Without Financial Transparency, Colleges Mislabel Research Spending as Instructional

Public colleges spend public money, but college officials are reluctant to make information about their budgets easy to understand. That aversion to transparency makes it easier to pass non-instructional expenses along to students. Many experts have discussed the problem. But without transparency, it can be hard to show just how much so-called instruction is actually … Continue reading “Without Financial Transparency, Colleges Mislabel Research Spending as Instructional”


The True Cost of a PhD: Giving Up a Family for Academia

In 2012, CBS noted the bleak future that awaited PhD graduates. From 2005 to 2009, American universities graduated 100,000 new PhDs but only created 16,000 new professorships. The average PhD student spends 8 years in graduate school and turns 33 years old before they graduate. Unfortunately, the outlook for PhDs hasn’t improved since 2012. More … Continue reading “The True Cost of a PhD: Giving Up a Family for Academia”


Did You Know? UNC System Grads Carry Less Student Debt

Most students rely on loans to pay for college; colleges raise their prices, and student debt increases. Now, about 44 million students collectively owe $1.6 trillion in student debt. In North Carolina, at least, graduates carry less debt than their peers. North Carolina ranks 37th in the country for total debt levels of its graduates, … Continue reading “Did You Know? UNC System Grads Carry Less Student Debt”


No, Academia, Title VI Funding Is Not for Your Pleasure

A letter from the federal Department of Education has sparked yet another controversy on the campuses of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This time, the issue is about how to honor the intentions of donors, with the donor being the federal government instead of a private individual or corporation. … Continue reading “No, Academia, Title VI Funding Is Not for Your Pleasure”


Did You Know? Repaying Student Loans Isn’t Onerous for Most Graduates

College students have taken on so much debt that many political leaders are declaring a “student debt crisis.” Certainly, many former students are facing a crisis as they struggle to pay back their loans several years after graduation. Even graduates from low-earning fields of study, however, see their salaries improve to the point where their … Continue reading “Did You Know? Repaying Student Loans Isn’t Onerous for Most Graduates”


Why South Korea Can’t Quit College

More advanced societies tend to have more educated citizens, which is one reason why politicians of all stripes call for sending more students to college. One country has taken that impulse to its logical extreme—but has found that more is not always better. South Korea has a more educated population than any other country in … Continue reading “Why South Korea Can’t Quit College”


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who Spends the Most on Athletics of All?

Fans in the Carolinas are crazy about college sports. Six schools in the Carolinas boast membership in the “Power Five” Atlantic Coast or Southeastern Conferences, and they often perform quite well. On the gridiron, Clemson has three national titles to its credit, including two in the last three years over perennial power Alabama. When it … Continue reading “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who Spends the Most on Athletics of All?”


What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology

Jenna A. Robinson, President Jacques Barzun’s magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, has been a revelation—of my own inadequate history education. As the title says, the book covers 500 years of Western culture from 1500 to (almost) 2000. Barzun organizes the book around four important “revolutions:” religious, monarchical, liberal, and … Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Western Culture, Groupthink, and Queer Criminology”


Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?

Many Americans crow that our higher education system is “the envy of the world,” even though it’s nearly impossible to point to any proof of that. In truth, however, some Americans look down on our system, saying that it is clearly inferior to that of other nations, such as Japan and Finland. A recent study … Continue reading “Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?”


The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University

The modern American university has changed almost beyond recognition from the form it had even 100 years ago. It is larger, more “diverse,” more of a business, and more industrialized with relatively fewer teachers and more bureaucrats than ever before. Those changes have led to new problems. Higher education, if not broken, is at least … Continue reading “The Mess of Federal Funds Is Changing the University”