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”


Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?

In my 45 years of teaching I have never filed an academic complaint against another faculty member—nor has one ever been filed against me. I have long believed that this demonstrates the overwhelming integrity of the teaching profession. But in 2012, as a professor and former chair in film studies at the University of North … Continue reading “Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?”


Great Books Are Key for a Unified Education

The Great Books—the primary texts that include the greatest writings of Western Civilization—once formed the basis of all higher education. The highest levels of society were often closed to those who could not discuss the important works of the Classical period, Christianity, or the Enlightenment. Starting in the 19th century, their primacy diminished as the … Continue reading “Great Books Are Key for a Unified Education”


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?”


Who’s Really Playing Politics at UNC?

Once upon a time, there was a happy, sleepy university system in which nobody quarreled. The Board of Governors rubberstamped whatever the President wanted, the legislature gladly handed over whatever sums the President asked for, and the State Governor smiled on from above. But that period of comity in the governance of the University of … Continue reading “Who’s Really Playing Politics at UNC?”


How the North Carolina Legislature Can Improve Higher Education in 2018

Legislators returned to Raleigh last week for the beginning of a special session. Education was at the top of the agenda, with the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee meeting Tuesday to discuss various changes to North Carolina’s K-12 programs. That’s as it should be. Here in North Carolina, education makes up roughly 40 percent of … Continue reading “How the North Carolina Legislature Can Improve Higher Education in 2018”


An Ambassador of Civil Discourse

In today’s universities—and in society in general—the ability to engage in intellectually rigorous and courteous conversation can appear to be a lost art. All too often, the rule of politically correct opinions wields an overwhelming power over the ability to engage in thoughtful debate. But there is increasingly pressure to restore civil discourse to the … Continue reading “An Ambassador of Civil Discourse”


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”


Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning

In the past, I’ve been critical of commercial activity on North Carolina’s public university campuses. It competes with private business, attracts unfair tax advantages, and may (in some cases) violate provisions of the Umstead Act. It’s also far outside a public university’s three-part mission of education, research, and service. In most cases, I think business … Continue reading “Howling Cow Ice Cream: An NC State Experiment in Hands-On Learning”


We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’

University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings recently outlined her plans for higher education to drive economic prosperity in the News & Observer. Her “Two North Carolinas” class rhetoric was remarkably reminiscent of that of another North Carolina public figure with ties to the University of North Carolina. That is, failed (and disgraced) former … Continue reading “We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’”