How Can Professors Inspire Students to Want to Learn?

COVID-19 has revolutionized how we think about online college teaching. Until last spring, two perspectives predominated. One argued that massively enrolled online classes presented by impressive teachers or prestigious universities would increase efficiency while preserving quality. The other worried about the quality of online classes, and that the gap between those able to afford in-person … Continue reading “How Can Professors Inspire Students to Want to Learn?”


The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges

Parents will go to all sorts of lengths to give their children a leg up. In Guilty Admissions: The Bribes, Favors, and Phonies Behind the College Cheating Scandal, journalist Nicole LaPorte digs into how and why parents decided to work with the “college counselor” Rick Singer. LaPorte describes Singer’s strategies to place students in highly … Continue reading “The Rot of the Prestigious Colleges”


Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?

Public higher education was once America’s great enabler, permitting young people from lower-class backgrounds to attend college for very little money and to rise as far as their abilities and drives would take them. That may no longer be the case, according to economists James Koch and Richard Cebula. In their 2020 book, Runaway College … Continue reading “Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?”


Higher Education Is Shutting Student Minds

Colleges and universities used to proclaim that their mission was to give students a broad education that would expand their intellectual vistas—one that would open their minds. Most still say that, but the sad truth is that what passes for higher education these days often does the opposite. Many professors and some whole academic fields … Continue reading “Higher Education Is Shutting Student Minds”


Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic

An ill wind has buffeted higher education in the year of the plague. Workers have been laid off, the ranks of the professoriate have shrunk, and enrollment declines across the industry threaten the long-term finances of all but the most prestigious institutions. While the pain has not been as deep as some experts feared, a … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Higher Ed Bureaucracy Won the Pandemic”


Did You Know? Not All UNC Students Get the Same Funding

The University of North Carolina system includes 16 universities, from large campuses with high research activity to small liberal arts institutions. They differ in many ways, from location to student body to the classes they offer. They also differ in state funding—from $7,760 per student at Appalachian State University to $31,969 per student at the … Continue reading “Did You Know? Not All UNC Students Get the Same Funding”


The Pandemic May Be Ending, But Student Anxiety Isn’t

Students have had to make many sacrifices over the past year, be they financial, academic, or personal. The sudden changes and conflicting campus policies have taken a significant toll on their well-being and mental health. After a lifetime of in-class learning alongside their peers, colleges pushed them off-campus and into de facto isolation via Zoom. … Continue reading “The Pandemic May Be Ending, But Student Anxiety Isn’t”


Did You Know? The Fight Over Campus Vaccine Mandates

As American higher ed prepares for the on-campus experience again, college leaders are encountering a problem: whether they can (or should) mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. The response varies by state and institution. In states like Utah and Texas, state legislatures have banned colleges and all state entities from requiring vaccines. Other places, like North Carolina, … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Fight Over Campus Vaccine Mandates”


Did You Know? College Enrollments Fall Again

Student enrollment dipped at the beginning of the pandemic, but the numbers went from bad to worse a year later. As Inside Higher Ed reported, spring undergraduate enrollment fell almost 6 percent compared to last year—with a 11 percent decline among community colleges. Colleges lost younger students between 18 and 20 the most: their enrollment … Continue reading “Did You Know? College Enrollments Fall Again”


The Trouble with Faculty Hiring Booms in a Politicized Time

Most businesses and the general public had a brutal year in 2020—perhaps with the notable exceptions of Zoom and toilet paper manufacturers. Universities suffered as well, with enrollment drops and budget cuts forcing them to freeze hiring and salaries, furlough faculty and staff, and restrict spending. Some colleges even went insolvent, with many others on … Continue reading “The Trouble with Faculty Hiring Booms in a Politicized Time”