One of Our Few Great College Presidents Retires

University presidents make a difference. The best of them can steer a university to new heights of greatness, while the worst of them can bring costly mediocrity or even extinction. A few weeks ago, Mitch Daniels of Purdue, arguably the primus inter pares of American university presidents, announced that he was stepping down at the … Continue reading “One of Our Few Great College Presidents Retires”


Did You Know? “Some College, No Credential” Students Are a Significant Cohort

Earlier this year, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) identified 39 million adults who had some higher-education experience as of July 2020 but had not earned any credentials and were no longer enrolled at a college or university. The NSCRC named this cohort the “Some College, No Credential” population. The NSCRC’s study found that … Continue reading “Did You Know? “Some College, No Credential” Students Are a Significant Cohort”


A Defense of the “Ungrading” Movement

In his April piece for the Martin Center, Adam Ellwanger critiqued “contract grading” as a symptom of “the war against academic excellence” and the broader societal movement toward “some fetishized notion of social justice.” I agree with the diagnosis my colleague offers regarding the pervasiveness of “Lake Wobegon” syndrome, wherein everyone is above average, trophies … Continue reading “A Defense of the “Ungrading” Movement”


Did You Know? New College to Launch in Wake Forest This Fall

Thales College, a new undergraduate institution launching this fall in Wake Forest, N.C., is eagerly preparing to open its doors to its inaugural class. Thales College is a unique institution with a fresh vision for higher ed: rigorous academics and effective professional preparation joined with a commitment to affordability not often found among other higher … Continue reading “Did You Know? New College to Launch in Wake Forest This Fall”


The Limits of Expertise

As a professor devoted to his college’s “pre-disciplinary” core curriculum, I was hooked by David Epstein’s title, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. The book is chock-full of anecdotes and evidence that people with breadth or range—indeed, amateurs in the true sense of the word—can contribute immensely to enterprises in environments that seem, … Continue reading “The Limits of Expertise”


Are UNC System Chancellors Overpaid?

Chancellor salaries at public universities across the country are far higher than those for other public executives, out of step with faculty compensation, and unrelated to student success and university performance. A new program at UNC may help to address some of these concerns. In an article in Forbes, the economic historian Richard Vedder states … Continue reading “Are UNC System Chancellors Overpaid?”


Did You Know? Post-Tenure Review is Increasingly Common for University Faculty

58 percent of postsecondary educational institutions now employ a post-tenure review process. This is up from 46 percent in 2000. Tenure traditionally means that a professor has earned guaranteed job-security that can be revoked only in cases of misconduct or academic dishonesty. Post-tenure review, typically conducted by a committee of one’s fellow faculty members, evaluates … Continue reading “Did You Know? Post-Tenure Review is Increasingly Common for University Faculty”


Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System

While some nerdy people like me thought that college was fun, and so stayed in it for life, for most people it is a chore to be completed with the goal of higher income. College is a big investment—of time, of expenses such as tuition, and of wages unearned due to one’s being in school. … Continue reading “Connecting Degree Return-On-Investment with a Better Financing System”


The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds

Since the rise of social media, many students have gotten used to discussing difficult topics within the protection of their own echo chambers. Students are often not expected to defend their points of view or engage with others of differing opinions. While universities frequently support such closed-mindedness with “safe spaces” and the barring of certain … Continue reading “The Public Discourse Program at UNC-Chapel Hill: Expanding Students’ Minds”


Did You Know? Fayetteville State University Joins NC Promise Program

Fayetteville State University (FSU) has joined the NC Promise program in an effort to lower student tuition. The university follows three other UNC Schools: UNC Pembroke, Western Carolina University (WCU), and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). The NC Promise program was launched in 2018 to offer low tuition for certain NC colleges and to encourage … Continue reading “Did You Know? Fayetteville State University Joins NC Promise Program”