the ladder

Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma

Recently I attended a meeting of a committee of the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors that has a mission of “setting goals for economic impact.” Higher education’s role in the economy cannot be ignored; the extent of that role is, however, highly debatable. Some people believe that academia is the place to … Continue reading “Educating for the Workplace: A Dilemma”

PC Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness

In 2010, a seemingly insignificant event in a far-off land caught my eye. The Israeli academic world was having a fracas over the actions of “post-Zionist” faculty that raised important questions about the principle of academic freedom. Briefly, Zionism is support for a religious Jewish state; post–Zionism refers to the desire for Zionist Israel to … Continue reading “Academic Freedom in an Age of Political Correctness”


Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness

The current consensus on academic freedom in higher education is crumbling and a new framework that more equitably represents all stakeholders – faculty, students, administrators, and society – is urgently needed. “Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness” examines the dominance of faculty over the academic freedom debate over the last century and recommends … Continue reading “Academic Freedom in the Age of Political Correctness”

Ed School Students Must Become Social Justice Warriors to Gain Licensure

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.

A Million Dollars More? Only for Some

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.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Defense of Controversial 9/11 Course Doesn’t Hold Up

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.

The English Department’s Willful Self-Destruction

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.