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?”


How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?

Last month I looked at Hillary Clinton’s higher education proposals in this Clarion Call, and found nothing to praise in them. They merely deepen the already ruinous federal involvement in subsidizing college. Now it’s time to take a look at the higher education ideas that have been advanced by Donald Trump and the Republicans. I … Continue reading “How Would Trump Change Higher Education Policy?”


Two Key Lawsuits Lead Counterattack Against Title IX Overreach

Hyper-aggressive federal officials have taken the vague language in Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Amendments and treated it as if it gave them plenary authority to control anything on a college campus having in any way to do with sexual misbehavior. The wording says: “No person in the United States shall, on the … Continue reading “Two Key Lawsuits Lead Counterattack Against Title IX Overreach”




Will the UNC System Rise Above Higher Education’s Status Quo?

UNC System leaders are overhauling their 2013 strategic planning initiative. Whether that will result in sound reform ideas, however, is up in the air. North Carolina’s university system is a powerful force in the state—armed with its own lobbying team, almost 50,000 employees, and a $9.5 billion annual budget. It is a machine with a tendency to aggrandize. Curbing its appetite for expansion and self-serving policies won’t be easy.



Ten Years Later, the Duke Lacrosse Case Still Reverberates

Next month will be the tenth anniversary of the spring break party that triggered the Duke lacrosse case. That incident probably remains the highest-profile false rape claim in recent U.S. history—rivaled only by the claim against University of Virginia fraternity members leveled, and then retracted, by Rolling Stone. An unwillingness to engage in any critical self-reflection is the foremost legacy of how the academy responded to the lacrosse case, at Duke and beyond.


Cutting Costs Is Possible. These Schools Did It.

As the stock market gyrates and talk of a new recession begins, many universities have reason to worry. The cost of college education hasn’t stopped rising, students are fearful of being burdened by debt, and political pressure is beginning to weigh in. Congress is entertaining a bill that would require 25 percent of a school’s endowment spending to go toward student financial aid, and several presidential candidates have unveiled plans to solve the student debt crisis. At the state level, the return of state support to its pre-recession levels may be in jeopardy. But a few universities have chosen to take a different route. In addition to looking for more state revenues, they’ve found ways to reduce their expenditures and to ease the financial burden on students.