Dr. Michael C. Behrent

UNC Board of Governors: Some speech is “more free” than others

By: and - December 12, 2017

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the current members of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors and their General Assembly backers. Like the dictatorial pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm—who declared “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”—the Board is putting a noble veneer on self-serving and disingenuous arguments.

Duke faculty members speak out: “We don’t want to be temps”

By: - November 24, 2015

Once upon a time, American college professors were solidly middle class. While their salaries were relatively modest—particularly given the time and resources required to earn a higher degree, typically a Ph.D.—their standard of living was relatively high and, most importantly, due to the generalization of the tenure system following the Second World War, they were […]

A modest proposal: UNC chancellors, return those pay raises!

By: - November 4, 2015

Something surprising has happened in Raleigh: Republicans have suddenly become spendthrifts. And they’re even spending money on education, to boot. Of course, there is a catch: the money in question is going overwhelmingly to the wealthy. When it comes to education, the Republicans are following their national playbook: they’re showering the rich with gold, while […]


The fight against contingent labor is a civil rights struggle, too

By: - July 20, 2015

The demonstration against the North Carolina legislature’s voter suppression law, organized by the NAACP and Moral Monday movement last Monday in Winston-Salem, was a stirring reminder that, fifty years after the Voting Rights Act, civil rights cannot be taken for granted in this country. But the organizers of the day’s event also called attention to […]

Why Greece Matters to North Carolina

By: - July 16, 2015

For many Americans, Greece evokes idyllic islands, feta cheese, and “Western civ.” The details of its financial crisis strike them as complex and obscure. We need, however, to understand that the Greek situation concerns us directly. Since the Republicans took over the state government in 2012, North Carolinians have suffered from a noxious combination of […]

Why democracy needs higher education

By: - July 2, 2015

The defunding of public higher education currently underway across the country is troubling for many reasons. It is more than just bad policy: gutting public higher education weakens the democratic principles upon which our society is founded—specifically, liberty, equality, and civic participation. Democracy thrives on liberty, and liberty requires free minds. This is one reason […]