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Although some schools depend heavily on endowments, the evidence shows that little endowment money is spent to make college more affordable to students. Instead, the staff benefit from higher compensation, lower teaching loads, and other perks. Indeed, despite rising federal financial assistance and growing endowments, the proportion of recent college graduates from the bottom quintile of the income distribution has actually declined since At most modern universities, somewhere between 25 and 40 percent of spending goes towards things not directly related to the academic mission; it is spent on things like food services, medical clinics, or intercollegiate athletics.

But even within spending on core activities, less than half goes directly for instruction. Instructional and research spending as a share of budgets has fallen over time. Administrative staffs have soared in size and importance, while the faculty has lost some clout although they have been bribed, figuratively speaking, with lower teaching loads.

Is a College Education Still Worth the Price? A Dean's Sobering Perspective by Richard B. Schwartz

In the s, schools typically had more than two faculty members per bureaucrat; now there is less than one. The rise in tuition fees is accompanied by soaring prices of university-provided food and housing, which have risen faster than in the non-university private economy. The biggest collegiate scandal of all, some believe, is intercollegiate athletics.

It is increasingly highly costly, with good athletic performance lining the pockets of plutocratic coaches at the expense of athletes who are underpaid but often scarred with debilitating long-term health issues. Scandals abound. As universities deemphasize teaching, they have put much emphasis on research. At many schools, research dollars are a big source of revenue. Yet much non-STEM research is not even read much or cited by other scholars. Federal policies on overhead costs for research make little sense and mainly benefit university bureaucracies.

Non-university research organizations, especially think tanks, provide some needed competition. It also is riddled with conflicts of interests. Another sort of diversity, however, has declined: diversity of the mind. Campuses are increasingly dominated by left-oriented faculty, sometimes to the exclusion of many alternative perspectives.

Governing boards are often rubber stamps for administrations, often ignorant of key facts needed to make objective decisions.

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We need better information about how much students learn; we need for schools to have a greater stake in boosting academic achievement; and we need smarter ways to improve educational services. In a major way, higher education is a poster child for government failure. The U. Department of Education has not helped. What to do? The most fundamental reforms involve ending university monopolies on certifying educational and vocational competence. One alternative is to develop competitive institutions of quality control.

For example, non-college organizations could package academic courses and award degrees whose quality is verified by external examination. Another key reform is to eliminate, or at least radically reform, traditional federal student financial aid programs. One alternative is to promote new private ways of funding, such as Income Share Agreements. Another measure sure to ameliorate the problem is to insist that colleges share in covering loan defaults i. Readers will have to determine their own answers, but Dr. Vedder is asking all the right questions.

Daniels, Jr. So much wrong and so many misrepresentations for so much money!! If we want to fix it, his chronicle is a good place to start. Thorough, scholarly, probative and revealing. Bennett , former Secretary, U. It reached full bloom after World War II, when the spigots of public funding were opened in full, and eventually became an overpriced caricature of itself, bloated by a mix of irrelevance and complacency and facing declining enrollments and a contracting market. Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America is a summary of the arguments he has been making.

Vedder has little to offer in the way of comfort. A demographic shift might pave the way for some of the reforms Mr. Vedder hopes for, but it will help bring to a close an era that he has, rightly, come to deplore. His research is data driven, his writing is uncomplicated, and his arguments are persuasive enough to worry standard-issue academic administrators.

From skyrocketing tuition and crushing student debt to the diminishing utility of a college education and the underemployment of graduates, Vedder has spent decades looking at the data and warning that this will not end well. If you want to understand how higher education came to this crisis and how it can be fixed, start with his book, Restoring the Promise.

Forget the bromides of politicians, this book is a clear-eyed starting point for higher education policy. If I could put one book in the hands of university boards and their presidents , it would be this one. Vedder has several important ideas for higher education reform. First, we should put an end to the university monopoly on certifying educational and vocational competency. Non-college organizations could package academic courses and award degrees based upon external examinations. Regarding financial aid, colleges should be forced to share in covering loan defaults, namely they need to have some skin in the game.

More importantly, Vedder says that we should end or revise the federal student aid program. Vedder ends Restoring the Promise with a number of proposals with which I agree: College administrative staff often exceeds the teaching staff. Tenure is an employment benefit that has costs, and faculty members should be forced to make tradeoffs between it and other forms of university compensation. Colleges of education, with their overall poor academic quality, are an embarrassment on most campuses and should be eliminated. End speech codes on college campuses by using the University of Chicago Principles on free speech.

