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”


Bigger’s Better? In Higher Ed’s Amenities Arms Race, Bigger’s Just Bigger!

Testifying before the U.S. Senate in 2013, University of Wisconsin professor Sara Goldrick-Rab described college campuses as “glorified summer camps.” She said administrators were “engaging in an arms race to have the most impressive bells and whistles.” That depiction may at first seem hyperbolic, but even a cursory glance at many of today’s college campuses … Continue reading “Bigger’s Better? In Higher Ed’s Amenities Arms Race, Bigger’s Just Bigger!”


Hot Tubs and Luxury Dorms and Climbing Walls, Oh, My!

All is not well on higher education’s financial front. At many colleges, tuition prices have reached record highs, enrollment is stagnant, revenues have flattened or declined, budgets are constricted, and regulatory compliance costs are skyrocketing. It would seem that in such an environment, university leaders would place a moratorium on all lavish spending initiatives—especially those … Continue reading “Hot Tubs and Luxury Dorms and Climbing Walls, Oh, My!”


A College Scrimps on Citizenship Education While it “Invests” in Luxury

College officials should be praised when they curtail wasteful spending, but when they cut the budget by eliminating core educational programs, they deserve public scorn. That scorn should be heightened if at the same time they’re scrimping on valuable education, they’re putting lots of money into luxury amenities for students. While many colleges across America … Continue reading “A College Scrimps on Citizenship Education While it “Invests” in Luxury”


Science and the senator: missing the point about government waste

About to retire, Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, M.D., has just released his 107-page 2014 Wastebook, a tabloid-type listing of over a hundred wasteful government-funded projects. Coburn continues the tradition of the late William Proxmire, the Wisconsin senator who, more modestly, chose just one or two “Golden Fleeces” each year.





The Money Pit

Despite the economy, the University of North Carolina still has plenty of construction projects going forth.