This is the week that Americans honor military veterans. On America’s college campuses, the attitude towards them is more ambivalent, at least when their presence is compared to their visibility in the rest of America.
For one thing, not every campus is closed for Veterans Day. To be sure, many businesses stay open upon that day as well.
Moreover, as the Veteran’s Administration web site notes, “there is no legal requirement that schools close on Veterans Day.”
Nevertheless, veterans on campus are few and far between. With the possible exception of Troy University, you will find few colleges and universities on which veterans are a noticeable presence on the faculty, despite the growing number of vets who go on to earn advanced degrees.
In fact, the U. S. Department of Education has openly stalked the very for-profit colleges where many vets, particularly when still serving, out of necessity pursue their education.
On the other side of the scale, by our count, only about half of America’s four-year colleges and universities play host to chapters of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). That’s up from the one-quarter ratio we discovered when we first looked at this question almost ten years ago but still indicates that the ROTC falls outside of academia’s concept of diversity.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) claims there are 2,870 four-year colleges in the United States. Against this backdrop, the official ROTC web site boasts of—
- 1,100 Army ROTC chapters;
- 160 Navy and Marine ROTC chapters; and
- 144 Air Force ROTC chapters
Still and all, whatever the Ivory Tower’s outlook, we would like to thank America’s military veterans for their service.