The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along

UNC-Chapel Hill’s infamous athletics-academic scandal has officially been swept under the rug. On October 13th, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions announced that UNC-Chapel Hill will not be punished for the fraudulent classes it offered to 3,100 students, 47.6 percent of whom were athletes, for nearly two decades. This decision concludes Chapel Hill’s six-year saga of … Continue reading “The NCAA’s UNC Decision: Nothing to See Here, Move Along”


Athletics Department Oversight of Academics: A Scandal Waiting to Happen

If a university ignores potential conflicts of interests between athletics and academics, it imperils itself. Athletics departments that lack academic oversight signal misplaced priorities and pose a risk of becoming a national scandal. Specifically, athletics departments that run their own academic advising and tutorial programs without supervision from the academic side of the university lower … Continue reading “Athletics Department Oversight of Academics: A Scandal Waiting to Happen”


NC State Hoops Players’ Palatial New Digs Send the Wrong Message

Athletes need a good night’s sleep to maximize their performance. But that doesn’t explain why NC State’s proposed new dormitory for basketball players will cost roughly four times as much per bed than other campus living quarters do. It seems pretty clear that the dormitory is due to NC State’s participation in the ever-escalating arms … Continue reading “NC State Hoops Players’ Palatial New Digs Send the Wrong Message”


When College Sports Lean Pro, Students and the Public Pay

Last week marked the latest chapter in the biggest college sports scandal in history. Administrators and athletics officials from UNC-Chapel Hill appeared before the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions in Nashville, Tennessee. At issue was whether the bogus classes UNC athletes took between 1993 and 2011 should be considered “impermissible benefits.” The Committee is expected to … Continue reading “When College Sports Lean Pro, Students and the Public Pay”


Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members

Since 2010, the UNC system’s Board of Governors has become somewhat more conservative and more interested in serious educational reforms. Members of the Board have professed interest in decreasing costs, rolling back university mission creep, and improving academic standards. But progress has been slow. Part of the problem can be attributed to the structure of … Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask Future UNC Board Members”


Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?

It’s been more than five years since whistleblowers uncovered extensive academic fraud at UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, the NCAA has released its third notice of allegations against the school. But, so far, there have been no official sanctions. Other schools have been less fortunate. Many have faced swift punishment from the NCAA for academic misconduct. The severity of the sanctions … Continue reading “Poll: How Should the NCAA Punish Academic Violations?”


Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?

Now that the election has ended, Donald Trump faces new challenges. He must assemble a team, choose a direction, and begin to govern. During his long campaign, he gave a few hints as to how he might change federal education policy. On Wednesday, Trump announced his nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education. … Continue reading “Poll: What Should Trump’s Education Department Do to Reform Higher Ed?”


Hot Tubs and Luxury Dorms and Climbing Walls, Oh, My!

All is not well on higher education’s financial front. At many colleges, tuition prices have reached record highs, enrollment is stagnant, revenues have flattened or declined, budgets are constricted, and regulatory compliance costs are skyrocketing. It would seem that in such an environment, university leaders would place a moratorium on all lavish spending initiatives—especially those … Continue reading “Hot Tubs and Luxury Dorms and Climbing Walls, Oh, My!”


Athletics Reform Is Possible Without the NCAA

In the past two decades, North Carolina higher education leaders have tried to address problems related to college athletics. But whether they’ve focused on the increasing pressure to admit academically ill-prepared student-athletes, or student-athletes spending more time on the practice field than in the classroom, to name just two examples, serious reform efforts have been met … Continue reading “Athletics Reform Is Possible Without the NCAA”


College Sports: Isn’t it Time to De-escalate the Arms Race?

With college football season upon us, this is a good time to consider again the allure that fielding winning teams in the big-money sports (football and basketball) has for many higher education leaders. Just as many students are convinced that getting into an elite college is essential to their futures, so many college presidents are … Continue reading “College Sports: Isn’t it Time to De-escalate the Arms Race?”