What Should We Teach in Journalism Schools? 

There’s something rotten in American journalism schools. From a tendency toward bias to outright activism, journalism in higher education is not what it should be: a place to guide young writers through a liberal education that teaches them how to think, report, and write clearly. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s attempted hiring … Continue reading “What Should We Teach in Journalism Schools? “


Are Summer Reading Assignments Indoctrinating Freshmen?

Often, incoming freshmen receive their first university assignment before the school year even begins: the summer reading. Many institutions see the summer reading assignment as an opportunity for new students to develop a sense of camaraderie. By reading the same book, the idea is that students will engage in thought-provoking conversations and have a shared … Continue reading “Are Summer Reading Assignments Indoctrinating Freshmen?”


Are College Exit Exams a Valid Measure of Learning? It’s Complicated

Given the enormity of the public and private investment in US higher education, of course we should evaluate its effectiveness. But, how? It is claimed that over 200 higher education institutions administer the one-size-fits-all Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA). When administered pre-post—that is, near the beginning and then again near the end of a student’s program—the … Continue reading “Are College Exit Exams a Valid Measure of Learning? It’s Complicated”


Are Students Learning the Right Skills? Why Academia Needs to Go Back to the “Basics”

Last year, Forbes published a headline, “Americans rank a Google internship over a Harvard degree.” It seems higher education is quickly losing hold of its value proposition as the best way to prepare for a job or advance in one’s career. And that’s not because of a lack of new advancements or insights. Especially in … Continue reading “Are Students Learning the Right Skills? Why Academia Needs to Go Back to the “Basics””


Did You Know? The Higher Education Profile of North Carolina Business Leaders

Is having a college degree a critical dimension in becoming a business leader for those running North Carolina’s largest corporations? We have analyzed that question as part of a broader study of the relationship between higher education and corporate leadership in the United States, work currently being undertaken for the James G. Martin Center. Specifically, … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Higher Education Profile of North Carolina Business Leaders”


Don’t Cancel Rigor

The Chronicle of Higher Education has just published the latest assault on academic standards, Jordynn Jack and Viji Sathy’s “It’s Time to Cancel the Word ‘Rigor’.” Jack teaches rhetoric and comparative literature, Sathy psychology and neuroscience; both teach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their article cloaks a radical ‘equity’ agenda in … Continue reading “Don’t Cancel Rigor”


Universities and Meritocracy

We take it for granted that people are free to use their abilities as they choose, and as a result, society as a whole benefits from their work and innovations. Progress depends on this. Today our lives are vastly better than those of our distant ancestors because individuals were free to try new ideas. For … Continue reading “Universities and Meritocracy”


Building a “Robust Free Expression Culture on Campus”

Many college campuses aren’t as hospitable to open inquiry and free expression as they should be. However, there is reason for hope. Numerous individuals and organizations across the country have dedicated themselves to the task of helping policymakers, administrators, faculty, and students understand the value of civil dialogue and disagreement. One of those organizations is … Continue reading “Building a “Robust Free Expression Culture on Campus””


Making a College Degree More Valuable the Wrong Way

It’s old news by now that the wage premium attached to a college degree largely depends on the field of study. Engineering and health care, for example, are far more likely to lead to a faster economic payoff than the arts or religion. But what if prospective employers were provided convincing evidence that graduates actually … Continue reading “Making a College Degree More Valuable the Wrong Way”


Could College Exit Exams Restore Confidence in Higher Ed?

Although there is no shortage of college graduates, a degree alone, unfortunately, does not guarantee students learned anything of substance while in college. The grade point averages listed at the top of many graduates’ resumes aren’t always reflective of students’ actual academic capabilities. University classes, particularly in the humanities, have become increasingly watered-down, making students’ … Continue reading “Could College Exit Exams Restore Confidence in Higher Ed?”