racial protest

How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests

This academic year has been punctuated by a series of high-profile campus protests. Many student grievances have, as in previous years, centered on claims of racial injustice. If next academic year is to be about education rather than protest, faculty and administrators must explore the role they play in both politicizing college life and racializing … Continue reading “How Colleges Themselves Bring About Racial Protests”


stop bias, promote free speech

North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias

Yesterday, I came to bury Caesar. That was a mistake, so today, I’m going to praise him. By “Caesar,” I mean the North Carolina Legislature. I wanted to “bury” them—in rhetorical fashion—for removing institutional neutrality out of the otherwise outstanding North Carolina Campus Free Speech Act (HB 527). After we published that article, I reread … Continue reading “North Carolina’s New Institutional Neutrality Policy Is a Win for Preventing Campus Bias”


My University Wastes Time and Money on Sexual Assault Training

If anyone needed a reminder that American colleges and universities have become expert at wasting time and money, my recent experience with mandatory “sexual assault training” might supply it. I am on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater (UWW), where I teach English. Last February, all members of the campus community were informed by … Continue reading “My University Wastes Time and Money on Sexual Assault Training”


Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans

Student loan debt, now totaling roughly $1.3 trillion, is the second largest source of debt in the United States. This is especially concerning given that there are presently eight million people in default on their student loans. Under federal law, colleges, especially those with open enrollment such as two-year technical schools, face severe consequences if, for … Continue reading “Why Colleges Should Be Allowed to Limit Students’ Federal Loans”


Shouts and Protests on Campus Are Signs of a More Pernicious Problem

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the graduating class of Notre Dame, drawing attention to the loss of free speech on American campuses. He denounced the “noxious wave that seems to be rushing over much of academia.” The problem is that this wave is coming from within academia, not “rushing over” it as if from … Continue reading “Shouts and Protests on Campus Are Signs of a More Pernicious Problem”


Budget Cuts to Push Intellectual Diversity? There Are Better Ways

Temperatures in North Carolina may not yet have reached their high point this summer, but tensions certainly are heating up now between the UNC School of Law and the North Carolina General Assembly over the latter’s proposed budget. The North Carolina Senate’s budget proposal, now being debated in the House, includes a $4 million reduction … Continue reading “Budget Cuts to Push Intellectual Diversity? There Are Better Ways”


Administrative Bloat on Campus: Academia Shrinks, Students Suffer

American campuses have drifted away from academia and toward administration. The shift badly impacts the traditional mission of both college and students. Ideally, college infuses knowledge and critical thinking through a free flow of ideas. But modern campuses are ideological battlefields where real debate is discouraged. Ideally, students are exposed to a wide range of … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat on Campus: Academia Shrinks, Students Suffer”


A Critical Education Department Position Has Been Filled—and Filled Well

“Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors,” President Trump tweeted on June 5. “They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.” Fortunately for President Trump, many appointments don’t require Senate approval, and a cabinet member may appoint leaders to certain high-level positions within his or her department. This week Secretary of Education Betsy … Continue reading “A Critical Education Department Position Has Been Filled—and Filled Well”


Assessment and Power in the University

Universities have been assessing students by grading their work since the Middle Ages.  Sometimes students complained that the professor wasn’t fair, but nobody thought the system was fundamentally flawed. Then, about three decades ago, a new idea arose in American universities—that campus bureaucrats needed to assess student learning outcomes. This occurred as part of a … Continue reading “Assessment and Power in the University”


The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff

The University of North Carolina was founded with an excellent governance structure—with one glaring flaw that allows power to be concentrated in the General Administration rather than dispersed between the several branches. That flaw is the Board of Governors’ dependence on the administration for information. In 2013, I proposed that this problem could be corrected … Continue reading “The UNC Board of Governors Needs Its Own Staff”