Commentaries | Archive

Showing records: 1 to 10 out of 1991

Title IX: How a Good Idea Became Higher Education's Worst Nightmare
What started out as a law to give women more opportunities in higher education has morphed into a bureaucratic monster that destroys due process of law, sets students against each other, and encourages bureaucrats to search for new ways to expand their authority.... More »
April 29, 2016


At Marquette, Honesty, Free Speech, and Tenure No Match for Political Correctness
No case better illustrates the degree to which American universities are in the thrall of political correctness than the fight that erupted back in 2014 at Marquette, and continues to this day.... More »
April 27, 2016


Will the UNC System Rise Above Higher Education's Status Quo?
UNC System leaders are overhauling their 2013 strategic planning initiative. Whether that will result in sound reform ideas, however, is up in the air. North Carolina's university system is a powerful force in the state—armed with its own lobbying team, almost 50,000 employees, and a $9.5 billion annual budget. It is a machine with a tendency to aggrandize. Curbing its appetite for expansion and self-serving policies won't be easy.... More »
April 25, 2016


In (Limited) Praise of Trigger Warnings
One should wish to "do no harm." Reason must prevail. Professors should take steps to protect the truly damaged, but students who think they are emotionally triggered by imaginary, supernatural beings with magical powers would be better served by paying a visit to the campus health center.... More »
April 22, 2016


Grades Just Keep on Inflating; Why Does It Matter?
The real harm of grade inflation is that it is a fraud on students who are misled into thinking that they are more competent than they really are.... More »
April 20, 2016


North Carolina Universities Continue to Value Prestige Over Assessment
What started as a promising step towards a coordinated system of student learning assessment at all 16 UNC campuses now appears to be another lackluster attempt to appease stakeholders, while avoiding concrete data that could spur serious and necessary reform at the campus level.... More »
April 18, 2016


Woodrow Wilson's Legacy Still to Be Honored at Princeton
Earlier this month Princeton University's Board of Trustees resolved an issue that in the fall of 2015 provoked angry student protests, including a 32-hour sit-in demonstration in the university president's office led by a group called the Black Justice League. The most controversial question dealt with the legacy of Princeton past president Woodrow Wilson, who is honored in many ways, including a public policy institute and one of its residential colleges that are named for him. Students from the Black Justice League demanded several changes be made, the most contentious being the removal of Wilson's name from all places of honor at the university on the grounds that Wilson was a bigoted racist.... More »
April 15, 2016


Blind Faith in College Completion
The American higher education establishment suffers from the same problem as ruling establishments everywhere—the inability to look objectively at itself. Do you think that the members of the old Soviet Politburo ever asked, "Do our five-year plans actually do any good?" Of course not, and members of our higher education establishment are no more inclined to wonder, "Have we oversold college?" Illustrative of the inability of elites to question the basic assumptions of their status is the latest book from William Bowen and Michael McPherson, Lesson Plan.... More »
April 13, 2016


BCG Report: Universities Want More Advocacy, Less Accountability
A study of the UNC System's administration, released last week, recommends realignment of the management of UNC's 16 universities—mostly to fulfill campus wish lists. But downplayed in the report is the reason for the General Administration's existence in the first place: to help the disparate schools function more efficiently as a system, in order to serve students better.... More »
April 11, 2016


The Great California Accreditation War
Accreditation is like the pancreas: not very interesting, but a source of serious problems if it malfunctions. The pancreas of higher education just said "ouch." An accrediting agency, licensed by the federal government to keep colleges in good order, just got a (temporarily suspended) death sentence.... More »
April 08, 2016


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