What the Feds Can Do for Higher Education: Appoint Richard Vedder

Assuming that Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of education, has sufficient commitment and stamina, she will change how her department addresses K-12 education. Her support of school choice through charter schools and voucher programs is well known. DeVos’s department is also deeply involved in higher education, but the issues are different. What roils higher education … Continue reading “What the Feds Can Do for Higher Education: Appoint Richard Vedder”


The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm

One of the ways the college curriculum has changed for the worse in recent decades is the rise of what David Randall terms “the New Civics” in a hefty report published in January by the National Association of Scholars (NAS). This is a development that should alarm Americans who care about the integrity of higher … Continue reading “The Spread of “New Civics” Is Cause for Alarm”


Starving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow

Listening to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor Gene Nichol’s radical riff ripping trustees and the UNC system’s Board of Governors as cowards, and Republican lawmakers as oppressive racists, one might get the feeling he is on a career suicide mission. But in an auditorium half filled with fawning university professor compatriots … Continue readingStarving the Beast Prompts Choleric Call to Fatten a Sacred Cow”


In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups

I pose a simple question: can free and civil discourse survive inclusion of those who would silence that discourse by any means possible—including violent intimidation? That seems to be a straightforward question deserving of a straight answer: no, civil discourse will not, except under special circumstances, survive when participants seek to undermine or destroy it. … Continue reading “In Defense of Excluding Antisocial Student Groups”


The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas

Between the rise of safe spaces, trigger warnings, speaker disinvitations, and the often illiberal conduct of campus demonstrators over the past few years, it’s clear that the core constitutional value of free speech is now under siege at our colleges and universities. The fraying of commitment to freedom of speech on the part of college … Continue reading “The Campus Free Speech Act: A Way to Restore the Marketplace of Ideas”


Bigger’s Better? In Higher Ed’s Amenities Arms Race, Bigger’s Just Bigger!

Testifying before the U.S. Senate in 2013, University of Wisconsin professor Sara Goldrick-Rab described college campuses as “glorified summer camps.” She said administrators were “engaging in an arms race to have the most impressive bells and whistles.” That depiction may at first seem hyperbolic, but even a cursory glance at many of today’s college campuses … Continue reading “Bigger’s Better? In Higher Ed’s Amenities Arms Race, Bigger’s Just Bigger!”


Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On

During last week’s hearings on President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Senator Bernie Sanders asked her, “Will you work with me and others to make public colleges and universities tuition-free through federal and state efforts?” That, of course, was an idea that he and Hillary Clinton supported in last year’s presidential campaign—free … Continue reading “Hillary Clinton Lost, But Her “Free” College Idea Lives On”


Competition Is Helping to Bring Affordability, Efficiency Back to Higher Ed

As higher education has become increasingly competitive in recent years, many colleges have had to find creative ways to maintain their enrollment figures and distinguish themselves in the market. For some, this has meant lowering their tuition rates at a time in which inflated prices often seem to be the norm. Seeing already-struggling colleges constraining … Continue reading “Competition Is Helping to Bring Affordability, Efficiency Back to Higher Ed”


Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field

The authoritarianism that increasingly characterizes the American professoriate is on full display in a case involving the master’s program in social work at Rhode Island College (RIC). A student who did not believe that lobbying the state legislature for “progressive” causes was properly a part of his education and suffered for it has filed suit … Continue reading “Either Support Our Politics or Find Another Field”


In North Carolina, Community College Controversies Open Pandora’s Box

At their best, community colleges provide educational opportunities to individuals who otherwise might not have them. They offer specialized workforce training that can lead to rewarding careers, as well as streamlined transfer options for those seeking more advanced degrees. But it seems that, while singing the praises of such schools, policymakers have overlooked serious problems … Continue reading “In North Carolina, Community College Controversies Open Pandora’s Box”