A New Chapter in UNC Board Governance

It’s been a couple of months since Randy Ramsey became the chairman of the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors. Since his appointment in October, Ramsey’s tenure has been enveloped in the ongoing saga surrounding the Silent Sam monument. But even though the monument consumes headlines, many other important issues go before the … Continue reading “A New Chapter in UNC Board Governance”


Without Financial Transparency, Colleges Mislabel Research Spending as Instructional

Public colleges spend public money, but college officials are reluctant to make information about their budgets easy to understand. That aversion to transparency makes it easier to pass non-instructional expenses along to students. Many experts have discussed the problem. But without transparency, it can be hard to show just how much so-called instruction is actually … Continue reading “Without Financial Transparency, Colleges Mislabel Research Spending as Instructional”


Why Does North Carolina Keep Bailing Out ECU’s Medical School?

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has been bailed out by the state to stay afloat, but it’s hard to say how, exactly, North Carolina has benefited by doing so. The difficulty in evaluating the school comes from a lack of transparency, oversight, and clear results. Funding that began as a temporary … Continue reading “Why Does North Carolina Keep Bailing Out ECU’s Medical School?”


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”


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”


The Chinese Don’t Like Academic Freedom, So American Schools Should Avoid Their Confucius Institutes

Academic freedom has long been a guiding principle for American colleges and universities: Neither faculty nor students should be told what to say or punished for saying whatever they think. That principle has been under attack in recent years as militants try to drive out those who dissent from their beliefs, but for the most … Continue reading “The Chinese Don’t Like Academic Freedom, So American Schools Should Avoid Their Confucius Institutes”


No Accountability: UNC System Foundations Operate in Secrecy

The UNC System is flush with foundations that raise money for their associated universities, and researchers who have looked at these types of organizations on a national level have called them “slush funds” and “shadow corporations” that too often operate in secrecy, despite spending taxpayers’ money. The unusual practice in North Carolina in which foundations buy property, then lease space back to their universities, has raised eyebrows among some of those experts.