The Tangled Web of Scientific Publishing

Science Publishing Is Incoherent, Expensive, and Slow Communication is essential to science. The aim of scientific publication is to convey new findings as quickly as possible to as many interested parties as possible. But the world of “peer-reviewed” scientific publishing no longer functions as it should. Many publishing practices were devised at a time when … Continue reading “The Tangled Web of Scientific Publishing”


How Women Can Avoid the Student Loan Gender Gap

Every year, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) releases a new report illustrating how women are disproportionately impacted by student loan debt. The average woman graduates with $2,739 more in federal loans than the average male graduate, they argue. But while suggestions to fix this gender debt gap have typically targeted lawmakers, students are … Continue reading “How Women Can Avoid the Student Loan Gender Gap”


Gaming the System: How Kentucky Spends Funding for Students on Athletics

Kentuckians were forced to consider potential problems with intercollegiate athletics when both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky were implicated in the recent FBI probe into possibly corrupt and fraudulent recruiting practices in college basketball. Amid the outrage, politicians raised the possibility of serious reforms, such as expanding the oversight of Boards … Continue reading “Gaming the System: How Kentucky Spends Funding for Students on Athletics”


PLUS Loans: Subtraction by Addition?

Student loan debt remains a burden for millions of college graduates and dropouts, but the federal government has not yet hit the brakes on its loan engine. Now, it’s becoming a greater problem for parents. A recent analysis by Mark Kantrowitz, a higher education expert who publishes Saving for College and Private Student Loans, noted … Continue reading “PLUS Loans: Subtraction by Addition?”


Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?

The Department of Education is poised to replace Obama-era regulations on for-profit colleges and universities with more broad-based transparency measures. On August 10, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed her plan to fully repeal the “gainful employment” regulations that required for-profit colleges to publish information on their graduates’ student debt levels and post-graduation earnings. Under the … Continue reading “Can More Information Help Students Avoid College Debt?”


University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight

As public institutions funded by taxpayers, state colleges and universities are limited in the kinds of commercial activity in which they can participate. This is particularly so when it comes to university land or property. However, through the use of institutionally affiliated—but still private—non-profit  “foundations,” universities have found a convenient way to bypass these restrictions … Continue reading “University Foundations: A Convenient Way to Bypass Oversight”


No, the World Doesn’t Need More Humanities PhDs

In May, The Chronicle of Higher Education asked four academics from across the country to weigh in on the “adjunct crisis.” The results were predictable, with most of the blame directed at the usual suspects: bean-counting administrators, complacent, tenured faculty members, tight-fisted state legislators, and, of course, those evil Republicans. Solutions generally involved pressuring colleges and universities to fork … Continue reading “No, the World Doesn’t Need More Humanities PhDs”


UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy

Reliable information is a prerequisite for good management. How can you make intelligent decisions if you are basing them on shaky information? This has been an ongoing problem for the University of North Carolina system, in which many high-level decisions are made by a governing board composed of part-time members. The main problem is that … Continue reading “UNC Faculty Teaching Loads Report Is Insufficient for Making Policy”


The State of Private Higher Ed in North Carolina

Private colleges and universities face challenges distinct from their public counterparts. For one, unlike public institutions, they are not the recipients of generous state funding. Instead, they rely heavily on revenue generated from tuition—as well as on the generous support of donors. Such a reliance on tuition revenue puts private institutions in a vulnerable position—especially … Continue reading “The State of Private Higher Ed in North Carolina”


Free College Is Just Another Middle-Class Entitlement

Tennessee legislators received a shock in 2012 when a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce predicted that by 2020, 55 percent of Tennessee jobs would require some kind of postsecondary education or job training. To elected officials in a state where only a quarter of citizens possessed a bachelor’s degree and … Continue reading “Free College Is Just Another Middle-Class Entitlement”