Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?

As director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Campus Free Expression Project, I am always eager to get beyond the DC beltway to learn how students understand free expression on their particular campus. So, to return to Duke University, my alma mater, was particularly welcome. Duke has a legacy of defending the expression of controversial views. … Continue reading “Free Expression at Duke: What Do Freshmen Blue Devils Think?”


Emerson’s Vision of the American Scholar

Editor’s Note: This is an abridged version of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s The American Scholar, a lecture he gave to Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1837. This is the third of a Martin Center “History of Higher Ed” series where the Center will republish overlooked writings that shaped American higher education. In the light of … Continue reading “Emerson’s Vision of the American Scholar”


Did You Know? Parental Income Across UNC Schools

The University of North Carolina system boasts a diverse set of institutions. There are many ways in which the 16 schools differ: size, geography, research intensity, curriculum, and student characteristics. They also differ in terms of students’ family income. As part of the Opportunity Insights project at Harvard University, Raj Chetty and a team of … Continue reading “Did You Know? Parental Income Across UNC Schools”


A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports

As we move into 2020, it is important to assess where we are with the uniquely American phenomenon of elite, commercialized college sports.   Often, what is claimed about college sports is not what’s actually happening. The industry and its largest governing body, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claim to promote an academic-first culture … Continue reading “A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports”


The Job Skills Students Need That Colleges Don’t Teach

Every college student knows that, once they graduate, landing the job of their dreams isn’t going to just happen. Yet, students still downplay the difficulties they will face, either because they don’t understand the job market or because they put too much stock in their skills, thinking that the competition won’t stand a chance. The … Continue reading “The Job Skills Students Need That Colleges Don’t Teach”


Russell Kirk on Higher Education

Russell Kirk isn’t known as a policy wonk. The Great Books, not the mathematical or statistical models of economic technicians, were his organon of choice. He devoted essays to broad, perennial themes like “the moral imagination,” “liberal learning,” and “the permanent things.” Read his numerous columns about higher education, however, and you might come away … Continue reading “Russell Kirk on Higher Education”


Loosening Social Justice’s Iron Grip on Academia

Social justice education—which teaches young people to view the world through the lens of oppression and demands unquestioning conformity—pervades nearly every nook and cranny of higher education: the administration, general education requirements, extracurriculars, university mission statements, and academic departments. On December 6, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) co-sponsored an event with the Martin Center … Continue reading “Loosening Social Justice’s Iron Grip on Academia”


Defending Higher Education

Higher ed gets a lot of criticism from supporters and reformers alike. Sometimes it’s necessary, though, to look at its benefits and note the strengths of colleges. Steven Brint, distinguished professor of sociology and public policy at the University of California, Riverside, has given the public a reminder of why so many students value a … Continue reading “Defending Higher Education”


Did You Know? The Struggle to Repay Student Loans

Each year, thousands of young people leave college with significant student debt. Most of those who choose the right majors, graduate on time, and find solid employment pay off their loans with little difficulty. But students who never graduate, who choose the wrong majors, who take extra time to get a degree, or who can’t … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Struggle to Repay Student Loans”


Intellectual Desegregation: What Heterodox Thought Requires from Academics

A few years ago, Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, realized that most of his colleagues were on the Left. This is not necessarily a bad thing. People are allowed to have differing political views. It is also wrong to judge the quality of scientific research on political beliefs. However, the uniformity of opinion presents institutional … Continue reading “Intellectual Desegregation: What Heterodox Thought Requires from Academics”