What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology

Jenna A. Robinson, President Jacques Barzun’s magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, has been a revelation—of my own inadequate history education. As the title says, the book covers 500 years of Western culture from 1500 to (almost) 2000. Barzun organizes the book around four important “revolutions:” religious, monarchical, liberal, and … Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology”


Did You Know? 86 Colleges Have Closed or Merged Since 2016

Since 2016, colleges and universities have fought to stay open as enrollments fall, especially liberal arts colleges. Many colleges are adding more certificate programs in technology fields and dropping low-enrollment humanities programs. The threat has been most acute for small liberal-arts colleges with small endowments that rely on tuition for most of their revenue. To … Continue reading “Did You Know? 86 Colleges Have Closed or Merged Since 2016”


Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?

Many Americans crow that our higher education system is “the envy of the world,” even though it’s nearly impossible to point to any proof of that. In truth, however, some Americans look down on our system, saying that it is clearly inferior to that of other nations, such as Japan and Finland. A recent study … Continue reading “Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?”


UNC Board Steps Up to Defend Civil Discourse on Campus

An important new front in the culture war has opened up at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one with major implications about intellectual diversity and how universities in North Carolina are to be governed. The controversy concerns plans for a new “Program on Civic Virtue and Civil Discourse,” scheduled to begin in … Continue reading “UNC Board Steps Up to Defend Civil Discourse on Campus”


The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University

The modern American university has changed almost beyond recognition from the form it had even 100 years ago. It is larger, more “diverse,” more of a business, and more industrialized with relatively fewer teachers and more bureaucrats than ever before. Those changes have led to new problems. Higher education, if not broken, is at least … Continue reading “The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University”


The 20th-Century Idea of a Cultivated Man

Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from the 1910 introduction to The Harvard Classics by Charles W. Eliot, a long-serving president of Harvard and an advocate of a liberal arts education. In light of its wisdom about the value of the liberal arts and Eliot’s goal in making the classics accessible to every American, the … Continue reading “The 20th-Century Idea of a Cultivated Man”


Advising and Peer Connections: Helping Transfer Students Earn a College Degree

Jumping right into a four-year university after high school isn’t for everybody. There are numerous reasons why, for some students, attending a community college and then transferring to a four-year university is the most prudent decision. For some, it’s financially practical. The low cost of community college allows students to virtually cut the cost of … Continue reading “Advising and Peer Connections: Helping Transfer Students Earn a College Degree”


The Better Teacher: A Professor or Another Student?

Professors, particularly at research universities, wear many hats. On the one hand, they are instructors, entrusted to pass on knowledge to their students. On the other hand, they are researchers and are expected to add to their field’s body of knowledge. As a way to help professors balance their two roles, “discussion sections” have become … Continue reading “The Better Teacher: A Professor or Another Student?”


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”


Can American Higher Education Be Restored?

People who analyze and write about higher education generally fall into two camps. One camp consists of those who believe that our system is “the envy of the world” and just needs more public support to do its great work of improving our citizens and strengthening our economy. (For a sense of what that camp … Continue reading “Can American Higher Education Be Restored?”