Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson could present very different messages to N.C. voters and taxpayers in the years ahead. The two men previewed a divergent path during their public swearing-in ceremonies in Raleigh. While Cooper complained about the COVID-19 pandemic, racism, unaffordable health care, and unequal opportunity, Robinson emphasized the state’s successes. He pointed to his own story as North Carolina’s first black lieutenant governor. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, assesses the contrast between Cooper and Robinson. Prospective Asian-American students sued the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over its admissions policies. The suit came as no surprise to Kenny Xu, a political commentator and author of An Inconvenient Minority. The book documents similar race discrimination lawsuits challenging admissions policies at Ivy League schools. Xu shares highlights from his work. He compares the Ivy League story with the situation at Chapel Hill. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby has taken his oath as the top officer in North Carolina’s judicial branch of government. During his first speech as chief justice, Newby shared details of his judicial philosophy. He also explained why court personnel need to work hard to reopen courtrooms in the wake of COVID-19. Major N.C. universities have problems with pervasive sex discrimination. But it’s not the type of discrimination you might expect when you hear those words. Adam Kissel, former deputy assistant secretary for higher education programs at U.S. Department of Education, documented the problem in a recent report. Kissel shares highlights of the report prepared for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges since last spring for parents of school-age children in North Carolina. Some of them turned to “learning pods” to help address students’ struggles with online learning. Terry Stoops, director of the Center for Effective Education at the John Locke Foundation, assesses families’ experience with learning pods and other innovations sparked by COVID-19.