC Endowments Keep Growing”


Did You Know? Regret Comes with Taking Student Loans

A recent report from Payscale showed that a majority of college graduates regretted their college decision. Out of the 250,000 students surveyed, about 12 percent had some regret the major they picked. The biggest regret, though, came from borrowing student loans. While that regret is consistent among generations, millenials are the first ones to regret … Continue reading “Did You Know? Regret Comes with Taking Student Loans”


No, Academia, Title VI Funding Is Not for Your Pleasure

A letter from the federal Department of Education has sparked yet another controversy on the campuses of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This time, the issue is about how to honor the intentions of donors, with the donor being the federal government instead of a private individual or corporation. … Continue reading “No, Academia, Title VI Funding Is Not for Your Pleasure”


Why Do So Many North Carolina Colleges Have Such Low Graduation Rates?

The era of the four-year bachelor’s degree is over; today, only top students graduate within the traditional college timeline. Few North Carolina colleges can graduate the majority of their students within four years—the average four-year graduation rate is only 35 percent. Even so, that rate is better than the national average of 33.3 percent. The … Continue reading “Why Do So Many North Carolina Colleges Have Such Low Graduation Rates?”


Administrative Bloat: Where Does It Come From and What Is It Doing?

Philip Hamburger recently published a piece in the Wall Street Journal arguing that Congress should control administrative bloat by limiting student loan funds given to colleges with too many administrators. He is dead right about the vast increase in non-faculty bureaucracy in recent decades and the need to reduce it. But the sources of the … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat: Where Does It Come From and What Is It Doing?”


The End of Being a Duke Professor and What It Means for the Future of Higher Education

The end of the spring semester marks the 20th anniversary of my professorship at Duke, first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy. During this time, I regularly taught the required ethics class for all undergraduate public policy majors. I won multiple … Continue reading “The End of Being a Duke Professor and What It Means for the Future of Higher Education”