In Oklahoma, a ‘Transformative Leader’ Brings New Vision to University

A strong executive with a proven track record, though lacking a typical background in academia, is selected as president of a large public research university in America’s heartland. Quickly identifying waste, inefficiency, and high overhead costs, he implements common-sense operating efficiencies to lower costs while freezing tuition for students. He casts a bold, innovative vision … Continue reading “In Oklahoma, a ‘Transformative Leader’ Brings New Vision to University”


Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time

Americans’ trust in higher education is crumbling. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 48 percent of American adults have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education. That number is down from 57 percent in 2015—the largest decline in confidence of any other institution. In efforts to rebuild that trust, … Continue reading “Reviving Trust in Higher Education, One Innovative College at a Time”


What Do College ‘Chief Diversity Officers’ Accomplish?

Over the last few decades, the number of college administrators has grown far more than the numbers of students and faculty. Amid this administrative bloat, the greatest growth has been in “diversity” officials. Even community colleges have begun hiring Chief Diversity Officers (CDO). A persistent question, however, is whether having a CDO and other diversity … Continue reading “What Do College ‘Chief Diversity Officers’ Accomplish?”


Answering the Perennial Question: Why Does College Cost So Much?

Last month, Amanda Ripley, writing for The Atlantic, asked a good question: why does higher education in the United States cost significantly more than in every other OECD nation except Luxembourg? Related to that: Why have college costs risen sharply over time? Unfortunately, while the questions Ripley raises are compellingly important, the answers she provided … Continue reading “Answering the Perennial Question: Why Does College Cost So Much?”


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”