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Gene Nichol's Poverty Fund: Two Views
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.... More »
July 27, 2015

Supremely Naive: The Impact of Southworth on the "Marketplace of Ideas"
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled in Board of Regents v. Southworth that using mandatory student fees to fund student organizations and speakers does not violate the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with the content. The Court's decision, however, was premised on the idea that university officials would be "viewpoint neutral" in allocating funds—that they would not let the process be used to promote or silence any political perspectives. The Court was dreadfully naive about the state of affairs on campus. Its deferential attitude toward universities and the assumption of good faith speaks to a generation gap between what the justices experienced as students and what today's students encounter.... More »
July 24, 2015

Subsidizing Higher Ed Makes It More Costly; It Also Makes Incomes More Unequal
Federal student aid programs were expected to have nothing but good economic and social consequences for America. Instead, however, they are simultaneously making higher education more costly (that is, soaking up more of our limited resources) and, owing to "credentialitis," making the distribution of income more unequal.... More »
July 22, 2015

Remediation's End?
For quite a few years, North Carolina's colleges and universities have blurred the line between higher and basic education by admitting students who need remedial classes before they can handle college-level work. Fortunately, several provisions moving through the General Assembly may change the face of remediation by shifting it back to lower levels of education where it belongs.... More »
July 20, 2015

Why Professors Are Obsessed with Student Course Evaluations
At many colleges, keeping the students happy is the paramount concern. School officials still pay lip service to academic excellence, but the truth is that revenue maximization is far more important to them.... More »
July 17, 2015

The Hidden Costs of Tenure
In effect, tenure is a barrier to entry in the academic job market that makes it difficult to replace poorly performing faculty with better alternatives.... More »
July 15, 2015

Freshman Orientation: Conform or Be Cast Out
At UNC-Chapel Hill’s freshman orientation, I learned that free speech, so fundamental to the academy, is only permitted to those who toe the "progressive" line.... More »
July 13, 2015

Freshman Reading Choices 2015: Welcome to Groupthink U.
Unfortunately, colleges often use their summer reading programs not to help students make the leap to the higher standard of scholarship that should be demanded of them at the collegiate level, but to expose them to books that may influence them to adopt the political agenda of the left.... More »
July 10, 2015

Critical Thinking, or the "Expectation of Confirmation"?
With so many more Americans going to college than in the past, you would think that anti-intellectualism would be a distant, rapidly fading memory. But you'd be mistaken argue Mark Bauerlein and Adam Bellow, editors of a sharp new book The State of the American Mind.... More »
July 08, 2015

Gene Nichol's "Poverty Fund" Is About the Politics, Not the Poverty
The reopening of UNC–Chapel Hill Law School's Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity as the "North Carolina Poverty Research Fund" by law professor Gene Nichol shows great contempt for the UNC system Board of Governors, the state legislature, and the people of North Carolina. It also may be illegal.... More »
July 06, 2015

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