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 >

Intern Blog: Military Colleges Make the Grade on General Education

August 10, 2017 by Adam Niehoff |
American military colleges produce disciplined leaders that are prepared for national service in one of the four American service branches. Often these institutions are extremely selective and require letters… Continue Reading >>

Intern Blog: The Timeless Value of the Great Books

August 8, 2017 by Nathaniel Urban |
Plato, Aristotle, Tocqueville, Milton, Hobbes, and Dante. Are these texts—today considered the Great Books of Western Civilization—still relevant for 21st Century needs? For students who discover… Continue Reading >>

Intern Blog: Do Weak Standards Come at a High Price?

August 3, 2017 by Jessika Dziechciowska |
Research shows that the cost of tuition has been steadily increasing since 1991. The rate of increase accelerated greatly after the year 2000 and continued to increase through 2015. Nonetheless, even these… Continue Reading >>

Intern Blog: Emphasizing Intellectual Diversity

August 1, 2017 by Sarah Byrd |
If recent events are any indication, the lack of free speech on college and university campuses is a crisis of the first order. Students wish to insulate themselves within their own social and ideological circles,… Continue Reading >>

Intern Blog: Silicon Valley Titans Prove the Value of the Liberal Arts

July 31, 2017 by Joey Barretta |
Often, it is assumed that the liberal arts and STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) are at odds. The liberal arts are increasingly viewed as outmoded. Professors often prioritize… Continue Reading >>

Calculating and Cutting Costs: A Q&A on ACTA’s Project on Administrative Costs

July 26, 2017 by ACTA|
Since “The Great Recession,” both public and private colleges have been feeling a financial squeeze. Consequently, reformers are asking important questions about improving efficiency and fiscal… Continue Reading >>

Rating Intellectual Diversity on Campus

July 6, 2017 by Jeremy Willinger |
Increasingly over the last few years, universities have seen a rapid change in how students regard free speech and inquiry. Growing political polarization throughout the country has minimized opportunities… Continue Reading >>

A Future President’s History Lessons

July 4, 2017 by Rushad Thomas |
Study the past. These three simple words are etched in stone on a statue outside the National Archives building. On this Fourth of July, as Americans gather to celebrate with fireworks and barbecues, it is… Continue Reading >>

Keeping Track of Colleges—and Students

June 29, 2017 by Rushad Thomas |
Do students currently possess the tools they need to get good value for money out of their education? This question has produced a variety of creative efforts to evaluate the comparative strengths and weaknesses… Continue Reading >>

ACTA and the Fund for Academic Renewal Host Oases of Excellence Conference

June 13, 2017 by Alexis Zhang |
How do you promote open debate and inquiry in politically polarizing times and amid growing hostility to free expression? How can faculty promote liberal arts excellence and rigor in the face of academic drift… Continue Reading >>

2017’s Top Stories for Higher Ed Reform…So Far

June 7, 2017 by Ted Eismeier |
Who sets the agenda for coverage of higher education issues in the news? Last week, ACTA had the opportunity to find out while attending the Education Writers Association 70th National Seminar at Georgetown… Continue Reading >>

Q&A with the President of the University of Chicago: Safeguarding Free Expression

June 5, 2017 by Michael Poliakoff|
As freedom of expression faces increasingly difficult challenges on college campuses, the University of Chicago has emerged as the leading voice in defense of free expression, intellectual diversity, and academic… Continue Reading >>

The Most “Educated” Generation?

May 30, 2017 by Rushad Thomas |
As this year’s graduation season kicks off, the Millennial Generation is on track to become the most highly credentialed cohort in American history. The Pew Research Center recently found that the number… Continue Reading >>

In Memoriam: Peter Augustine Lawler

May 23, 2017 by Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill|
ACTA mourns the sudden death of Peter Augustine Lawler, a true friend to the liberal arts. Dr. Lawler was a distinguished and prolific author and editor, and an outstanding teacher, public servant, and public… Continue Reading >>

Give like Beyoncé—Or Better!

May 19, 2017 by Christine Ravold|
Beyoncé’s recently announced Formation Scholars program signals a new trend in philanthropy. Instead of just writing a check to a university, Queen Bey targeted specific universities and subjects… Continue Reading >>
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ACTA's take on:

News Roundup

Loyola University Announces Layoffs and Retirement Reductions

The New Orleans Advocate, Jessica Williams

American Student Loan Debt in 3 Charts

New York Times, Tara Siegel Bernard and Karl Russell

University of Kansas Removes Controversial Flag-Art

Inside Higher Ed, Emma Whitford

Nonprofit Offers Resources to Encourage Study of History

Philanthropy Magazine, Leah Libresco

Tackling Grade Inflation

Education Dive, James Paterson 

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