A Conversation with UNC System President Peter Hans

A new leader took the helm of the University of North Carolina system during a tumultuous time. In the midst of a global pandemic, Peter Hans was elected UNC system president on June 19, 2020 and assumed the role in August. The position was previously held by interim president Bill Roper, who stepped in after … Continue reading “A Conversation with UNC System President Peter Hans”


New Research Shows Federal Student Aid Is Worse than We Thought

For years I have railed against the dysfunctional federal student loan program. The availability of cheap federal student loans has enabled universities to increase tuition fees aggressively, helping fund an unproductive academic arms race that, among other things, has led to sizable administrative bloat on most campuses. The proportion of recent college graduates from the … Continue reading “New Research Shows Federal Student Aid Is Worse than We Thought”


The Board Ain’t Broke, So It Don’t Need “Fixin’”

Attacks by academics and the media on the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors have become a major part of the state’s political landscape in recent years, and such attacks may be intensifying. The board is described at times as inept, divisive, “partisan,” “anti-intellectual,” and mean-spirited; unless they are “reined in,” North Carolina’s … Continue reading “The Board Ain’t Broke, So It Don’t Need “Fixin’””


Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses

It can be tempting for college leaders to focus solely on data that support their policy initiatives—to the exclusion of other relevant information. Unfortunately, intentionally or not, University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings seems to have given in to this temptation. At Spellings’ last meeting of the UNC Board of Governors with her … Continue reading “Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses”


What We Would Like to See in the New Year

It’s been a remarkable year for higher education. We ranked the most important events of 2018 in last week’s article. But now it’s time to look ahead. Here is what members of the Martin Center staff would like to see happen in academia in 2019.   Jenna A. Robinson, President More States Adopting Due Process … Continue reading “What We Would Like to See in the New Year”


The 10 Most Important Higher Education Events of 2018

This year has been a turbulent one for higher education. From #MeToo to academic hoaxes, colleges and universities across the country have had to grapple with new problems that continue to shake individuals’ confidence in higher education. Here are the ten events we think have been the most significant: Jenna A. Robinson, President 1. Purdue … Continue reading “The 10 Most Important Higher Education Events of 2018”


A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings

Although Margaret Spellings will be leaving her post as president of the University of North Carolina system prematurely on January 15, she started several programs in her three years on the job. One of those programs is NC Promise, which went into effect this fall semester. NC Promise lowers the cost of tuition to $500 … Continue reading “A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings”


Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents

The sudden departure of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents a unique opportunity to address academia’s most serious problem. The problem is intellectual, not operational or economic. Recent UNC presidents have focused on issues such as access, efficiency, and economic development, as did Spellings. All of these require … Continue reading “Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents”


Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform

The surprise resignation of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents an opportunity to improve the system’s insufficient governance policies. The key to this improvement is to hire an independent staff member for the Board of Governors, subject only to the board. The state legislature has already recognized this … Continue reading “Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform”


Silent Sam’s Last Stand?

Silent Sam, the statue of a weary, stoic Confederate Army foot soldier, came crashing down Monday night, pulled down from his post at the edge of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus by a howling mob of protesters. But a lot more fell than a Progressive-era statue of a Confederate soldier. Another brick in the wall that … Continue reading “Silent Sam’s Last Stand?”