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”


An Ambassador of Civil Discourse

In today’s universities—and in society in general—the ability to engage in intellectually rigorous and courteous conversation can appear to be a lost art. All too often, the rule of politically correct opinions wields an overwhelming power over the ability to engage in thoughtful debate. But there is increasingly pressure to restore civil discourse to the … Continue reading “An Ambassador of Civil Discourse”


The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff

The University of North Carolina was founded with an excellent governance structure—with one glaring flaw that allows power to be concentrated in the General Administration rather than dispersed between the several branches. That flaw is the Board of Governors’ dependence on the administration for information. In 2013, I proposed that this problem could be corrected … Continue reading “The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff”


Senate Budget Is Prudent, Predictable (And That’s a Good Thing)

The budget released by the North Carolina Senate in early May sets a careful course for higher education. It includes modest increases over last year’s budget for both the University of North Carolina system and the state’s community college system. It also includes several policy changes aimed at making higher education more transparent and efficient. … Continue reading “Senate Budget Is Prudent, Predictable (And That’s a Good Thing)”


Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members

Since 2010, the UNC system’s Board of Governors has become somewhat more conservative and more interested in serious educational reforms. Members of the Board have professed interest in decreasing costs, rolling back university mission creep, and improving academic standards. But progress has been slow. Part of the problem can be attributed to the structure of … Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members”


Starving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow

Listening to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor Gene Nichol’s radical riff ripping trustees and the UNC system’s Board of Governors as cowards, and Republican lawmakers as oppressive racists, one might get the feeling he is on a career suicide mission. But in an auditorium half filled with fawning university professor compatriots … Continue readingStarving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow”


UNC System Board of Governors Luncheon

Our annual UNC system Board of Governors luncheon will be held at 12PM on Friday, January 13 at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill. This year’s featured speaker is Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC and contributing editor at National Review Online. Dr. Kurtz will discuss … Continue reading “UNC System Board of Governors Luncheon”


Your Generosity Is Helping to Improve Higher Education

As each year comes to a close, I take some time to review what the Pope Center accomplished during the previous 52 weeks, to analyze what challenges we still face, and to plan for what awaits us in January and beyond. None of our work here would be possible without you, so I wanted to … Continue reading “Your Generosity Is Helping to Improve Higher Education”


The Higher Education Establishment’s Self-Interest Goes Unchecked—Again

Recently, a legislative proposal aimed at improving graduation rates at the University of North Carolina system’s 16 institutions was nixed due to vehement opposition from university leaders. In its place is a watered-down initiative that delays much-needed reform and emphasizes academic handholding rather than high academic standards and student readiness. There is a strong connection … Continue reading “The Higher Education Establishment’s Self-Interest Goes Unchecked—Again”


Should Universities Be “Sanctuaries” for Illegal Immigrants?

On November 16, thousands of students at public and private universities across the country walked out of classes to protest the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. One of their main goals was to urge college officials to declare their campuses as “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants—a controversial move that could start a political battle … Continue reading “Should Universities Be “Sanctuaries” for Illegal Immigrants?”