Today’s professors are teaching fewer and fewer classes and are focusing more on publishing in order to gain tenure. As a result, students are often taught by part-time so-called adjunct professors with less expertise. Author Paul Streitz says that 99% of the research and publishing that takes professors away from interaction with students “has no merit and no redeeming social value.” When I went to college, every course I took was taught by a full professor.
Unfortunately, the U.S. News and World Report annual ranking of universities contributes to the problem. These rankings are partly based on how much money schools spend on each student. This can quickly incentivize administrators to raise costs even though a university’s expenditures rarely help students to get a great education. Too often, administrators build grand buildings and offer unnecessary student perks. Trustees become more concerned with the institution itself than with its students.
Author Paul Streitz suggests that it might be time for parents and students to create associations so they can demand common sense reforms. They should fight for lower tuition, full financial disclosure, and tuition freezes for four years of study. The academic elite have been out of touch with students and families far too long; it’s time American students push back and demand a real product at a fair price.
Listen to the radio commentary here: