Public Universities Exploit Eminent Domain Powers with Little Oversight

Colleges tend to expand beyond their original missions by hiring more administrators and creating new programs. But they can also expand physically by exercising power usually reserved for state and federal governments. When that happens, universities can abuse their power and undermine the public good. For a prime example of this expansion, look at how … Continue reading “Public Universities Exploit Eminent Domain Powers with Little Oversight”

Paranoia and Paternalism Fuel the Fight Against “Rape Culture”

For several years, colleges have been battling an alleged campus “rape culture.” Before taking their first class, almost half a million students are taught that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in college. As a result of this and other efforts on the part of faculty and administrators, many women are led to … Continue reading “Paranoia and Paternalism Fuel the Fight Against “Rape Culture””

Guaranteed Tuition Plans Pose Greater Risk Than Potential Benefit

Amid what appears to be a national crisis of student debt, legislators and higher education leaders have clamored for a more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. Guaranteed tuition programs are among the innovations gaining traction. More than 300 colleges offer these programs, and a group of North Carolina legislators wants to explore whether to add the state’s 17 public universities to the growing list. While that may seem like a good idea, there are potential negative consequences for both students and universities.

Supremely Naive: The Impact of Southworth on the “Marketplace of Ideas”

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Board of Regents v. Southworth that using mandatory student fees to fund student organizations and speakers does not violate the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with the content. The Court’s decision, however, was premised on the idea that university officials would be “viewpoint neutral” in allocating funds—that they would not let the process be used to promote or silence any political perspectives. The Court was dreadfully naive about the state of affairs on campus. Its deferential attitude toward universities and the assumption of good faith speaks to a generation gap between what the justices experienced as students and what today’s students encounter.

The University of Illinois’ Global Campus Initiative

Online education has largely been treated like a stepchild in the world of higher education. It gets a bit of food and some old clothes, but not much attention in comparison with the university’s real children. A new online initiative begun by the University of Illinois, however, may give this Cinderella a more prominent place than it has had before.

Announced last May, the Global Campus Initiative (GCI) is a remarkable university undertaking that should give online education more prominence. What’s more, the GCI is intended to be a profit-making venture and the startup capital will be raised from private sources. The tuition paid by students – and no breaks for Illinois residents – are expected to cover all costs. Implicitly, Illinois is saying, “We think we have an educational product that will pass the test of the market.” Very interesting, especially since several high-profile online education ventures have failed.