Require a core curriculum that incorporates civic and cultural literacy. The most important measure of academic reforms is to make university governing boards independent and meaningful. In my opinion, most academic governing boards are little more than yes men for the president and provost. Williams , John M. Higher education today is too expensive, too irrelevant, and too plagued by political correctness to deliver promised value to its students or the country at large.

And not only do those problems persist, they are getting increasingly worse. Why is the system so resistant to change? It is a marvelous endeavor and a rich resource for wonks as well as bystanders. One is not obliged to agree on philosophy or politics to appreciate this important contribution. Postal Regulatory Commission. University administrators will hate Restoring the Promise , since it demolishes the arguments that more federal student aid is the solution to ballooning tuition costs and that not enough teenagers are attending college. Everyone else should welcome it. Mac Donald , Thomas W.

In his book, Vedder refutes many of the mistaken beliefs about college, probes the reasons for its woeful inefficiency, and shows how we can rescue higher education from the interest groups that now control it. If you are concerned about higher education, put Restoring the Promise on the top of your reading list. Leef , Director of Research, James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. Everyone interested in higher education should read and ponder this book. Richard Vedder commands near-encyclopedic knowledge of his subject and he writes with flair. His excellent book is not another sky-is-falling pronouncement of doom on colleges and universities that have become unaffordable, unaccountable, and intellectually mediocre.

Rather, he takes the failures one by one and shows how we as a nation could solve them though practical policy choices. He asks tough questions, adduces pertinent data, and advances compelling answers. His tone is temperate but his conclusions will surely dismay those who are complacent about how we are preparing the next generation for leadership. This is one of the best books written about higher education in the last quarter-century.

In the thorough and incisive book, Restoring the Promise , Richard Vedder demonstrates that the ways universities are governed, regulated, subsidized, and funded create perverse incentives. These perverse incentives explain why universities have bloated administrative staffs, spend too much space on low value projects, why most students learn so little, and why costs are out of control. Does it not seem like he is enjoying it immensely? All this could be great CV depending on your projected career path.

He has already had his chest adorned with virtual online medals for gallantry. Already talk of a commission. I suggest that the professors and administrators comply for, say, a week. Nothing that white people have done will be discussed on campus for a week. A university that has been purged of any trace of whiteness. It would surely be interesting to watch it flourish. Another shining example of the inmates taking over the asylum. Yes the squeaking wheel does get the grease, but what percentage of the student body does Mr. Aiello think these people represent? The Princeton Open Campus Coalition fought this sort of thing in fairly effectively.

It helped that one of their leaders Solveig Gold was academically at the top of her class. They were aided by a prof from Romania who said that various forms of mandatory training proposed by the professionally aggreived reminded him of re-eductation back in the bad old days. This reasoning could not be any less authoritarian. Segregationist frequently demanded membership lists of civil rights organizations for the purpose of determining who best to target. Free Speech, freedom of association and other basic civil rights appear dead at Middlebury College appear dead, fortunately it the death was for a good cause.

Dude, transfer NOW! An 18 to 21 year old human is legally an adult and should be treated accordingly. I would have been insulted to have been treated as a child when I was in college.

My twin boys will start college this fall. That will be the character builder. But even back then you could see the trends. Most of the young professors were draft dodgers and well to the left of center. A few years later they kicked ROTC off campus. And so on.


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I stopped donating to the college fund in Middlebury town and college are by far and away the Whitest place I have ever lived. They had even less in common with working-class white townies. Most dropped out after a year or two. But the school loved to point to them to prove how progressive they were. The demographics seem to be much the same now, it is still a place for rich white kids ok, today there are some rich Asians, too. But the past vague PC feelings have morphed into an aggressively sanctimonious guilt complex that seems to have taken over part of the student body, and most of the administration.

But from the article, it sounds like there is still a constituency for sanity at the college. But for that sanity to come back will require the board to grow a spine. If they do, I might start donating again. Thank you very much for your insight. I sure hope that you and any other alums reading this would be able to somehow voice your concerns to the school to help protect free speech.

At this point, the Alexander Hamilton Forum, which is the organization that brings these speakers, seems to be the last chance of providing viewpoint diversity, and that is only if the school does not begin to censor who they bring. It is intentionally rich and white. Last time I checked? Anyone on that campus who even mutters a word in support of social justice or equality is totally full of the worst kind of horseshit. The entire community is complicit.

Props to you for fighting on the inside— and please up the skewed admissions policy as proof the entire campus is a hypocrite parade. PS Transfer to Amherst. Dominic, I believe I read online a short essay of yours from a couple of years ago. The theme was frustration with social polarisation and how it sabotages communication between people with opposing views.

