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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Dead wood in the groves of academe


A Cornell education costs nearly $90,000 a year.
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."

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Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith
24 thg 4, 2023

The U.S. higher education system still leads the world on the strength of its university research, especially in the sciences, but it has a lot of deadwood accruing to its living branches, and needs pruning to about two-thirds of its current size, with a majority of the hacking to be centered on its recent innovations such as DEI consultants and the like.

Thích

Khách
23 thg 4, 2023

"Yale University now has the equivalent of one administrator for every undergraduate student"


I have not looked into this claim for Yale, but I have looked into a similar claim for Harvard.


The "administrators" are basically all the non-professor staff. So the librarians count as "administration" (and Harvard has a LOT of them ...). So does the IT staff.


This *sounds* like it means that Yale has a bunch of assistant associate deans of whatever, but that isn't what it means for the Harvard claim.


-Mark Roulo

Thích

Khách
22 thg 4, 2023
George Will sees declining enrollment as a healthy sign: People who are unlikely to benefit from higher education are finding other paths to adulthood.

George Will is whistling past the graveyard. People who would be successful regardless of college are starting to avoid college. Sure, you can call it success to get your credential and take your place buried in a bureaucracy. But college no longer comes with the assurance of a secure "good job" and hasn't been since the 1970s, especially for men. Colleges milked this 1960s trait to death, but those 1960s grads are dying off and the army of "College is the only path to success" fetishists are dying off.


The idea is, of course, that men…

Thích
Khách
23 thg 4, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Credentials, but only a useless college degree due to capture by rent seeking academia. And the students need knowledge of practical value so every credit hour spent meeting some DEI/social justice requirement of the school is a loss to the student both financially and in time.


And there is a real need for "robot mechanics" that come up through the traditional mechanics route, which didn't include college.


In any case, men, especially white men, don't have much future in the credential-loving bureaucracies. They will need to follow paths that depend on demonstrated skill in the fields that keep the world running. And they'll be able to demand high wages since their services will be needed.

Thích
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