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”


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”