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?”


The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition

Last month, just before the new academic year began, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter (reproduced in this piece) to all incoming students. It was meant to reaffirm the university’s commitment to free speech and inform the students that they shouldn’t expect the academic environment at Chicago to include … Continue reading “The University of Chicago’s Support for Free Speech Sparks Opposition”


Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?

Among the duties of a university’s board of trustees, there is perhaps no bigger responsibility than helping to select the leader of the campus—the chancellor/president. Such an important responsibility requires diligence and a deep understanding of the needs and culture of the university. Many boards, however, have become increasingly reliant on private search firms to … Continue reading “Should Universities Be Outsourcing Their Chancellor Searches?”


The Freshman Experience: Social Justice Indoctrination and Academic Handholding

It took less than a week into the 2016-2017 academic year for several outrageous stories to surface on college campuses. At the University of Texas at Austin, thousands of students protested the state’s new campus carry law by wielding sex toys in a campaign called “Cocks Not Glocks.” The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee told students that … Continue reading “The Freshman Experience: Social Justice Indoctrination and Academic Handholding”