“The pathway to success is to keep the doors of our colleges and universities open to all, and to open them even wider,” North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt said in a recent editorial to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a national magazine that examines news and issues concerning colleges and universities nationwide. Hunt’s editorial appeared in the “Opinion & Arts” section of the July 16, 1999 edition of The Chronicle.
“By 2010, almost half of the states will experience increases of 20 per cent or more in the number of high school graduates they produce, and many states in the South and West will face even greater increases.” Our nations colleges and universities have not made adequate plans to accommodate this “demographic tidal wave,” Hunt said.
Hunt cited a study conducted last year by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education by Public Agenda (of which he is chairman) which examined Americans thoughts on higher education. According to the survey, Americans believe that college is necessary for economic success, that more should be done to help more students go on to college and that tuition increases are a bad idea.
Pope Center Director George Leef says those study results contradict analyses of the issues. “Economist David Schaffer and Frederick Pryor have recently shown that a large number of college graduates are now taking traditionally high school jobs. Such trends may lead to a decrease in the number of students going to college,” Leef said. “Also, the US Department of Labor has forecast that the strongest job growth in the next decade will be in jobs that do not require a college degree.”
A subsequent study by the Pope Center shows that North Carolina students pay a relatively small amount in tuition when compared to other states. The study relied on data for the 1995-96 academic year from the U.S. Dept. of Education. It found that a student enrolled in a public college or university in this state paid an average of only $1,382 in tuition and fees. Public institutions in only four other states (Hawaii, California, Nevada, Florida and New Mexico) received less tuition and fees revenue per student enrolled.
Men’s Sports Eliminated to Comply with Title IX
Top colleges and universities are dropping men’s sports programs in an effort to comply with Title IX of the 1972 educational acts, the federal law which forbids sex discrimination in education. Central Connecticut State University, for example, has received word from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights that it must find 20 more female athletes to bring the proportion of women athletes into line with the school’s male-female ratio. Currently, 49 percent of the school’s participants in sports are women, but women comprise 51 percent of total student enrollment.
Providence College this year eliminated its championship men’s baseball team, as well as its men’s tennis and golf teams to increase the school’s female athletic participation to match its percentage of women. At Miami University of Ohio, men’s wrestling, soccer and tennis were dropped last month for the same reasons. Boston College has been forced to drop men’s lacrosse, water polo and wrestling.
The Independent Women’s Forum has documented the loss of more than 350 men’s athletic teams since 1992. According to the General Accounting Office, opportunities for women between 1985 and 1997 rose by 16 percent, while opportunities for men fell by 12 percent.