Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, May 23, 2014

Unaccountable Higher Education

America’s colleges and universities are usually able to evade scrutiny or criticism of their mistakes and bad practices. The benefits of a college degree have caused us to ignore many academic eccentricities. Let’s look at some facts. Today's college graduates owe enormous student debts that have interest rates far above any home-mortgage. Because students now have access to all the money they need in federally-guaranteed loans, universities now charge as much as they want. Today’s graduating students find not only does their degree not assure them a job, but they will spend most of their lives just paying the interest on their college debt! Universities are short-changing our students by no longer offering an affordable or valuable product.

There are several areas in academia that need significant reform, such as giving lifetime employment after a short apprenticeship. Rarely do we ever see tenure in other professional fields. Once created to protect free speech by professors, tenure has created a class-system in which professors care little about whether their classes are needed or are well-taught. The expansion of administrative jobs has exploded annual budgets by the inclusion of high-paid “diversity” and “technology” positions that often can’t even be defined. Universities have also given themselves the right to all sorts of legal and constitutional exemptions, while students apparently don’t’ even have full rights of free speech and self-defense while they are on campus. Lawyers and doctors must pass competency exams before they are fit to practice, so why do professors get a free pass?

For too long, we have allowed colleges and universities to operate with different societal expectations from other professional fields. It’s time we demand transparency and reform.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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