UNC, NC State Partner to Combat Teacher Shortage

As the cost of higher education soars, it’s heartening to hear of universities and professors looking for new ways to meet student needs. Localized innovations allow universities and reformers to experiment and find out what works. And those small changes, once proven, can lead to big shifts in how universities operate. This kind of trial … Continue reading “UNC, NC State Partner to Combat Teacher Shortage”


The Trouble with eBooks and Digital Reading

The cost of college textbooks has increased at an alarming rate. According to the College Board, the average student spends more than $1,200 on books and materials each year. The proposed solution—advocated by universities and reformers alike—is a switch to eBooks and online course materials. But new evidence suggests that we should consider that switch … Continue reading “The Trouble with eBooks and Digital Reading”


Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform

The surprise resignation of Margaret Spellings from the presidency of the University of North Carolina system presents an opportunity to improve the system’s insufficient governance policies. The key to this improvement is to hire an independent staff member for the Board of Governors, subject only to the board. The state legislature has already recognized this … Continue reading “Departure of Spellings from UNC Creates Opportunity for Governance Reform”


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”


A Remarkably Hard College Course Proves Remarkably Popular

We’re used to hearing that American college students don’t like reading and avoid tough courses where they have to. But a new course at the University of Oklahoma (OU) proves that many students are eager for a demanding course. Here’s the story. In the fall of 1941, as a visiting faculty member at the University … Continue reading “A Remarkably Hard College Course Proves Remarkably Popular”


The Evidence for Standardized Tests Already Exists

Making college admissions “test-optional” has been steadily gaining steam among elite and liberal arts American colleges. In late September, Colby College and Rosemont College joined the hundreds of other institutions that do not require their applicants to submit standardized test scores to be admitted to the school. Other schools that have “test-optional” policies include Bowdoin … Continue reading “The Evidence for Standardized Tests Already Exists”


The Success of Concealed Carry at Texas Public Colleges

The fight for gun rights on campus is often contentious and generally does not favor the Second Amendment. But in August, pro-gun advocates won a major battle when a federal appeals court threw out a legal challenge by three University of Texas at Austin professors to Texas’s “campus carry” law. Campus carry, approved by the … Continue reading “The Success of Concealed Carry at Texas Public Colleges”


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”


Can Higher Ed Revive Rural North Carolina?

Many rural counties in the United States—including those in North Carolina—are on life support. They are struggling with shrinking and aging populations, shuttered businesses, disappearing job bases, and a general sense of hopelessness. While their plight may be common knowledge, there is little consensus about how this situation can be resolved. Some policymakers and researchers … Continue reading “Can Higher Ed Revive Rural North Carolina?”


The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos

No one can accuse Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of inaction. Just within the past few weeks, her Department of Education announced the overhaul of two major Obama-era regulations. The next stage of DeVos’ agenda will review several of the rules governing which higher education institutions and programs are eligible for federal funding, with an eye … Continue reading “The Innovation Dilemma Facing Betsy DeVos”