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”


A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings

Although Margaret Spellings will be leaving her post as president of the University of North Carolina system prematurely on January 15, she started several programs in her three years on the job. One of those programs is NC Promise, which went into effect this fall semester. NC Promise lowers the cost of tuition to $500 … Continue reading “A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings”


Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents

The sudden departure of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents a unique opportunity to address academia’s most serious problem. The problem is intellectual, not operational or economic. Recent UNC presidents have focused on issues such as access, efficiency, and economic development, as did Spellings. All of these require … Continue reading “Time to Break the Mold for UNC Presidents”


UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy

Reliable information is a prerequisite for good management. How can you make intelligent decisions if you are basing them on shaky information? This has been an ongoing problem for the University of North Carolina system, in which many high-level decisions are made by a governing board composed of part-time members. The main problem is that … Continue reading “UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy”


Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework

Though college leaders constantly remind the public about the value of a college degree, graduates sometimes leave without important knowledge. As Americans celebrate the 4th of July holiday, it’s a good time to reflect on just how little college students know about the Declaration of Independence and American history. The data are depressing. A 2016 … Continue reading “Colleges Reject Duty to Teach Liberty’s Framework”


Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State

Increasing teacher pay to improve teaching quality has grabbed media attention for months. But North Carolina’s General Assembly has been trying to figure out how to get better teachers into the classroom in other ways, too. Three proposed bills have a chance to make a difference. But what makes them stand out from other education … Continue reading “Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State”


Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?

On Valentine’s Day, The University of North Carolina System released “Leading on Literacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Teacher Preparation Across the University of North Carolina System.” For me, it was not love at first sight. “Leading on Literacy” represents the latest effort by the UNC System to address the shortcomings of teacher education programs generally and literacy … Continue reading “Is the UNC System Serious about Teacher Training Reform?”


We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’

University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings recently outlined her plans for higher education to drive economic prosperity in the News & Observer. Her “Two North Carolinas” class rhetoric was remarkably reminiscent of that of another North Carolina public figure with ties to the University of North Carolina. That is, failed (and disgraced) former … Continue reading “We’re One People, Not ‘Two North Carolinas’”


Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar

The college diploma has long been regarded as the ticket to the good life. And most well-paid jobs require some kind of academic credential. But academia is not the only place to learn valuable skills and reasoning. The United States armed forces also have a long track record for training young people for demanding tasks. … Continue reading “Easing the Transition from Soldier to Scholar”