The Federal Takeover of Higher Education

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Richard Bishirjian is president of Yorktown University, an online liberal arts college dedicated to teaching the forms of knowledge we have inherited from western civilization.

Two events occurred in Washington, DC, in late February that could foreshadow a significant decline in the independence of American colleges and universities.

First, representatives of accrediting associations, state universities, and private colleges engaged in negotiated ‘rule-making’ with representatives of the Department of Education. This rule-making was to establish procedures by which college students are tested, and by which colleges and universities will be compared on the basis of that testing. The other event was even more ominous — an announcement that actions would be taken to control the independent system of accreditation of American higher education by establishing a national accreditation foundation.