Finally, a Sober Appraisal of North Carolina’s Public Universities

The Pope Center’s latest report, The State of the State University 2015: Critical Facts about the University of North Carolina System, is a must-read for students, parents, taxpayers, and policymakers who want the UNC system to achieve its highest potential—and its peak efficiency. Here’s hoping that, in 2016, North Carolina leaders, instead of sugarcoating the shortcomings identified in this report, choose instead to address them head on.

What a Year! Ten Trends in Higher Ed in 2015

Looking back at all that happened in higher education this year is enough to make your head spin. One minute, state politicians are finally making good policies; the next, university officials are caving to irrational demands. At the other end of the spectrum, politicians are promoting policies of monumental stupidity, while the courts are making surprisingly good decisions (but not always). A majority of students favor putting extreme limits for political correctness on free speech, while an opposition is coalescing around protecting the First Amendment and due legal processes. And on and on it goes. To try to capture the spirit of 2015, the Pope Center staff identified ten of the year’s major trends and events.

The High but Hidden Cost of College Sports

A barrage of articles in the popular press points out the escalating cost of higher education, rising student debt levels, and the financial struggles many colleges and universities face. Although many factors are at play, we maintain that expenditures of college athletics are a significant factor that are often overlooked, in particular for small schools, especially those with big-time athletic programs.

The Biggest Lesson from the UNC Academic Scandal Has Been Ignored

A new report on intercollegiate athletics programs produced by the UNC system’s general administration shows that the hardest lesson from the largest academic scandal in NCAA history is being ignored. Athletes with weak academic skills continue to be admitted to universities where they have little chance of successfully completing rigorous coursework.

I Fought Political Correctness and Correctness Won

If UNC-Chapel Hill officials can unceremoniously dump me for speaking out against the injustice done to my son and the lack of due process in campus sexual assault cases, they can and will do it to others who speak out on other issues. This is bigger than my job or myself; it is about the right to raise your voice on the UNC campus—a school that prides itself on a tradition of free speech—in protest of all and any injustice.