North Carolina’s Universities Are Affordable—But There’s Room for Improvement

Each year, higher education seems to become less and less affordable: As tuition prices continue to rise, an increasing number of students leave college with crippling amounts of student loan debt. Yet, some state university systems have managed to keep the cost of attendance down. One is in North Carolina, where the average cost of … Continue reading “North Carolina’s Universities Are Affordable—But There’s Room for Improvement”


Fun with Numbers: UNC-Asheville’s Economic Impact Study Is Marketing, Not Fact

Too often, universities use studies about themselves as marketing opportunities rather than a chance to understand reality. This is especially true with “economic impact” studies that purport to examine a university’s effect on a local economy. One recent example, for the University of North Carolina at Asheville, unfortunately, follows this mold. Produced by a consulting … Continue reading “Fun with Numbers: UNC-Asheville’s Economic Impact Study Is Marketing, Not Fact”


North Carolina Works to Ensure Success of Military Students

Drone pilots have assumed an increasingly valuable role in military operations. Soon they may be able to leverage their unique experience into academic credits through the North Carolina Community College System. That is just one among a multitude of military occupations and training modules for which the UNC System and Community College System might one … Continue reading “North Carolina Works to Ensure Success of Military Students”


Just How Many Diversity Employees Does the UNC System Need?

In June 2017 the North Carolina General Assembly requested that the state’s university system conduct a thorough analysis of its diversity and inclusion efforts as part of an ongoing assessment of programs’ cost efficiency and performance. Within three months from now, the legislature will receive a report that catalogs the system’s diversity procedures rather than … Continue reading “Just How Many Diversity Employees Does the UNC System Need?”


What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018

New Year’s Day means a time to take stock of what’s happened on college campuses. Higher education in 2017 had more of students leading campus protests, college administrators struggling to protect free speech for controversial speakers, and some politicians defending academic integrity. Some of those trends have been positive while others are, with any luck, … Continue reading “What to Look For in Higher Ed in 2018”


Budget Cuts to Push Intellectual Diversity? There Are Better Ways

Temperatures in North Carolina may not yet have reached their high point this summer, but tensions certainly are heating up now between the UNC School of Law and the North Carolina General Assembly over the latter’s proposed budget. The North Carolina Senate’s budget proposal, now being debated in the House, includes a $4 million reduction … Continue reading “Budget Cuts to Push Intellectual Diversity? There Are Better Ways”


Inquiry #19: Tuition Waivers at the N.C. School of Science and Math

Since the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) opened in 1980, the school has attracted some of the state’s top high school students to come to Durham study at the residential high school. At the school, students take college-level courses, and they have performed well on SAT tests and in national competitions and been admitted to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. In recognition of the school’s generally high level of academic achievement, in 2003 the General Assembly instituted a policy of waiving tuition charges for NCSSM graduates who enroll in any University of North Carolina institution. That policy, however, cannot be justified by any of the arguments advanced in its favor. It produces no public benefit, costs the state money, and unfairly discriminates in favor of NCSSM graduates.




Will Spending on University Campuses Cause Prosperity?

Proponents of the University of North Carolina’s huge spending program — to be financed with bonds that don’t require voter approval — have been pulling out all the stops. In a General Assembly committee hearing on the legislation, UNC President Molly Broad said that it should be approved because the late UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker wanted it. That was within hours of his death.