Dead wood in the groves of academe
The U.S. has led the world in higher education but our "university system is beginning to molder," writes Adrian Wooldridge in Bloomberg.
Prices continue to rise: A year at Cornell now costs nearly $90,000. Administrative bloat is rampant: Yale University now has the equivalent of one administrator for every undergraduate student. Federal student debt has reached $1.6 trillion, 60% more than credit card debt.
"A majority of Americans now consider a college degree a questionable investment," writes Wooldridge, and enrollment keeps falling.
Higher ed resembles the U.S. car industry in the '70s "hampered by a giant bureaucracy, contemptuous of many of its workers, and congenitally inward-looking," he writes.
George Will sees declining enrollment as a healthy sign: People who are unlikely to benefit from higher education are finding other paths to adulthood.
He blames the decline of humanities majors on the woke:
Why study history when it is presented as a prolonged indictment — ax-grinding about the past’s failure to be as progressive as today’s professors? Who wants a literature major that is mostly about abstruse literary theories — “deconstruction,” etc.?
There's a wide political split on higher education, Will writes: "Almost three-quarters of Democrats think colleges have a positive impact on the nation; 37 percent of Republicans do."