How Much of an Effect Do University Writing Programs Have?

The list of top-rated college writing programs is dominated by private institutions. But North Carolina State University is one of only a few public universities to break through. It is well-respected for how it teaches writing. According to a 2017 U.S News & World Report poll, NC State’s writing program is #12 in the nation … Continue reading “How Much of an Effect Do University Writing Programs Have?”


Feminist Activism Masquerading as Education

The supposedly academic discipline of Women’s Studies is “an arm of the women’s movement,” according to philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers. And that movement is political; political activism is at least as fundamental to women’s studies as its academic components. As it says in the National Women’s Studies Association’s Constitution, the underlying goal of women’s studies … Continue reading “Feminist Activism Masquerading as Education”


The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’

Students in the United States have unprecedented options for postsecondary education: from brick-and-mortar liberal arts institutions and research-intensive doctoral universities to dual-enrollment high schools and online-only degree programs. Entrepreneurs are innovating continually to improve America’s higher education options. But a new report attempts to throw cold water on the higher education landscape. Entitled, “Disconnected from … Continue reading “The Curious Case of So-Called ‘Higher Education Deserts’”


Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards

I became interested in academic accountability within the university because I had no choice: the lack of accountability I experienced at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington obligated me to act. I had become embroiled in a situation where I was morally bound to report wrongdoing. But I had no idea that being a … Continue reading “Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards”


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”


University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

By now, most Americans are aware of the widespread waste and decadence at many private and public universities. From lazy rivers to exorbitant chancellors’ salaries, examples abound. But those well-publicized cases, problematic as they are, can be easily addressed by parents and students who pay tuition and by legislators who control the purse strings. However, … Continue reading “University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”


Why Conservative Policymakers Should Support Community Colleges

In the first installment of this series, I offered several reasons why conservative families ought to consider sending their kids to the local community college. This time, I would like to examine some of the reasons why conservative state legislators and other policymakers should be supportive of the two-year colleges in their states. I do … Continue reading “Why Conservative Policymakers Should Support Community Colleges”


The Quizzical Case of UNC’s “Buy Local” Resolution

State governments have long favored giving preferential treatment to businesses in the state. North Carolina, for instance, has a general policy that favors local companies for state purchases. Now, in a perplexing move, University of North Carolina system is exploring a similar measure. At a December meeting, the Board of Governors discussed a “buy local” … Continue reading “The Quizzical Case of UNC’s “Buy Local” Resolution”


Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?

On Valentine’s Day, The University of North Carolina System released “Leading on Literacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Preparation Across the University of North Carolina System.” For me, it was not love at first sight. “Leading on Literacy” represents the latest effort by the UNC System to address the shortcomings of teacher education programs generally and literacy … Continue reading “Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?”


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”