The Corner

College Syllabi Should Be Open to the Public

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Sellers of all kinds of goods and services are required to provide accurate information to consumers. False advertising and deceptive labeling are not allowed.

But when it comes to education, it’s caveat emptor. Students, parents and taxpayers often find it difficult to discover exactly what a course contains because syllabi are treated by some colleges and universities as the intellectual property of the faculty members — they’re copyrighted material and thus not available under public-records requests.

In today’s Martin Center article, Jenna Robinson discusses this problem. When the Center tried to get syllabi for education courses taught at NC State, we ran into

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George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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