No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute

The Raleigh News & Observer recently published a contentious exchange between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s history professor Jay Smith and vice chancellor of communications Joel Curran concerning Smith’s course “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956-Present.” The course, History (HIST) 383, grew out of Smith’s involvement in UNC’s lengthy … Continue reading “No Harm, No Foul in UNC Sports Scandal Course Dispute”


Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus

The politicization of higher education is a huge societal problem. Even though there is an overwhelming consensus that universities’ ultimate purpose should be a search for the truth and that it is imperative that inquiry and dialogue be kept free and open, this is increasingly not the case. In many departments, acknowledged communists outnumber registered … Continue reading “Six Ideas to De-Politicize the American Campus”


Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?

“Dartmouth falls out of an exclusive group,” declared a 2016 headline in The Washington Post just days after the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education released its 2015 classifications that moved Dartmouth College from the R-1 (that is, Research 1) to the R-2 (Research 2) category. “A Key Survey Indicates that Dartmouth May Be … Continue reading “Carnegie Classifications—What’s All the Fuss?”


Mitch Daniels Has the Right Stuff for Purdue

Higher education does not produce many flashy, innovating entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Peter Thiel, or Elon Musk. The non-profit, highly subsidized, and low-incentive culture that universities operate in promotes conformity and risk avoidance. Despite that, there are some college leaders who stand out from the rest. Paul LeBlanc, for example, has taken Southern … Continue reading “Mitch Daniels Has the Right Stuff for Purdue”


Defining Faculty Roles: In Defense of the Activist-Scholar

Editor’s note: This is the third of a three-part series on faculty roles in higher education. Part I by Fabio Rojas is here and Part II by Jay Schalin is here. Should we allow scholars to be activists? Fabio Rojas (“Scholarship First, Activism Second”) and Jay Schalin (“Scholarship Only, Activism on Your Own Time”) have offered various … Continue reading “Defining Faculty Roles: In Defense of the Activist-Scholar”


Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards

I became interested in academic accountability within the university because I had no choice: the lack of accountability I experienced at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington obligated me to act. I had become embroiled in a situation where I was morally bound to report wrongdoing. But I had no idea that being a … Continue reading “Faculty Accountability Is Terrible—Even Students Have Better Standards”


Why Can’t This Public University Stay Out of Court?

Located just north of Atlanta, Kennesaw State University is a school enrolling some 35,000 students. Arguably, the most noteworthy thing about it is the fact that its officials keep making decisions that land it in court. In February, the university’s “speech zone” policy came under attack. A student group, Ratio Christi, wanted to put up … Continue reading “Why Can’t This Public University Stay Out of Court?”


University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

By now, most Americans are aware of the widespread waste and decadence at many private and public universities. From lazy rivers to exorbitant chancellors’ salaries, examples abound. But those well-publicized cases, problematic as they are, can be easily addressed by parents and students who pay tuition and by legislators who control the purse strings. However, … Continue reading “University Foundations Enable Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”


The Quizzical Case of UNC’s “Buy Local” Resolution

State governments have long favored giving preferential treatment to businesses in the state. North Carolina, for instance, has a general policy that favors local companies for state purchases. Now, in a perplexing move, University of North Carolina system is exploring a similar measure. At a December meeting, the Board of Governors discussed a “buy local” … Continue reading “The Quizzical Case of UNC’s “Buy Local” Resolution”


Intellectual Diversity and Academic Professionalism

Editor’s Note: This is a condensed version of a speech Dr. Otteson gave at a January James G. Martin Center luncheon. Our topic today is the importance of intellectual diversity on campus. I doubt there is anyone here who does not believe in the importance of intellectual diversity on campus, so I would like to … Continue reading “Intellectual Diversity and Academic Professionalism”