Free Speech: A Year in Review for UNC Campuses

Last year, the Martin Center released its first report on the state of free speech and institutional neutrality in the UNC system. The report serves two main purposes. The first is to measure how much of an effect the free speech law has had on the state’s public colleges and universities. The law, also known … Continue reading “Free Speech: A Year in Review for UNC Campuses”


Did You Know? The Uneven Performance of UNC Education Schools

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) rates teacher education programs on how well they teach different subjects such as science, social science, and content knowledge. As Shannon Watkins describes, most public North Carolina education programs do a poor job teaching the future educators of the state. And education schools at University of North Carolina … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Uneven Performance of UNC Education Schools”


Did You Know? North Carolina’s Robust Online Education Options

Distance education has expanded greatly thanks to the internet, making higher education accessible to non-traditional students. Distance-learners simply turn on their computers and join their online class to access lectures, readings, assignments, and more. North Carolina is ahead of the nation in distance education. As of 2017, 91 percent of North Carolina colleges offered distance … Continue reading “Did You Know? North Carolina’s Robust Online Education Options”


Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses

It can be tempting for college leaders to focus solely on data that support their policy initiatives—to the exclusion of other relevant information. Unfortunately, intentionally or not, University of North Carolina system president Margaret Spellings seems to have given in to this temptation. At Spellings’ last meeting of the UNC Board of Governors with her … Continue reading “Looking at Higher Ed Through Rose-Colored Glasses”


Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform

The surprise resignation of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents an opportunity to improve the system’s insufficient governance policies. The key to this improvement is to hire an independent staff member for the Board of Governors, subject only to the board. The state legislature has already recognized this … Continue reading “Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform”


Are North Carolina Universities Biased? Look at What Students Are Reading

North Carolina just added a new layer of meaning to its motto, First in Flight. This time the state is the first in the nation to get campus free speech off the runway.   The North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act lofts the idea that college students and invited speakers have a right to express … Continue reading “Are North Carolina Universities Biased? Look at What Students Are Reading”


Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement

Using Advanced Placement (AP) courses to fulfill college requirements has long helped college students save both time and money. But there are varying opinions about the value of AP courses and exams, with some arguing that they do not match the rigor of introductory college courses they replace. This disagreement sometimes leads to inconsistency in … Continue reading “Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement”


Public Universities as Commercial Landlords: Where Do We Draw the Line?

Late last year, NC State University purchased two small office buildings on Oberlin Road, near the university’s East campus, for the price of $3.1 million. Their location, situated between NC State’s historic bell tower and the thriving private, mixed-use community at Cameron Village, has considerable commercial value. If State finds new tenants for the buildings … Continue reading “Public Universities as Commercial Landlords: Where Do We Draw the Line?”


Study Only What You Want? Not If You Want to Be Successful

Recently, a general education course at UNC-Chapel Hill, “Big-Time College Sports,” was canceled. This sparked controversy after the course’s professor, Jay Smith, argued that the class, which he had taught in previous semesters, was axed because its treatment of Chapel Hill’s recent academic/athletics scandal cast the university in a negative light. Lost in much of … Continue reading “Study Only What You Want? Not If You Want to Be Successful”


A Graduate’s Perspective: Thought Police Are Undermining Higher Education

During my time at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I graduated this spring, many of my peers and professors seemed to genuinely care about the free exchange of ideas, students were often pushed to explore all sides of an issue, and analysis of factual evidence was usually a key goal of … Continue reading “A Graduate’s Perspective: Thought Police Are Undermining Higher Education”