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 >

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 >>

In Memoriam: Clayton Christensen

January 29, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
Clayton Christensen, professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School who famously predicted that as many as half of American universities could go bankrupt, passed away on January 23 at… Continue Reading >>

Gertrude Himmelfarb on Higher Education’s Search for Relevance

January 14, 2020 by Rebecca Richards |
At the end of 2019, Gertrude Himmelfarb, renowned historian and public intellectual, passed away, though her scholarship and ideas continue to inform current understanding of difficult challenges facing… Continue Reading >>

Promoting Civic Engagement on Campus: A Conversation with Every Vote Counts

January 8, 2020 by Erik Gross |
Campbell Streator is Executive Director of Every Vote Counts, a student-led, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing voter turnout. Continue Reading >>

In Memoriam: Gertrude Himmelfarb

January 3, 2020 by Michael Poliakoff |
On Monday, December 30, Gertrude Himmelfarb, renowned historian, public intellectual, and recipient of ACTA’s third Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education, passed… Continue Reading >>

St. John’s College: Innovation in the Face of Crisis

December 16, 2019 by Rebecca Richards |
This piece was originally posted by ACTA's Fund for Academic Renewal (FAR). Click here to check out their website.  Continue Reading >>

When it comes to its free speech hypocrisy, Penn doesn’t get it… or doesn’t care.

December 16, 2019 by Samantha Harris |
This piece was originally written for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which the foundation has graciously allowed ACTA to republish. Continue Reading >>

ACTA President Discusses Recent Forbes Piece

December 4, 2019 by Michael Poliakoff |
ACTA President Michael Poliakoff wrote an op-ed in Forbes titled "Can Storied Williams College Be Saved From Itself?" which commented on the erosion of reasoned discourse at the elite liberal arts college.… Continue Reading >>

Solving the Adaptive Challenge of Student Loans in the US

November 22, 2019 by Luke Yang |
Unlike many other developed countries, American higher education is mainly financed by students and families. The latest statistics show that 44.7 million Americans have already borrowed a total of $1.56 trillion… Continue Reading >>

American Culture and Ideas Initiative Promotes High Culture at University of Arizona

November 6, 2019 by Erik Gross |
Daniel Asia is the Founder of the American Culture and Ideas Initiative (ACII) and Professor of Music at the Fred Fox School of Music at University of Arizona. The ACII is one of ACTA's Oases… Continue Reading >>

Smith Center at Xavier University Introduces Business Students to the Liberal Arts

October 28, 2019 by Erik Gross |
R. Stafford Johnson is Director of the Stephen S. Smith Center and Professor of Finance at the Williams College of Business at Xavier University. The Smith Center is one of ACTA's Oases of Excellence,… Continue Reading >>

Faculty Leaders Meet at Fall Oases of Excellence Conference

October 15, 2019 by Rebecca Richards |
In late September, distinguished faculty from across the country gathered together in Orem, Utah, at Utah Valley University for the fall 2019 Oases of Excellence conference. The 68 programs designated… Continue Reading >>

The Impoverishment of the American College Student: A Scathing Indictment of the College Affordability Crisis

September 24, 2019 by Erik Gross |
In The Impoverishment of the American College Student, Board of Visitors Professor of Economics emeritus and president emeritus of Old Dominion University James V. Koch pulls no punches in his detailed, panoramic… Continue Reading >>

Michael Poliakoff on Literature as a Foundational Study

August 27, 2019 by Erik Gross |
Dr. Michael Poliakoff is the president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Ahead of the publication of ACTA's annual What Will They Learn? report in September, Dr. Poliakoff sat down with communications… 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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