A specter is haunting higher education—the specter of declining enrollments. University and college enrollment has fallen nearly 9 percent since 2011, according to the National Student Clearinghouse, and no one is exactly sure why. The decrease is not that obvious yet because the decline follows many decades of tremendous growth in enrollment. On a website … Continue reading “A Worrisome Trend for Higher Education: Declining Enrollments”
For many people, the topic of college accreditation is dry and arcane. But for faculty seeking to block actions they don’t like, accreditation is their last hope. By threatening its loss, they believe they can strike fear in the hearts of their adversaries and make them back down. That is why the Faculty Assembly of … Continue reading “Regional Accreditors: Kings of the Academic Jungle–or Paper Tigers? “
Five years ago, higher education was abuzz over distance learning, a “disruptive technology.” The big question was whether traditional colleges and universities could incorporate the new technology or if they would be crippled because they couldn’t adapt to it. The rapid growth of for-profit online schools and the advent of MOOCs (massive open online courses) … Continue reading “Purdue Shakes Up Academe (Not All Presidents Are as Innovative as Mitch Daniels)”
Assuming that Betsy DeVos, the new secretary of education, has sufficient commitment and stamina, she will change how her department addresses K-12 education. Her support of school choice through charter schools and voucher programs is well known. DeVos’s department is also deeply involved in higher education, but the issues are different. What roils higher education … Continue reading “What the Feds Can Do for Higher Education: Appoint Richard Vedder”
During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump argued that requiring wealthy universities to spend more of their endowment funds on tuition aid would reduce students’ financial burdens. Whether implementing that idea—which has floated around Congress since 2008—would lower college costs on the whole is doubtful. And, in my view, the federal government is already meddling too … Continue reading “For University Endowments, There’s No Time like the Present”
Many people believe that the nation’s college campuses have become hotbeds of sexual assault. In June, after a student at Stanford University was convicted of rape but given a light sentence, Vice President Joe Biden wrote an open letter to the female victim: You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one … Continue reading “Is There Really a Rape Culture on Our Campuses?”
Ever since the 2008 financial crash, American business schools have been reeling from criticism. There is a widespread feeling that the financial meltdown was caused by graduates of elite business schools who created fortunes through hedge funds, derivatives, and other financial tricks. While that view is more fiction than fact, it has spawned conferences, books, … Continue reading “What’s Wrong with Business Schools?”
A few years ago, I went back to school. I was in my 60s and nearing retirement as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. In that position I had been observing universities, faculty, administrators, and students for five or six years and I thought I knew a lot about academia. I was aware that many students are slackers, that a lot of faculty members have a leftist bias, that college costs too much, that there’s grade inflation and a lot of administrative waste and red tape. But I wanted to study again, and North Carolina State University was less than a mile away from where I lived. So far, I have taken five courses, three of them since I retired last February.
Over the past eight years I have experienced a rich and sometimes tumultuous education about the economics, politics, and culture of today’s campuses.
George Ehrhardt, one of the few avowed conservative political scientists at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, has published an article that attempts to explain to the political left what the political right’s views are on higher education.