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 >

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 >>

In Memoriam: David Koch

August 23, 2019 by Michael Poliakoff |
David Koch, co-owner of Koch Industries, powerful philanthropist, and libertarian advocate, died this week at the age of 79 following a struggle with cancer. David Koch was a passionate supporter of higher… Continue Reading >>

Ali Eskandarian: Scientists Need a Liberal Education

August 20, 2019 by Erik Gross |
Dr. Eskandarian is the Executive Director of the Fund for Academic Renewal at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). Prior to joining ACTA, Dr. Eskandarian was a professor at George Washington… Continue Reading >>

William Luther on Economics and the Liberal Arts

August 14, 2019 by Erik Gross |
William J. Luther is an assistant professor of economics at Florida Atlantic University, director of the American Institute for Economic Research’s Sound Money Project, and an adjunct scholar… Continue Reading >>

Bridging the Achievement Gap for Minority Students at Predominately White Institutions

August 13, 2019 by Jayda Rogers |
Studies have found that minority college students experience “higher college dropout rates, lower levels of academic preparation in high school, lower socioeconomic status, and greater alienation or isolation… Continue Reading >>

A Conversation with Jonathan Zimmerman: Evangelizing Liberal Education

August 8, 2019 by Erik Gross |
Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history of education at University of Pennsylvania, and a committed advocate of open inquiry and liberal education. With a little over a month until the publication of ACTA's… Continue Reading >>

Response to “Great Books for a Brainwashing” (WSJ 7/28)

August 7, 2019 by Michael Poliakoff |
Andy Kessler’s op-ed, “Great Books for a Brainwashing” (July 28), is a sobering reminder of the damage that fair-sounding summer reading initiatives have been doing now for some years, by… Continue Reading >>

Chartered for Success

August 5, 2019 by Daniel Siegel |
The quality of education that students receive is a key factor in their long-term success, socioeconomically and personally. There are three broad divisions of American schools: public, private, and charter.… Continue Reading >>

“Turn to Your Neighbor and Say Hello” – Disregarding Language and Literature Encourages Division

August 2, 2019 by Melissa Haley |
There’s no way around it—the college experience just ain’t what it used to be. Liberal arts colleges, which have played an important role in our nation’s Founding and growth, are turning… Continue Reading >>

How Extracurriculars Skew College Admissions

August 1, 2019 by Nathan Hotes |
Institutions of higher education use the extracurricular activities of applicants to "get a sense of the person you are and what you care about", yet most applications force these activities to be submitted… Continue Reading >>

Classical Languages in Risk: How Classical Education Is Taught in China

July 30, 2019 by Meixi Sun |
In the United States, Latin disappeared from middle school and high school classrooms decades ago. Most public schools no longer offer courses in Latin, while others only offer the class as an elective. Ancient… Continue Reading >>

The Importance the Liberal Arts Play in Civic Engagement

July 26, 2019 by Adam Horey |
A crisis has been emerging at our nation’s small liberal arts colleges. Enrollment is dwindling at most small colleges. Consequently, these schools have been forced to take on greater budget deficits.… Continue Reading >>

U.S. History is the Bedrock of Civic Engagement

July 24, 2019 by Thomas Johnson |
As higher education sees an increase in enrollment, colleges are gradually shifting their curricula to keep up with the changing economic landscape, often at the expense of the liberal arts. Many institutions… 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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