According to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro catalog, the course “ELC 381, The Institution of Education” is “required of students seeking student licensure.” Unfortunately, the course often goes far beyond what is politically acceptable for an education course at a public university. When one looks at the section of ELC 381 taught by Revital Zilonka in the Spring of 2016, it becomes clear that the degree of politicization completely violates the spirit of free inquiry that is supposed to govern our schools.
We’ve all heard the refrain: “college graduates make a million dollars more in their lifetimes than high school graduates.” The “college premium,” as it is called, is used to justify a wide variety of personal and policy decisions. But the real college premium is an exceedingly complex concept that cannot be captured by a single number. As Margaret Spellings takes the leadership role in the University of North Carolina system, let us hope that she does not fall for the simplistic rhetoric concerning the benefits of college attendance that has led her predecessors to push for expanded enrollment—and that she has at times fallen for as well.
Even before she assumes control of the University of North Carolina system, former Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has become a lightening rod for attacks by faculty, students, and activists on the left. It is an attempt to intimidate her into acquiescence to the leftist faculty’s agenda.
The truth is most college donations make very little impact, at best. On occasion, they are used to produce a bad impact. But that doesn’t mean giving to higher education is necessarily bad or irrelevant. In fact, if done properly, it can be exceedingly valuable.
The recent decision by UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism to eliminate requirements that journalism majors take certain basic courses in economics, U.S. government, and American History since 1865 is troubling. If the people who are supposed to keep us aware are unaware themselves, how can we know how to stand up for ourselves?
Given that the included content is overwhelmingly anti-American, that the course omits some of the most essential perspectives, and that the professor is a hard-left ideologue, the only proper conclusion can be that the course was crafted to present a biased picture. It is time for the Trustees of UNC-Chapel Hill to step up and end this politicized abuse of the curriculum. And in doing so, establish themselves as the voice of reason, since the administration seems incapable of proper judgment in many curricular matters.
Are the humanities in trouble on American campuses? That is certainly the impression one gets from the media today; articles in publications of both left and right describe the increasing flight from the humanities into other disciplines. But is it all hype? After all, the blogosphere is always full of “next big things” or “imminent collapses” that never come to pass. And many academics scoff at the idea that the humanities are suffering from any sort of existential crisis. To find out the real situation, I explored what is going on in one of the main humanities disciplines, English. Concentrating on English departments and their faculties in the University of North Carolina system, I used a mix of empirical and qualitative methods to look behind all the rhetoric and wagon-circling.
Authored by director of policy analysis Jay Schalin, the report investigates current trends in English departments, including why student enrollment has declined in English departments at American universities and how both internal and external pressures have led to widespread changes in the discipline’s curriculum.
Rising student default rates at University of North Carolina schools are rising, with particularly troubling rates at the system’s HBCUs.
Shortly after the Center for Work, Poverty, and Opportunity at UNC-Chapel Hill’s law school was closed, Gene Nichol, a controversial law professor who served as the center’s director, announced the creation of a “Poverty Fund” that may be a continuation of the Poverty Center by another name. The Pope Center’s director of policy analysis, Jay Schalin, penned an ardent critique of the new Poverty Fund. This led to a response by John K. Wilson, an editor for Academe Blog, an online publication of the American Association of University Professors, who regularly writes on academic freedom issues. At Wilson’s suggestion, Schalin prepared a second response. The Pope Center presents both responses in this special feature.