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!”


Common Reading Programs: Political Fluff for Freshmen

Many colleges assign “common readings” to incoming students as an intellectual experience outside the classroom to set the bar for the academic rigor that professors expect of students. This tradition is most students’ first taste of the university. This well-meaning tradition, however, has become highly politicized and the quality of reading has significantly decreased over … Continue reading “Common Reading Programs: Political Fluff for Freshmen”


Did You Know? For UNC System Sports, Students Must Foot the Bill

Public universities in North Carolina can’t fund their athletic budgets from only ticket and merchandise sales; they must use subsidies to foot the rest of the bill. Sometimes the extra funds may come from the government, but more often than not, they are mandatory student fees, paid regardless of whether students watch or play a … Continue reading “Did You Know? For UNC System Sports, Students Must Foot the Bill”


University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet

The latest publication from The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, “University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet,” provides information on enrollment, tuition, graduation rates, student debt, and more for schools in the UNC system in an “at-a-glance”-style brochure. The fact sheet also examines significant trends in tuition rates, funding, and faculty, administration, … Continue reading “University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet”


Commencements Show the UNC System’s Struggles with Political Neutrality

In 2017, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 527 (now State Law 2017-196) to foster open inquiry in the state’s public colleges and universities. One of the provisions ordered the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors to produce an annual report on two categories of intellectual freedom: free speech and institutional neutrality. … Continue reading “Commencements Show the UNC System’s Struggles with Political Neutrality”


The High Price of Faculty and Administrative Salaries in the UNC System

Faculty pay can vary greatly across universities and even within the same university system. Among University of North Carolina schools, the type of institution can matter as much as a professor’s job title. Yet, for even the most highly paid professors, their salaries are eclipsed by administrators. A Martin Center analysis of salary data from … Continue reading “The High Price of Faculty and Administrative Salaries in the UNC System”


The Challenges That the UNC System’s Top Teachers See for the Future

Good teaching is vital for college students to learn, but the work demands on professors and what type of work is actually rewarded means that teaching can be of secondary importance. To keep teaching quality high, the University of North Carolina system tries to recognize great teaching. For 25 years, the UNC system has given … Continue reading “The Challenges That the UNC System’s Top Teachers See for the Future”


March Madness Means Skyhigh Athletics Spending

As March Madness hits and the public’s attention is on college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, few spectators know just how much the public subsidizes college sports. Within the University of North Carolina system, funding can range from $8 million at UNC-Asheville to an eye-popping $96 million at UNC-Chapel Hill. Revenue from broadcast agreements, ticket sales, and … Continue reading “March Madness Means Skyhigh Athletics Spending”


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’””


Colleges Should Stop Forcing Students to Live On-Campus

A long-time practice for many private universities has been to require most freshmen and sophomores to live in campus residence halls. State-supported public universities, too, have copied their private counterparts in recent years. However, doing so drives up the cost of education and restricts the constitutional rights of public university students—all in the name of … Continue reading “Colleges Should Stop Forcing Students to Live On-Campus”