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”


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”