The Professor Who Was Harassed for Pointing Out the Truth

That famous line from the movie A Few Good Men—“You can’t handle the truth!”—applies more and more to the world of higher education. If you doubt that, consider the case of professor Samuel Abrams of Sarah Lawrence College. Abrams, a tenured professor of political science who admits that he “leans conservative” has been studying the … Continue reading “The Professor Who Was Harassed for Pointing Out the Truth”

A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform

Many colleges are setting up their student-athletes for failure. Whether one looks to the long-term neurological health risks that young athletes are subject to, or the myriad cases of academic dishonesty within athletics departments, it appears that the personal and academic well-being of student-athletes is often compromised for the sake of “the game.” Fortunately, the … Continue reading “A Unique Opportunity for Athletics Reform”

The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained

Explaining higher education policy is never easy (even to people who are involved in it). Over the years, while training young writers for the Martin Center, I have come up with a model that has proven useful. One way to produce clarity among the confusion is to apply a model having four basic perspectives rather … Continue reading “The Four Perspectives of Higher Education Policy Explained”

UNC, NC State Partner to Combat Teacher Shortage

As the cost of higher education soars, it’s heartening to hear of universities and professors looking for new ways to meet student needs. Localized innovations allow universities and reformers to experiment and find out what works. And those small changes, once proven, can lead to big shifts in how universities operate. This kind of trial … Continue reading “UNC, NC State Partner to Combat Teacher Shortage”

A Tale of Two Alumni Associations

An important voice is missing in today’s colleges and universities: that of their alumni. Their absence does a disservice to both students and the general public because, in many ways, alumni are the missing link that connects universities to the larger communities they serve. After all, alumni work in the “real world” after graduation and … Continue reading “A Tale of Two Alumni Associations”

What the Hoax Papers Tell Us about the Decline of Academic Standards

By now, most followers of the higher education press have heard of the “grievance studies” or Sokal Squared hoax. In this incident, a team of three researchers successfully published several hoax papers on intentionally absurd subjects in ostensibly serious scholarly journals. Their purpose was to demonstrate the susceptibility of these venues to low-quality, ideologically charged … Continue reading “What the Hoax Papers Tell Us about the Decline of Academic Standards”

A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings

Although Margaret Spellings will be leaving her post as president of the University of North Carolina system prematurely on January 15, she started several programs in her three years on the job. One of those programs is NC Promise, which went into effect this fall semester. NC Promise lowers the cost of tuition to $500 … Continue reading “A Final Conversation with Margaret Spellings”

The Rise of Engineering’s Social Justice Warriors

In 2015, Colorado School of Mines writing instructor Dr. Jon Leydens delivered a TED talk titled “engineering and social justice.” According to Leydens, in the mid-2000s students started asking him about how they could combine their “passion for social justice” with their “interest in engineering.” Leydens is part of a growing movement that seeks to … Continue reading “The Rise of Engineering’s Social Justice Warriors”

The Trouble with eBooks and Digital Reading

The cost of college textbooks has increased at an alarming rate. According to the College Board, the average student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials each year. The proposed solution—advocated by universities and reformers alike—is a switch to eBooks and online course materials. But new evidence suggests that we should consider that switch … Continue reading “The Trouble with eBooks and Digital Reading”

Preserving the Values of a Free Society in Higher Education

Editor’s Note: Roger Ream gave the following lecture at the Martin Center’s annual policy banquet on October 24th. It appears here in abridged form. It is an honor to be here this evening with friends and supporters of the Martin Center, an organization on the front lines of the battle for education reform. Speaking of … Continue reading “Preserving the Values of a Free Society in Higher Education”