John William Pope Center Guest Editorial  

The university system in the United States has accomplished a great deal of good, but we believe that higher education in the United States, including North Carolina, has strayed from its chief goals of scholarly inquiry and responsible teaching. All too often, universities allow teaching to become shallow and trendy, failing to challenge students intellectually and disparaging traditional principles of justice, ethics, and liberal education. Students know little about the history of their country or the institutions that led to this nation’s prosperity and liberty. Students can get by without taking rigorous courses, and non-academic activities overshadow scholarship. As a result, many college graduates have poor skills in computation, communication, and logical analysis. Faculty are allowed excessive latitude in what they teach and often get away with little teaching at all, because research is emphasized. Taxpayers as well as students and their families pay hefty prices to support a system that often appears to provide little educational value. To address these and other problems, the Pope Center conducts studies in areas such as governance, curriculum, financing, access, accountability, faculty research, and administrative policies. We explore ways to increase the accountability of trustees, administrators, faculty, and students. And we engage in the broader dialogue about how to improve higher education around the nation. In these endeavors, we are motivated by the principles that have traditionally guided public policy in the United States: limits on government; freedom to pursue goals through voluntary means, both for-profit and nonprofit; accountability through private property rights; and the belief that competition is an excellent regulating force.

College officials should be praised when they curtail wasteful spending, but when they cut the budget by eliminating core educational programs, they deserve public scorn
The Department of Education recently proposed new regulations to punish colleges that attract students with misleading claims.
In a typical week, I get four or five inquiries from media relating to some higher education issue
Four classically liberal professors and an economist named Adam Smith walk into a room. No, this isn't the beginning of a bad joke; it was the first event of the Classical Liberals in the Carolinas conference held last week at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte
One thing I've learned in my years of teaching in the U.S. is that many young Americans are moral relativists. As students in elementary and secondary schools, they were taught that there is no moral fact of the matter
Recent studies reveal a disturbing trend in higher education: colleges, both private and public, are increasingly devoting a significant amount of time and money to public relations.
On the surface, Pokémon Go players appear to be zombified millennials walking aimlessly, eyes fixed on their cellphones
Politics is on many people's minds this year, so this is a good time to write about that topic
Last month I looked at Hillary Clinton's higher education proposals in this Clarion Call, and found nothing to praise in them. They merely deepen the already ruinous federal involvement in subsidizing college.
Hamilton College has for years had an open curriculum, allowing students the freedom to shape their education as they think best. Whether that's a good idea is debatable, but the college is about to move in the opposite direction by instituting a "diversity requirement" for all students
In 2014, North Carolina State University became the new home for PowerAmerica, a $140 million dollar project aimed at promoting research in the advanced electronics industry. Just two years later, NC State is back in the headlines, this time with a focus on energy
In 2013, North Carolina stopped giving automatic pay raises to public school teachers who earn master's degrees
What I have observed is that students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate. This makes them easy targets for the climate alarmism that pervades America today.
I am about to begin my freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and I recently attended college orientation.
Seemingly, nothing now stands between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nomination, so it's worth looking anew at her proposals regarding higher education
Hyper-aggressive federal officials have taken the vague language in Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Amendments and treated it as if it gave them plenary authority to control anything on a college campus having in any way to do with sexual misbehavior
Mark Twain's famous quip about the rumors of his demise applies to the private higher education lending industry
American Anthropological Association (AAA) passed a resolution calling for the association to boycott Israeli academic institutions as punishment for the Israeli state's Palestinian policy.
A few weeks ago I went camping with some fellow members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Young Americans for Liberty chapter
Ever since the 2008 financial crash, American business schools have been reeling from criticism. There is a widespread feeling that the financial meltdown was caused by graduates of elite business schools who created fortunes through hedge funds, derivatives, and other financial tricks
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) advises trustees and alumni about higher education issues, identifies "oases of [educational] excellence," and examines graduation requirements at various colleges to answer the question "What Will They Learn?"
Students who leave college with no degree but an accumulation of debt face obvious hardship, but what about taxpayer money wasted on students with no degrees
Every semester during my thirteen years of teaching at a liberal arts college, several senior year students would approach me and ask if I "knew of any jobs out there."
Following a particularly tumultuous year, Duke University has issued a lengthy report to address "bias and hate" on campus
Businesses sometimes charge different customers different prices as a way to maximize revenue
The May 6 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education contains two illuminating and rather unexpected articles
Several years ago, the La Voz de Aztlan, a radical left-wing supplement to Fresno State University's student newspaper, published a poem steeped in anti-American sentiment
For many years American colleges and universities have been obsessed with diversity. Institutions now have one or more diversity offices and students frequently have to take at least one diversity-themed course to graduate.
Since the federal government feeds students in K-12 schools via the National School Lunch Program, it should similarly feed college students who are "food insecure,"
Lawmakers returned to Raleigh at the end of April to attend this year's "short session." On the agenda are adjustments to the state budget and a few policies left unresolved when legislators adjourned last year
The Innovator's Dilemma theory is based on the premise that incumbent firms in a given market tend to focus on making incremental improvements to existing products and services, rather than on providing new and possibly revolutionary ones
When Bernie Sanders proposed free tuition at public colleges and universities, Hillary Clinton responded with her rival plan, The New College Compact
Whether it's Princeton Review, which grades schools based on students' evaluations, or U.S News and World Report, where rankings rely heavily on graduation and retention rates, schools celebrate a high position as an indication of a quality education
Every so often, the issue of grade inflation makes the headlines, and we are reminded that grades are being debased continuously.
The American higher education establishment suffers from the same problem as ruling establishments everywhere-the inability to look objectively at itself
Accreditation is like the pancreas: not very interesting, but a source of serious problems if it malfunctions
Eight states currently allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns on all public college campuses. In Utah, campus carry has been on the books for a decade
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