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”


A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments

A specter is haunting higher education—the specter of declining enrollments. University and college enrollment has fallen nearly 9 percent since 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, and no one is exactly sure why. The decrease is not that obvious yet because the decline follows many decades of tremendous growth in enrollment. On a website … Continue reading “A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments”


College Sports and Educational Opportunity: Exposing the (Half) Truth

Conventional wisdom and public perception hold that college sports provide educational opportunities for thousands of student-athletes who could not afford to attend college without them. The National Collegiate Athletic Association lists “providing opportunities to earn a college degree” as at the heart of its mission and boasts that nearly 500,000 student-athletes participate in college sports … Continue reading “College Sports and Educational Opportunity: Exposing the (Half) Truth”


With Colleges Shifting to Adjuncts, Teaching Quality May Suffer

The number of part-time and nontenure faculty continues to rise on campus as university officials try to cut costs. So does their dissatisfaction over wages and benefits, which is stirring disruptive pushback. Few question the credentials, knowledge, or teaching skills of adjunct and contingent faculty. But some are exploring whether their working conditions, lack of … Continue reading “With Colleges Shifting to Adjuncts, Teaching Quality May Suffer”


Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State

Increasing teacher pay to improve teaching quality has grabbed media attention for months. But North Carolina’s General Assembly has been trying to figure out how to get better teachers into the classroom in other ways, too. Three proposed bills have a chance to make a difference. But what makes them stand out from other education … Continue reading “Proposed Bills Could Improve Teacher Quality in the Tar Heel State”


Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement

Using Advanced Placement (AP) courses to fulfill college requirements has long helped college students save both time and money. But there are varying opinions about the value of AP courses and exams, with some arguing that they do not match the rigor of introductory college courses they replace. This disagreement sometimes leads to inconsistency in … Continue reading “Reward Achievement: Give Credit for Advanced Placement”