Getting Less For More

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Academia has to be the one sector in American life over the past half century in which the portions have become diluted while the costs have gone through the roof. “There are an astounding number of schools not open on Mondays and Fridays,” Anne Neal of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), said in a conference call Monday.

Currently, national student debt stands at one trillion dollars, Greg Narag of the group, Alumni to the Rescue, said in his opening remarks. Meanwhile, “the Department o f Education found that graduates cannot tell the difference between opposing editorials or compute the cost of office goods,” Neal noted.

“Parents are paying more for less,” Dr. Robert Kraynak, Director of the Center for Freedom and Western Civilization at Colgate University and a Senior Fellow of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, avers. Moreover, indoctrination is mostly what they are getting. Kraynak has been at Colgate for three decades and the changes he has seen have mostly not been for the better.

For example, mushrooming administration with positions such as “sustainability officers” and “directors of Wellness institutions,” are too frequently the rule rather than the exception. Yet, at least on the financial side of the equation, there is some hope for reform. Belmont Abbey introduced a blanket tuition freeze, Kraynak noted. Meanwhile, Sewanee cut costs and Temple cut tuition, Neal added.

Economist Richard Vedder noted an interesting anomaly. “Federal outlays have increased the cost of college,” he claims. “A smaller percentage of students come from the bottom quintile now than in 1970 before we had these federal education programs.” Vedder is a professor emeritus at Ohio University.

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

 

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