This story focuses on North Carolina but I believe as more people realize how bad the situation is, we’ll see more stories like this.

Jennifer Kabbany of the College Fix reports.

Republicans and conservatives can effect change at universities: Here’s proof!

A recent headline in The Chronicle of Higher Education reads: “Conservative Think Tank Puts Pressure on North Carolina’s Colleges.” Its subhead notes: “The influence of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education appears to be growing in the Republican-led state.”

Translation: Republican lawmakers, conservative intellectuals, watchdog organizations and donors can team up and actually do something about the wrong-headed direction of higher education today.

It takes a village, after all.

The Chronicle article spends time bemoaning the Raleigh-based Pope Center’s clout with some lawmakers in North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature. It also charges the center with wanting to control what’s taught in North Carolina’s universities. Plus it quotes a former UNC Chapel Hill chancellor who argued the “center has damaged the perception of the university system through its influence with policy makers who have a limited appreciation for higher education.”

But in reality, what the center has done is constantly highlight the system’s absurd academic, fiscal and past governing decisions. The center’s scholars didn’t need to damage the perception of the university system, just simply point out the damage already being done.

And their arguments have been sufficient enough to prompt intervention from the university system’s Board of Governors, members appointed by the legislature. The Chronicle notes:

Last year the board approved a policy that caps at 15 percent the portion of tuition revenue that each campus can use for financial aid, saying the aid money was driving tuition increases and provided too much benefit for nonresident students. The policy change was supported by the Pope Center.

… The board has also voted to close a small group of academic centers that focus on politically progressive issues, most notably the University of North Carolina’s Center for Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. Its director has been an outspoken critic of the state’s Republican leaders. …