Mental Health and the Professoriate During the Pandemic

Remember the stereotype of the lazy college professor living an almost stress-free life while enjoying tenure, virtually a sinecure, often supported by taxpayer dollars? Tomes and articles identifying examples of this professor abound. Along with this job protection comes the opportunity to impose political correctness with impunity. Try telling that story to true contrarians. For … Continue reading “Mental Health and the Professoriate During the Pandemic”

Did You Know? For Shape of Post-Virus Higher Ed, Watch Public Colleges

Doomsday predictions for higher education are a dime a dozen. The grandest claims expect “a handful of elite cyborg universities” to reshape a college education. Less-dire guesses see an end to the “buffet” of programs, extracurriculars, and university revenues common today. And pre-coronavirus visions of the future expected a variety of disruptions that failed to … Continue reading “Did You Know? For Shape of Post-Virus Higher Ed, Watch Public Colleges”

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”

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”

Feminist Activism Masquerading as Education

The supposedly academic discipline of Women’s Studies is “an arm of the women’s movement,” according to philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers. And that movement is political; political activism is at least as fundamental to women’s studies as its academic components. As it says in the National Women’s Studies Association’s Constitution, the underlying goal of women’s studies … Continue reading “Feminist Activism Masquerading as Education”

Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards

I became interested in academic accountability within the university because I had no choice: the lack of accountability I experienced at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington obligated me to act. I had become embroiled in a situation where I was morally bound to report wrongdoing. But I had no idea that being a … Continue reading “Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards”

Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?

In my 45 years of teaching I have never filed an academic complaint against another faculty member—nor has one ever been filed against me. I have long believed that this demonstrates the overwhelming integrity of the teaching profession. But in 2012, as a professor and former chair in film studies at the University of North … Continue reading “Is Faculty Accountability Lacking at UNC Wilmington?”

Due Process: Restoring a Fundamental Right on Campus

Four years ago, brothers at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at UNC Wilmington (UNCW) brought campus due process—or lack thereof—into the sunlight. The young men had been accused of hazing and underage drinking. Although the students were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, they endured an unfair and onerous investigation and adjudication process to prove their … Continue reading “Due Process: Restoring a Fundamental Right on Campus”

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?”

Online Course Exchanges: Models of Efficiency

Small classes and programs are often praised for offering students more personal attention and one-on-one time with professors. But when programs are too small, students and universities suffer. Students find it difficult to enroll in the courses they need for graduation. Universities spend scarce resources on low-productivity activities. The Pope Center documented the problem two … Continue reading “Online Course Exchanges: Models of Efficiency”