Did You know? The North Carolina Legislature Provides 41% of the UNC System’s Operational Funding

The North Carolina General Assembly often takes heat from the media on the topic of funding for education. But at least some of that criticism is unfounded. The General Assembly has been generous to the UNC system for many years. State appropriations are the single biggest source of funding for the UNC system: 41 percent … Continue reading “Did You know? The North Carolina Legislature Provides 41% of the UNC System’s Operational Funding”


Did You Know? Most UNC System Grads Stay in North Carolina

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly reported the percentage of in-state freshmen at UNC-Chapel Hill. The correct figure is 82 percent. For a lot of students in the University of North Carolina system, North Carolina is the place they call home well before they begin college. In 2018, roughly 82 percent of … Continue reading “Did You Know? Most UNC System Grads Stay in North Carolina”


Did You Know? Administrative Expenditures in the UNC System Keep Climbing

Expenditures for institutional support in the UNC system have increased significantly: from $2,217 per student in 2006 to $4,069 per student in 2017. Adjusted for inflation, that’s nearly 50 percent growth in just 11 years. According to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, “institutional support” expenditures include: [E]xpenses for general administrative services, central executive-level activities … Continue reading “Did You Know? Administrative Expenditures in the UNC System Keep Climbing”


Why Do So Many North Carolina Colleges Have Such Low Graduation Rates?

The era of the four-year bachelor’s degree is over; today, only top students graduate within the traditional college timeline. Few North Carolina colleges can graduate the majority of their students within four years—the average four-year graduation rate is only 35 percent. Even so, that rate is better than the national average of 33.3 percent. The … Continue reading “Why Do So Many North Carolina Colleges Have Such Low Graduation Rates?”


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”