Pension Spiking at North Carolina Colleges: An $8 Million Bill for the Public

In 2014, the North Carolina legislature passed a law to curb “pension spiking” among public employees. Pension spiking is when a worker dramatically increases their compensation at the end of their career to boost their pension (usually by converting benefits such as vacation or sick time pay), which creates a liability in the pension fund. … Continue reading “Pension Spiking at North Carolina Colleges: An $8 Million Bill for the Public”


GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One 

At a time when only 41 percent of college students graduate in four years—and only 56 percent in five years—colleges and universities across the country are phasing out the only truly objective measure of academic excellence and student success in the application process: standardized tests. Next month, for example, the University of North Carolina Board … Continue reading “GPA or SAT? Two Measures Are Better Than One “


Court Decision Erases a Huge Student Debt—Is that Good or Bad?

For years, a contentious and sometimes emotionally heated debate has raged over the issue of letting people discharge their student loan debts in bankruptcy. A recent decision opens the door for individuals with high levels of student debt to have their burdens discharged in bankruptcy. Should we cheer? Until 1976, the bankruptcy law made no … Continue reading “Court Decision Erases a Huge Student Debt—Is that Good or Bad?”


Did You Know? The States Doing the Most to Protect Student Rights

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education was founded in 1999 by University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors and Boston civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate. One of the country’s strongest advocates for Constitutional rights on college campuses, FIRE focuses on freedom of speech and expression; religious liberty and freedom of association; freedom of conscience; … Continue reading “Did You Know? The States Doing the Most to Protect Student Rights”


The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research

For most of the past century, the United States was the pre-eminent nation in science and technology. The evidence for that is beyond dispute: Since 1901, American researchers have won more Nobel prizes in medicine, chemistry, and physics than any other nation. Given our history of discovery, innovation, and success, it is not surprising that … Continue reading “The Intellectual and Moral Decline in Academic Research”


The New American Academy: Break Out the Crayons and Play-Doh

The idea of a campus “safe space”—a university-sanctioned oasis where students can go to destress and feel at ease—has had its share of ridicule. And it’s not hard to see why: It is often hard to distinguish between a college safe space and a preschool daycare. For example, in April 2019, the University of North … Continue reading “The New American Academy: Break Out the Crayons and Play-Doh”


Did You Know? Confucius Institutes Disappearing from American Campuses

After years of expansion, Communist Party-funded Confucius Institutes have seen the tide turn against them at American colleges. The Institutes, controlled by the Chinese government, were created to teach Chinese language, culture, and history. Colleges quickly embraced them because they were cheap, easy sources of pride to claim that the school educated its students for … Continue reading “Did You Know? Confucius Institutes Disappearing from American Campuses”


Social Justice Revisionism Comes for Washington and Lee

In the fall of 2018, the trustees of Washington and Lee University voted to paper over parts of the university’s history. On the recommendations of Washington and Lee’s “Commission on Institutional History and Community,” the board voted to close off the Recumbent Statue of Robert E. Lee in the university chapel that bears his name … Continue reading “Social Justice Revisionism Comes for Washington and Lee”


Emerson’s Vision of the American Scholar

Editor’s Note: This is an abridged version of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s The American Scholar, a lecture he gave to Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1837. This is the third of a Martin Center “History of Higher Ed” series where the Center will republish overlooked writings that shaped American higher education. In the light of … Continue reading “Emerson’s Vision of the American Scholar”


A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports

As we move into 2020, it is important to assess where we are with the uniquely American phenomenon of elite, commercialized college sports.   Often, what is claimed about college sports is not what’s actually happening. The industry and its largest governing body, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), claim to promote an academic-first culture … Continue reading “A Path Forward for Reforming College Sports”