You seemed to have a determination not to accept that status quo. In spite of your recent experiences I hope you manage to preserve that passionate instinct for bridge-building. That, more than anything, may be what is needed. Good man. If all there is is grievance. She gives the example of herself scoring on SAT Math and being admitted to MIT where she would need to compete against scoring males who would simply outperform her.

If a student cannot compete even in a rudimentary fashion in reading, math, science, etc. If colleges did away with race and gender quotas and only admitted the best students, campus grievance culture and coddling would become unnecessary. Very good piece. It illustrates that the rot starts at the top— the Deans model behavior and the students amplify it.

The Deans are ideologues who are unfit to promote the principal purpose of universities, which is to foster an environment of open inquiry and pursuit of knowledge. They know they have adults on their side. The far-left colleges and universities taught their K teachers. It makes me consider their parents. Someone will accuse you of something in the next 3 years, and a college administrative hearing will decide you should be expelled. Why are they worth your money? The author showed great courage in writing this and will no doubt pay a heavy price as a Middlebury student.

The lethal dose for humans is approximately mg of HCN gas per kilogram of air when inhaled. If a room measured … cubic feet what mass of air would if have in g if the density of air at … degrees C is …? Morton, are you suggesting that not spending a paragraph quoting the full question is an error? I fear the author is not being cynical enough when he lectures the staff on giving in to entitled students. I think it more likely that the students are the excuse which allows a small group of radical staff to push through changes that would otherwise not happen.

I am glad that such a level headed and kind soul has taken on the task of telling the truth about the crisis of the modern University. Its worth noting that this sort of posturing is mainly confined to elite, privately funded colleges in the US and elsewhere. As Claire Lehmann herself has noted, the universities in places like Australia, where tertiary education is still publicly funded and accessible to working class people to a large extent, there hasnt been anywhere near the level of excess.

Conservative-funded forum invites mostly conservative and libertarian speakers? The horror! Of course they do.

Is a College Education Still Worth the Price? A Dean's Sobering Perspective

If you are replying to my comments above, whereTF did you get the idea that I support banning such speakers from campus? As is common in philanthropy, it would be a good idea—IMO—to have an acknowledgement in all publicity material that the speaker series is funded by outside donors. I teach at a liberal arts college and have decided: my kids will go to a community college and learn a trade.

I dropped out of a English and Philosophy degree after a nasty car accident coming over a humpback bridge, in my second year. I had just finished working as a manufacturing superuser for a PVC windows and doors company. Knowing that I could have been an engineer, a barrister or a science officer for a library service might have been a useful thing to know at 18, and might have led me to apply myself with greater diligence. Parents are eventually going to refuse to pay a fortune for this nonsense. In fact, this is the real reason behind that particular policy give-away.

A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned

The corporatisation of universities is a major factor, given that students are now customers, boycotts cost money to companies affiliating with universities and the authoritarian left is most likely to mobilise outrage mobs. The un Civil war we are witnessing began sometime in ? I suspect however that there is self-selection underway — and a few years hence, we will see the full impact of such idiocy on such schools. I salute the author but caution him about the possibility of retribution. Middlebury, like all other colleges and universities, are part of the Marketplace of Education. You get to pay for the product you want.

Leading to winners and losers among said institutions. Vote with your feet! Some years ago I spent a wonderful summer at Bread Loaf courtesy of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American taxpayer. I especially remember David Hadass, of happy memory. The exact opposite of what its name implies. A sweet young freshman with no apparent bullshit detector gets his first lesson in life. Go Panthers. If they truly want to fight real white supremacists, the real things are not hard to find.

The problem is that they are often violent and will strike back. College administrators at Middlebury and its NESCAC sisters must grow up and act like adults and and take control away from the adolescents attending these colleges. Then and only then will private liberal arts colleges again resemble some semblance of their original charter.

The list of students wishing to attend these schools is a long one. The schools do not need the tuition money that some of these students remit. Related question: in recorded history, has another people ever set about trying to make themselves and their offspring more vulnerable, fragile, and anxious? Somebody needs to teach spoiled brat liberal students the meaning of the First Amendment and the guarantees of the Constitution. Although this student is based and an excellent writer. Prime Patriot. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. One of the only good things about being middle-aged is that at least I got through college before all this stuff really escalated. It sounds like such a miserable experience nowadays. What kind of world and quality of life will that be like?

Hey, perhaps it will even be law at that point that they have to validate this identity and actually treat me like a Roman emperor. This might not be so bad after all. I guess humanities education is just completely ruined at this point. Pingback: Middlebury College Transterrestrial Musings. Dominic, My heartfelt sympathies to have to endure that environment. I live in Vermont and am surrounded by the groupthink you are confronted with. I have benefited personally because it has made me a critical thinker as an outsider, constantly re-evaluating my own perspectives, which are under constant assault.

