Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?

Among the duties of a university’s board of trustees, there is perhaps no bigger responsibility than helping to select the leader of the campus—the chancellor/president. Such an important responsibility requires diligence and a deep understanding of the needs and culture of the university. Many boards, however, have become increasingly reliant on private search firms to … Continue reading “Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?”


Automatic Pay Raises for Teachers Create Perverse Incentives in Graduate Education

In 2013, North Carolina stopped giving automatic pay raises to public school teachers who earn master’s degrees. In the legislature, the debate focused on teachers and whether graduate degrees make them better at their jobs. There is little reason to believe so, as this and other studies show. Overlooked in this discussion is the predatory … Continue reading “Automatic Pay Raises for Teachers Create Perverse Incentives in Graduate Education”


NC’s Latest Higher Ed Budget: More Spending, Less Saving

The North Carolina General Assembly’s recently released budget for 2016-17 increases University of North Carolina System appropriations by $168 million, $31 million of which will be dedicated to fund projected enrollment increases. At many of the system’s 16 universities, however, increased funding for such a purpose is unnecessary. Furthermore, the new state higher education budget, … Continue reading “NC’s Latest Higher Ed Budget: More Spending, Less Saving”


Will New Transparency Measures Help North Carolina Students?

Whether or not you agree that a college degree is primarily worth its increase in potential earning power, students overwhelmingly rate the economic benefits of a degree as the top reason to go to college. And since students are faced with record rates of loan debt, delinquency, and default, it is especially important to ensure … Continue reading “Will New Transparency Measures Help North Carolina Students?”


College Dropouts Cost North Carolina Taxpayers $446M Per Year

Students who leave college with no degree but an accumulation of debt face obvious hardship, but what about taxpayer money wasted on students with no degrees? The results for North Carolina are staggering. Of the 155,982 students who enrolled in one of its 16 public universities last year, 52,184 will not graduate. To Dr. Harry … Continue reading “College Dropouts Cost North Carolina Taxpayers $446M Per Year”


Will the UNC System Rise Above Higher Education’s Status Quo?

UNC System leaders are overhauling their 2013 strategic planning initiative. Whether that will result in sound reform ideas, however, is up in the air. North Carolina’s university system is a powerful force in the state—armed with its own lobbying team, almost 50,000 employees, and a $9.5 billion annual budget. It is a machine with a tendency to aggrandize. Curbing its appetite for expansion and self-serving policies won’t be easy.



Welcome to North Carolina, Secretary Spellings

The search for the next University of North Carolina system president has finally concluded. Margaret Spellings, secretary of the U.S. Education Department during George W. Bush’s second presidential term, was unanimously elected by the system’s Board of Governors on October 23. Spellings, who will take the helm in March 2016, is a moderate Republican, but one who shows some promise of developing into a reform-minded university leader—a very welcome possibility. She opposes what she calls universities’ “send us the money and leave us alone” approach, and some of her views on higher education challenge those of the academic establishment.