ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.


The Forum is just that: a place for conversations about the future of higher education, hosted by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Subscribe, comment, and join the conversation! Subscribe to RSS Feed >

Campus ICU: NAS Urges Tying Pandemic Aid to Renewal of Higher Ed’s Commitment to the Common Good

May 22, 2020 by Jonathan Pidluzny |
COVID-19 has upended every sector of the American economy, further degraded an already toxic public discourse, and disrupted virtually every aspect of American society. But it would be hard to identify any… Continue Reading >>

In Memoriam: Richard Gilder

May 15, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
Richard Gilder, a businessman and philanthropist whose generosity supported education and, in particular, historical literacy, passed away on May 12, 2020, a few weeks before his 88th birthday. Born in 1932,… Continue Reading >>

In Memoriam: Abigail Thernstrom

May 4, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
Last month, the nation lost a hero of intellectual freedom and a paradigm of moral courage. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni also lost a dear friend. Abigail Thernstrom, political scientist and leading… Continue Reading >>

COVID-19 and Higher Education: A Reading List

May 1, 2020 by Erik Gross |
The spread of COVID-19 has upended much of daily life in America as individuals practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. Higher education has been particularly affected, with virtually all… Continue Reading >>

Choosing the Right College

April 28, 2020 by Nathaniel Urban |
College-decision day is here. Whether online or in-person, millions of freshmen will start their first day of college in the fall. While their chosen institution’s core curriculum might be the last thing… Continue Reading >>

Five Dystopian Novels for Quarantine

April 3, 2020 by Nathaniel Urban |
Social distancing, self-isolation, and the closure of non-essential businesses eerily resemble dystopian novels. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is a global emergency, not the rise of a dystopian future. Local,… Continue Reading >>

ACTA Writes to Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees

March 31, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
On March 27, ACTA wrote to the Hardin-Simmons University Board of Trustees, urging them to rethink the University's decision to close its seminary and cut several degree programs in its college of liberal… Continue Reading >>

Online Education Cannot Replace the Collegiate Experience

March 31, 2020 by Nathaniel Urban and Alexandra Quillen |
COVID-19 is redefining higher education. In less than a month, thousands of colleges and universities shifted to online coursework, forcing faculty without experience or interest in e-teaching to learn new… Continue Reading >>

In Memoriam: Kenneth Kolson

March 27, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
With the deepest sadness ACTA mourns the untimely death of our former colleague Dr. Kenneth Kolson on March 23, 2020. In 2016–17, he quite graciously came out of retirement after a long and distinguished… Continue Reading >>

South Carolina Will Make Civic Education a Priority

March 19, 2020 by Edwin Williamson and Nathaniel Urban |
The South Carolina General Assembly is now productively confronting a crisis in civic education, using its authority to get its public colleges and universities to take seriously their responsibility to better… Continue Reading >>

ASU students dive into civil debate and affirm freedom of expression on campus

March 9, 2020 by Doug Sprei, Director, Multimedia & Campus Partnerships |
Flashback - Phoenix, AZ, March 3:  A student-led debate about America's southern border wall, held in the evening at Arizona State University (ASU), filled every chair in the room. The event… Continue Reading >>

From the Bookshelf: Narrative Economics by Robert J. Shiller

February 28, 2020 by Erik Gross |
In Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral & Drive Major Economic Events, Robert J. Shiller, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University, engages in a quantitative analysis of how popular narratives… Continue Reading >>

Should Universities Be More Like Corporations?

February 25, 2020 by Erik Gross |
I attended an interesting event last week at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) with University of Virginia President James Ryan. Titled “Should universities be more like corporations?”, the… Continue Reading >>

The Definition of a Liberal Arts Education

February 12, 2020 by Nathaniel Urban |
The ancient Greeks identified seven subjects that made up a traditional liberal arts education, which they considered essential for a free person to study in order to participate in civic life and cultivate… Continue Reading >>

Experts Confront Campus Substance Use at #Everything2Gain

February 4, 2020 by Doug Sprei |
"All of us know often at firsthand of everything that is lost because of the web of alcohol and drug abuse on campus. Our purpose is to explore strategies that work to address the problem comprehensively."… Continue Reading >>
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ACTA's take on:

News Roundup

Opinion: Great Books for a Brainwashing

The Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler 

Has College Gotten Too Easy?

The Atlantic, Joe Pinkser 

The Consequences of the Government Shutdown for Higher Ed

Chronicle of Higher Education, Lindsay Ellis and Lily Jackson 

College Bloat Meets ‘The Blade’

Wall Street Journal, Tunku Varadarajan

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