Blueprints for Reform

The university system in the United States has accomplished a great deal of good, but it has strayed from its chief goals of scholarly inquiry and responsible teaching, especially in the past 20 years. All too often, universities allow teaching to become shallow and trendy, failing to challenge students intellectually and disparaging traditional principles of … Continue reading “Blueprints for Reform”


Political Reality on North Carolina Campuses: Examining Policy Debates and Forums with Diverse Viewpoints

From the executive summary of “Political Reality on North Carolina Campuses: Examining Policy Debates and Forums with Diverse Viewpoints”: Everywhere in higher education, there is a rhetorical affirmation of the values of free speech and the development of informed citizens. North Carolina’s state motto in Latin is Esse Quam Videri, which translates to “To Be … Continue reading “Political Reality on North Carolina Campuses: Examining Policy Debates and Forums with Diverse Viewpoints”


Scholastic Gag Orders: NDAs, Mandatory Arbitration, and the Legal Threat to Academics

In this Martin Center policy brief, Scholastic Gag Orders: NDAs, Mandatory Arbitration, and the Legal Threat to Academics, Stephen Baskerville explores how non-disparagement agreements (NDAs) and mandatory arbitration (MA) provide a veil of legally enforced secrecy, shielding administrations from negative publicity, professional censure, and legitimate oversight, as they cleanse their faculty of ideologically heterodox professors.


Pervasive Sex Discrimination at North Carolina Universities

Pervasive Sex Discrimination at North Carolina Universities, a new report by Adam Kissel, examines five of North Carolina’s largest universities – UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte,  North Carolina State University, Wake Forest University, and Duke University – and finds that discrimination on the basis of sex is rampant at these higher education institutions. “In the name of … Continue reading “Pervasive Sex Discrimination at North Carolina Universities”


Bolstering the Board: Trustees Are Academia’s Best Hope for Reform

From the Executive Summary of Bolstering the Board: Trustees Are Academia’s Best Hope for Reform: Two conditions are needed to effect large-scale reforms in academia: a hierarchical, top- down system of governance that can enact sweeping changes, and for that system to be controlled or heavily influenced by those outside the system. Strong board governance … Continue reading “Bolstering the Board: Trustees Are Academia’s Best Hope for Reform”


‘Witches’ and ‘Viruses:’ The Activist-Academic Threat and a Policy Response

How much of academia is infiltrated by activists? Some conservatives claim that “neo-Marxism” and its sister paradigms like feminist pedagogy, post-structuralism, and post-modernism have long infected certain departments in the humanities and social sciences. Those paradigms have now spread to more disciplines and funding committees. However, conservatives have been slow to explain how activist departments … Continue reading “‘Witches’ and ‘Viruses:’ The Activist-Academic Threat and a Policy Response”


Higher Education After COVID-19

Before COVID-19, universities were already beginning to experience an enrollment decline, mostly fueled by demographic changes. The current crisis will raise existential questions for small and mid-tier institutions. Only universities with massive endowments and highly competitive admissions will escape the effects of the coming enrollment cliff. Special coronavirus relief funding from state and federal governments … Continue reading “Higher Education After COVID-19”


State of Arizona v. Arizona Board of Regents Amicus Curiae Brief

On March 31, the Martin Center filed an amicus brief urging the Arizona Supreme Court to hold that the Constitution’s mandate that “the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible” is a justiciable question. The Martin Center argued that sustained increases are incompatible with the provision in Arizona’s Constitution that “the instruction furnished … Continue reading “State of Arizona v. Arizona Board of Regents Amicus Curiae Brief”


Free Speech at UNC 2019

In 2017, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 527 (now State Law 2017-196) in order to foster free, open inquiry in the state’s colleges and universities. One of the provisions ordered the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors to produce an annual report on two major categories of intellectual freedom: free speech … Continue reading “Free Speech at UNC 2019”


University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet

The latest publication from The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, “University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet,” provides information on enrollment, tuition, graduation rates, student debt, and more for schools in the UNC system in an “at-a-glance”-style brochure. The fact sheet also examines significant trends in tuition rates, funding, and faculty, administration, … Continue reading “University of North Carolina System 2019 Fact Sheet”