Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning

Over the years, American universities and colleges have slowly drifted away from their central concerns, teaching and learning. This shift is perhaps best seen in the increased number of administrators in higher education and the exponential growth in the portion of institutions’ budgets dedicated to administrative salaries. The educational data service IPEDS categorizes administrators as … Continue reading “Administrative Bloat Harms Teaching and Learning”

Explaining the High Cost of College

The most striking fact about American colleges and universities over the last fifty years is how rapidly the cost of attending has risen. A good perspective on the college cost explosion is found in a November, 2017 study prepared for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. It states, “A student working full-time over the summer … Continue reading “Explaining the High Cost of College”

Oklahoma University Thumbs its Nose at Oklahomans — With ‘So Few Repercussions’

“I don’t understand how a state as red as Oklahoma can have such an obsessively woke state university with so few repercussions,” law professor and New York Post columnist Glenn Reynolds recently marveled. He’s not alone. I don’t understand it, either. Nor do many Oklahoma taxpayers I’ve talked to. The question is whether OU’s regents will … Continue reading “Oklahoma University Thumbs its Nose at Oklahomans — With ‘So Few Repercussions’”

States Need to Take the Lead in Controlling College Costs

The coronavirus pandemic may be nearing its end, but that does not mean a return to normal in all cases. Even before the virus pushed classes out of the physical classroom to online, America’s system of colleges and universities was spiraling out of control with high costs and stagnant innovation. Every year, families about to … Continue reading “States Need to Take the Lead in Controlling College Costs”

Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?

Public higher education was once America’s great enabler, permitting young people from lower-class backgrounds to attend college for very little money and to rise as far as their abilities and drives would take them. That may no longer be the case, according to economists James Koch and Richard Cebula. In their 2020 book, Runaway College … Continue reading “Why Don’t Governing Boards Rein in College Costs?”

New Study Analyzes the High Cost of College

TANSTAAFL. There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. That’s the pithy way that economists convey the idea that there are always costs associated with the goods and services we consume. Some resources, if only our time, had to be expended so we could enjoy them. Despite foolish talk from politicians about giving us … Continue reading “New Study Analyzes the High Cost of College”

Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo

Now that President Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president, he wants to hit the ground running and attend to urgent priorities. One of his first moves was to extend student loan payment deferrals until October, buying time for further reforms to America’s higher education system. Deferrals will be one small part of … Continue reading “Biden Could Shake Up Higher Ed—If He Doesn’t Endorse the Status Quo”

Did You Know? The Ever-Increasing Sticker Price of College Tuition

College tuition increases across the country have shown no sign of slowing down. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the sticker price of tuition (before discounts and student aid) for all institutions was $4,885 in 1985; by 2018, it was $23,835, a 387 percent increase. That’s a dramatic increase over a few decades. … Continue reading “Did You Know? The Ever-Increasing Sticker Price of College Tuition”

Russell Kirk on Higher Education

Russell Kirk isn’t known as a policy wonk. The Great Books, not the mathematical or statistical models of economic technicians, were his organon of choice. He devoted essays to broad, perennial themes like “the moral imagination,” “liberal learning,” and “the permanent things.” Read his numerous columns about higher education, however, and you might come away … Continue reading “Russell Kirk on Higher Education”

It is possible to control college costs—and I did it

Many college leaders speak as though the upward cost spiral is permanent and unavoidable. From experience, I can say that’s not true.

Tuition increases at American colleges began in earnest in the 1960s and ’70s, when I was a mathematics professor and later dean at C.W. Post College. The first changes driving the increases were the reductions in teaching loads.