One of those is the great outdoors, which Middlebury has in spades. I am, many of us, are grateful for this article. The facts, the truth of a matter are indispensable to good living and a healthy society. How educational institutions have become mind destroying. And comments on how to overcome this. They will do that if they can get away with it. This has been going on long enough to make it clear that you are not dealing with a small group of zealous radicals.

This is who the college is, and it goes all the way up to the board of trustees. Go somewhere that will teach you something useful. How can he be surprised by this? Why on earth did he apply to and decide to attend this school? How could he be so misinformed and ignorant of the political culture at Middlebury? The Left has been at this project for years by now and have been lying and sliming all opponents the entire time.

Go read Blacklisted by History, the true story of how the Left dishonestly destroyed Joe McCarthy, and then erased all actual history and factual accounts of his actions and the anti-communist movement. They always have been. Share this: Pocket. Lawrence says. Bulldust says. Kent Clizbe says. For the real story, see my book, Willing Accomplices. Mazzuchelli says. Melissa Pope Scott says. Jack B. Nimble says.

Olson says. Amin says. Ray Andrews says. Northern Observer says. What more do you need blind man. Cary D Cotterman says. Dominic Aiello says. Nimble Thanks. Yes we must keep these numbers in perspective. I hope others expand on you comment. Jennifer Gozlan says. Sarah grant says. Joe says. Douglas Levene says. Mike says. Citoyen says. Mike Kelly says. Cjones1 says. Steve Simon says. Smart says. DNY says. Mack says. Why is there a handbasket?

Is a handbasket a requisite for eternal separation of God? Del Varner says. TarsTarkas says. Nakatomi Plaza says. An update at Heterodox Academy HA by Mike Paros, another TESC biology professor, and one sympathetic to Weinstein and Heying, suggests enrollment may be much lower than expected: This fall, we expect less than freshmen to attend Evergreen, a fifty percent drop from two years ago. Dershem says. Lightning Rose says. Dershem E.

Olson NIce to see you gentlemen in substantive agreement. What powers do you possess? GrumpyBear says. Recovering Academic says. James Lee says. Good comment D per usual. Polly styrene says. Marshal says. Shamrock says. Lord of the Flies comes to mind. JAB says. Sander Malschaert says. Peter from Oz says. Heike says. Geary Johansen says. What utter nonsense! I simply challenge his BS. Not my problem at all. Northern Observer. I can do this all day long…. Denny Sinnoh says. Denny Sinnoh Yes. Defenstrator says.

Barney Doran says. Kyle says. Oops, wrong school. So hard to keep these crazed campuses straight. Mr Aiello, Thanks for your forthright actions and lucid prose shining a spotlight on the se events and the context in they occurred. We now see students tansparently coached to demand more money for the people coaching them. Dominic Allaway says. Your record of what is happening at Middlebury is simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. Who on earth would want to to send their kids to places like this???

And to pay for it??? OWG says. Andrew Roddy says. House of Shards says. This would leave…what? Give them what they want. Let them pay …. Bryan says. PaulNu says. Farris says. Thank you for raising children with an expectation of self-sufficiency. TheSnark says. Donald Summers Middlebury '90 says. WW says. JFSullivan says. Sydney says. Quick, run to U of Chicago, the Winterfell of intellectual free thought and campus sanity.


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  7. Dan Flehmen says. Gringo says. Morton says. Stephanie says. Luis and JoAnne Howard says. Bab says. SerenityNow says. SerenityNow If you are replying to my comments above, whereTF did you get the idea that I support banning such speakers from campus? I AM in favor of transparency in academia, as in politics. Hestia says. Olsen I dropped out of a English and Philosophy degree after a nasty car accident coming over a humpback bridge, in my second year. John Boyle says. Jay Salhi says. FreedomFan says.

    I perceive that he might not now be welcome. David Van says. Goebbels would be impressed. Does it pass the bullshit detector? Picktheredpill says. James Quigley says. Not sure why you went to this school, since you already knew it was a looney bin. Geoff says. Why do I keep thinking about the Red Guards and the insanity that infected China in the 60s?

    William M Driscoll says. E Pluribus Unum says. Smarg Jones says. Why would any white parent send their child to this alt-Left fascist pigsty?? White, Christian, heterosexual students are not safe on the Middlebury campus. Andrew Dicks says. The era of policical correctness denies due democratice process and needs to be stopped. Felipe Zapata says. Dominic, you will learn nothing worthwhile at that school.

    Go elsewhere. Asenath Waite says. Janet W. Demoson says. Janet Wilberg says. Rick says.