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”


Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests

Today’s protest-ridden climate on college campuses might lead one to suspect that they are hotbeds of political disruption controlled by social justice warriors.  All over the country, speakers are shouted down, professors are harassed and even assaulted, students are intimidated—while administrators grovel, patronize, pander, and quake.  Fortunately, the situation isn’t quite so dim on most … Continue reading “Standing Athwart Social Justice Protests”


Should the Confederate Monuments Stay or Go?

It’s been more than two weeks since white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to march against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue and chant racist slogans. Social media captured the ensuing chaos and violence in real-time: a white nationalist terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman and injuring … Continue reading “Should the Confederate Monuments Stay or Go?”


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”


Dear Secretary DeVos, Please Prioritize Financial Literacy

Congratulations, Secretary DeVos, on your recent appointment to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Now the real work begins. Your position requires you to prioritize competing educational ideas to promote the mission of “student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness.” While much attention has been given to your advancement of school choice, I write to … Continue reading “Dear Secretary DeVos, Please Prioritize Financial Literacy”


No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era

At this year’s Association of American Colleges and Universities meeting, held in late January in San Francisco, a sense of misgiving filled the conference hall. Panelists raised, implicitly, the question whether higher education has become out of touch with Donald Trump’s America. They fretted over their belief that the current social and political climate is … Continue reading “No Lessons Learned: Campus Intolerance Intensifies in the Trump Era”


Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?

It’s been more than five years since whistleblowers uncovered extensive academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, the NCAA has released its third notice of allegations against the school. But, so far, there have been no official sanctions. Other schools have been less fortunate. Many have faced swift punishment from the NCAA for academic misconduct. The severity of the sanctions … Continue reading “Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?”


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 “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?

When universities institute things such as “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings,” they often justify doing so in the name of protecting students’ mental health. Critics, on the other hand, argue that universities are more often protecting students from ideas with which they disagree and shielding them from the vicissitudes of adulthood. But there is at … Continue reading “The “Snowflake” Generation: Real or Imagined?”