UNC Board Steps Up to Defend Civil Discourse on Campus

An important new front in the culture war has opened up at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one with major implications about intellectual diversity and how universities in North Carolina are to be governed. The controversy concerns plans for a new “Program on Civic Virtue and Civil Discourse,” scheduled to begin in … Continue reading “UNC Board Steps Up to Defend Civil Discourse on Campus”


Free Speech: A Year in Review for UNC Campuses

Last year, the Martin Center released its first report on the state of free speech and institutional neutrality in the UNC system. The report serves two main purposes. The first is to measure how much of an effect the free speech law has had on the state’s public colleges and universities. The law, also known … Continue reading “Free Speech: A Year in Review for UNC Campuses”


Did You Know? UNC System Bucks Trend Favoring Out-of-State Students

Flagship universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other public universities were created by their states primarily to support the higher educational needs of in-state students. Increasingly, however, in-state colleges are enrolling more out-of state students because they bring in more revenue. The Washington Post highlighted this trend and showed … Continue reading “Did You Know? UNC System Bucks Trend Favoring Out-of-State Students”


Educate the Educators!

North Carolina schools have a serious literacy problem; most likely, that means it has a teacher education problem. The University of North Carolina system is exploring ways to correct the situation—yet questions remain whether they can effect much improvement. The 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed that less than 40 percent of the … Continue reading “Educate the Educators!”


The Essential Ingredient for a ‘Deep Education’

About a year ago, Princeton philosopher Robert P. George came to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to speak about civil discourse and diversity of thought with the UNC system Board of Governors. He returned on February 8, but this time he came with Cornel West, a long-time friend and philosopher at Harvard University, as guest speakers … Continue reading “The Essential Ingredient for a ‘Deep Education’”


The Board Ain’t Broke, So It Don’t Need “Fixin’”

Attacks by academics and the media on the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors have become a major part of the state’s political landscape in recent years, and such attacks may be intensifying. The board is described at times as inept, divisive, “partisan,” “anti-intellectual,” and mean-spirited; unless they are “reined in,” North Carolina’s … Continue reading “The Board Ain’t Broke, So It Don’t Need “Fixin’””


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?”


Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform

The surprise resignation of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents an opportunity to improve the system’s insufficient governance policies. The key to this improvement is to hire an independent staff member for the Board of Governors, subject only to the board. The state legislature has already recognized this … Continue reading “Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform”


Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time

Americans’ trust in higher education is crumbling. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 48 percent of American adults have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education. That number is down from 57 percent in 2015—the largest decline in confidence of any other institution. In efforts to rebuild that trust, … Continue reading “Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time”


A New Campus Invention for Policing Speech

Colleges are using a new tool with the frightening potential to shut down open dialogue. They go by the benign-sounding name of “bias response teams.”  Bias response teams monitor what students and faculty say. They encourage students to report, often anonymously, comments or behavior that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened, even if the speech … Continue reading “A New Campus Invention for Policing Speech”