What good is a university if it doesn’t educate students?
Strange question? Not in the ever more bizarre world of the American public university.
Don’t get me wrong: many American public universities still do a great job of educating students, but creeping rot is indubitably here (including at my own university). The worrisome trends are plain to see. Higher education is being defunded, the university is being corporatized. Universities are being driven ever further from their core mission of educating the future citizenry.
Full disclosure: I’ve got skin in the game. After all, I’ve worked in an American public university for more than half my life. In that time, I’ve watched the developing crisis up close.
The two most commonly cited causes of the crisis are ever decreasing allocations from state legislatures and ever increasing costs of facilities and services. No doubt, these causes are real. Less frequently mentioned, however…
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