The university system in the United States has accomplished a great deal of good, but it has strayed from its chief goals of scholarly inquiry and responsible teaching, especially in the past 20 years.
All too often, universities allow teaching to become shallow and trendy, failing to challenge students intellectually and disparaging traditional principles of justice, ethics, and liberal education. Students know little about the history of their country or the institutions that led to this nation’s freedom and prosperity. Students can get by without taking rigorous courses; non-academic activities overshadow scholarship. As a result, many college graduates have poor skills in computation, communication, and logical analysis. Faculty are allowed excessive latitude in what they teach—and often get away with little teaching at all—because research is emphasized.
Taxpayers as well as students and their families pay hefty prices to support a system that often provides too little educational value. Across the country, states spend roughly $100 billion per year on higher education—more than 12 percent of total state expenditures. Despite this tremendous cost, colleges and universities have failed to provide value to students, taxpayers, and society. The average 6-year graduation rate at public universities is just 54 percent.
State legislators and university trustees have an opportunity to address many of these issues. The Martin Center’s “Blueprints for Reform” provide detailed plans of how to do so.
Our Blueprints for Reform provide recommendations and solutions ready for implementation. They include specific proposals, model university policies, and model legislation from public policy organizations and states that have already introduced successful reforms.
Each Blueprint focuses on a single topic. Check back frequently to find out if new Blueprints have been released. And if there is a topic you think we should cover, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to our list.