Free Speech at UNC: Improvement, but Still Lots to Do

In 2017, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 527 (now State Law 2017-196) in order to foster free, open inquiry in the state’s colleges and universities. One of the provisions ordered the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors to produce an annual report on two major categories of intellectual freedom: free speech … Continue reading “Free Speech at UNC: Improvement, but Still Lots to Do”



UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy

Reliable information is a prerequisite for good management. How can you make intelligent decisions if you are basing them on shaky information? This has been an ongoing problem for the University of North Carolina system, in which many high-level decisions are made by a governing board composed of part-time members. The main problem is that … Continue reading “UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy”


The Chairman of the Board Speaks

The winds of change have blown through the University of North Carolina System’s Board of Governors in recent years. In a state historically dominated by the Democratic Party, the board is now solely composed of members appointed by a Republican legislative majority. The board diminished in size in the last year—dropping from 32 to 28 … Continue reading “The Chairman of the Board Speaks”


Are North Carolina Universities Biased? Look at What Students Are Reading

North Carolina just added a new layer of meaning to its motto, First in Flight. This time the state is the first in the nation to get campus free speech off the runway.   The North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act lofts the idea that college students and invited speakers have a right to express … Continue reading “Are North Carolina Universities Biased? Look at What Students Are Reading”


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”


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”


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”