Explore the Martin Center’s publications to deepen your understanding of the critical issues in higher education. Our experts offer policy briefs, model legislation, and in-depth research that inform decision-making and drive positive change.
Our work focuses on responsible governance, viewpoint diversity, academic quality, cost-effective education solutions, and innovative market-based reforms.
May 1, 2010 ·
Jay Schalin ·
Comments Off on State Investment in Universities: Rethinking the Impact on Economic Growth
Policymakers today commonly assume that investing taxpayers’ funds into higher education leads to major payoffs in economic growth. This report looks at broader economic studies that attempts to correlate expenditures with results.
Mar 25, 2010 ·
Melana Zyla Vickers ·
Comments Off on Accommodating College Students with Learning Disabilities: ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia
Universities are providing extra time on tests, quiet exam rooms, in-class note-takers, and other assistance to college students with modest learning disabilities. But these policies are shrouded in secrecy. This paper, “Accommodating College Students with Learning Disabilities: ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia,” by Melana Zyla Vickers, examines the nature of this assistance and discusses the policy questions it raises.
Feb 17, 2010 ·
Jenna A. Robinson ·
Comments Off on Do North Carolina Students Have Freedom of Speech?
The report examines the speech, assembly and religious protections for students and faculty at North Carolina’s universities–both public and private. Using the speech code rating system from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the Pope Center found that none of North Carolina’s universities received a “green light.”
Dec 1, 2009 ·
Max Borders ·
Comments Off on The UNC School of the Arts: Should It Be Self-Supporting?
This paper addresses the question of whether taxpayer funding is appropriate for a school that focuses on professional arts training, attracts nearly half its college students from outside the state, and appears to send most of its graduates elsewhere. It is, on a per capita basis, the most costly school in the University of North Carolina system.
Sep 15, 2009 ·
Jenna A. Robinson ·
Comments Off on College Bound? Make the Right Choices
College Bound? Make the Right Choices is the Pope Center’s latest tool for improving colleges and universities “from the bottom up” through better choices. Its purpose is to help high school students and their parents become smarter purchasers of higher education. This booklet by Jenna Ashley Robinson helps young people think through what they want from college—and choose their colleges accordingly.
Jun 30, 2009 ·
Robert Martin ·
Comments Off on The Revenue-to-Cost Spiral in Higher Education
The cost of higher education has been rising rapidly. This paper by Robert E. Martin explains why. The cause is the incentives inherent in the nature of higher education. Higher education is a nonprofit sector; profit and even clear ownership are missing. Martin compares higher education with the broader profit-seeking economy, where costs must be controlled if firms are to survive. He finds that higher education, due to its nonprofit nature and its focus on creating reputation, spends just about all the money it gets, avoiding cost control.
Apr 27, 2009 ·
Donald Downs ·
Comments Off on Academic Freedom
Today’s university is rife with competing claims about academic freedom. Although it is similar to the freedom of speech that all Americans enjoy, academic freedom has developed into a more specific guarantee for scholars and teachers. This new paper by Donald Downs, professor of political science, law, and journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, explains what is meant by the term and to whom it applies.
This paper by Bryan O’Keefe and Richard Vedder raises a provocative question. Does the increase in college enrollment over the past 30 years partly reflect the changing pressures on employers based on a 1971 Supreme Court decision? And if so, could these pressures also explain the much-touted increase in earnings that comes from a college education?
O’Keefe and Vedder explore the impact of the Griggs v. Duke Power decision on today’s college enrollment. In Griggs, the plaintiffs argued that Duke Power’s reliance on two aptitude tests discriminated against minority groups. Subsequent cases and statutory law have changed the environment for employer testing. This may have changed the pressure to attend college.
The paper is jointly published by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
Jul 29, 2008 ·
Jay Schalin ·
Comments Off on Opening Up the Classroom
A new report from the Pope Center proposes a way to improve the transparency and accountability of colleges and universities. “Opening Up the Classroom: Greater Transparency through Better, More Accessible Course Information,“ by Jay Schalin, recommends that faculty be required to post their course syllabi—the descriptions that go beyond the sketchy catalog summaries—on the Internet, with access open to the public.
There are four reasons for posting such documents on the Web. These are: to aid students as they register for courses, to expose a professor’s deviation from normal expectations or acceptable academic standards, to aid in pedagogical research and information sharing, and to make comparisons between classes at different universities easier for the determination of transfer credits.