It is always interesting for me to travel around the country giving lectures at different colleges and universities. This past week I have been struck with just now different institutions of higher education can be from one another. Let me preface my remarks by saying – in this post — that I absolutely love my university. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is always ranked very near the top of state research universities in the country, and for very good reason. The faculty are on the whole absolutely stellar. Just within my own Department of Religious Studies we have eighteen full time tenured or tenure-track faculty, not counting adjuncts and emeriti, and every single one of them has a national reputation in his or her field, and several have international reputations. We all write books, articles, book reviews, essays, and so on. Many are absolutely at the top of their fields. It would be hard to assemble a more impressive faculty if you tried. I would stack us up against any faculty of religious studies in any institution of higher learning anywhere on the planet.

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