Our Colleges Are Getting Worse—Three Proposals to Help Save Them

American colleges have been celebrated as the best in the world. But in fact, they have been getting worse – and something must be done about it. The greatest value of a college education is in enhancing a student’s command of critical thinking and analytical reasoning. The educated person can think. Among other things, she … Continue reading Our Colleges Are Getting Worse—Three Proposals to Help Save Them

When Students Kill Important College Courses

The Abolition of Man is the best refutation of moral relativism that has ever seen print (aside from the Bible, of course). In this short and cogent book, C.S. Lewis ponders what happens when human beings abrogate transcendent moral law and objective truth and begin to fashion their own guidelines for living. One argument that … Continue reading When Students Kill Important College Courses

A Bi-Polar Report on ‘Laggard’ Public Colleges

Right now, the biggest news in higher education is a controversial paper from Dimitrios Halikias and Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution, arguing that “the upper middle class is substantially over-represented” in America’s universities, that “public investment…too often fails to produce either social mobility or socially beneficial research,” and that “the significant public subsidies spent … Continue reading A Bi-Polar Report on ‘Laggard’ Public Colleges

Why History Courses Are Declining

A few years ago, when critics of academia warned that the humanities were sinking, academics shot back with data showing that enrollments were steady and the departments were doing just fine.  They also sprinkled smug remarks about Chicken-Little conservatives who were just upset that the hegemony of the traditional canon had crumbled. We don’t need … Continue reading Why History Courses Are Declining

Catholic Colleges Define Down Their Catholic Identity

In an essay on Catholic higher education published in First Things before his death in 2009, Fr. Richard Neuhaus wrote: “When a school is haggling over its mission statement, it is a sure sign that it has already lost its way.”  While Fr. Neuhaus never taught on a Catholic campus, he understood that debating over … Continue reading Catholic Colleges Define Down Their Catholic Identity

Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools

The federal government happily subsidizes inferior state colleges that graduate few if any of their students. That includes Chicago State University, which has a 12.8 percent six-year graduation rate. The Obama administration has rewritten federal student loan rules in a way that encourages colleges to raise tuition and effectively subsidizes the worst colleges the most. The Federal Reserve Bank of … Continue reading Obama Backs the Worst Colleges While Destroying For-Profit Schools

Gunning for Religious Colleges in California

By Chance Layton In April, when the U.S. Department of Education released its list of religious colleges with exemptions from certain Title IX regulations, it unleashed a torrent of outrage and criticism directed against “bigoted and “intolerant” institutions of religious instruction. Two hundred thirty-two colleges had requested waivers from the Department’s gender identity non-discrimination policy, which would … Continue reading Gunning for Religious Colleges in California

How Chinese Students Are Changing Our Colleges

Nearly 600,000 foreign undergraduate students now study at US colleges and universities, some 165,000 of them from China, the total from China grew by nearly 30 percent in 2009/2010, with a percentage rise in double digits every year since, according to the Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors” report, funded by the U.S. Department of … Continue reading How Chinese Students Are Changing Our Colleges

Fulbright Pushes Diversity Courts Don’t Allow

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that “Fulbright Seeks More Diverse Pool of Scholars and Students.” What it doesn’t report is why. Fulbright, of course, does not really want a more diverse “pool.” What it wants is more minorities (presumably not including Asians) actually awarded grants. But the only reason given for its efforts to … Continue reading Fulbright Pushes Diversity Courts Don’t Allow

Will the Supreme Court Stop Racial Preferences?

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in round two of Fisher v. Texas. Abigail Fisher, you will recall, claimed (and still claims) that the University of Texas’s admission preferences for blacks and Hispanics amounted to racial discrimination against her because she is white. In round one the Supremes almost agreed but instead vacated and remanded … Continue reading Will the Supreme Court Stop Racial Preferences?

A Movement to Turn Colleges and Students Against Coal, Oil and Gas

This is the introduction to the November 10, 2015 report: Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels  –  from the National Association of Scholars. A movement focused on persuading college trustees to sell off institutional holdings in coal, oil, and gas might sound like a minor trend. Students protest things … Continue reading A Movement to Turn Colleges and Students Against Coal, Oil and Gas

After Many Woeful Failures, the Colleges Avoid Change

The students at Mizzou and Yale caught in twin episodes of contrived campus racial hysteria have been described as narcissists and self-indulgent brats catered to by their parents who told them how special they were and expecting the same judgment from college. Handed what they understand as the attitudinal keys to the kingdom, they’re enraged when … Continue reading After Many Woeful Failures, the Colleges Avoid Change

Black Protestors Win as U. of Missouri President Resigns

Black student protesters and their allies got the scalp they were looking for at the University of Missouri—the university president, Tim Wolfe, resigned today after criticism for not responding strongly enough to reports of racial incidents on or near campus. Wolf had issued a few benign “let us listen to one another” comments, while the … Continue reading Black Protestors Win as U. of Missouri President Resigns

Emptying Content from College Courses

These comments were delivered at the 2015 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Symposium on “The Future of Higher Education” June 3 in Washington D.C. The event was co-sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center and National Affairs. The full transcript of the symposium is here. Some conservative critics say that the main problem in American higher education … Continue reading Emptying Content from College Courses

We Have Too Many Colleges, So Cut Federal Funding

We have clearly oversold higher education. Through subsidies and political hype, we have prodded huge numbers of students to flock into colleges and universities. Naturally, those institutions also expanded in number and in the volume of students. Now that it is becoming evident that a college degree isn’t necessarily a good investment and for many … Continue reading We Have Too Many Colleges, So Cut Federal Funding

Getting Married? It’ll Cost You in College Financial Aid

E21 What is the cost of getting married? When it comes to sending your children to school, it can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. As high school seniors face tomorrow’s deadline to decide on college acceptance offers, the marriage question is likely weighing on many people’s minds. The Economics21 editors have written … Continue reading Getting Married? It’ll Cost You in College Financial Aid

Fishy Courses: The Fake Red Snappers of Academe

Say you go down to local fishmonger and order a nice tuna steak.  You take it home, cook it up, serve it, and find it is succulent and delicious.  But before long you have cramps, nausea, and something worse.  Chances are what you thought was tuna was another fish, escolar. Tasty but not recommended.  The New … Continue reading Fishy Courses: The Fake Red Snappers of Academe

The Student Loan Problem Is Only Getting Worse

A sign of the times: Yale, Penn, and George Washington University are now suing their former students for defaulting on their student loans. The loans in question are Perkins loans, which are set aside for poor students and disbursed by colleges rather than the federal government and. This news broke shortly after the Wall Street … Continue reading The Student Loan Problem Is Only Getting Worse

An Unusually Stupid Court Ruling

Yesterday the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Michigan’s Proposal 2 violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.  Proposal 2 was a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to provide that state and local government agencies (including public universities) in Michigan “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment … Continue reading An Unusually Stupid Court Ruling

Are Credit Hours Necessary?

Untraditional students seek higher education because they hit a wall. Once they’ve committed themselves to obtaining a degree, however, they often hit another wall: the archaic “credit hour” rules enforced by the U.S. Education Department that demand extended time in classrooms and discourage self-study and flexible online offerings. Amy Laitinen of the New America Foundation … Continue reading Are Credit Hours Necessary?

Student Voices: The Obama’s Administration’s Attack on Religious Colleges

With election season well under way, the Obama administration now finds itself up against lawsuits brought by several of the nation’s most prominent religious universities. Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame have already filed suit in opposition to the now-infamous federal requirement that insurance companies provide no-fee coverage of a slew of contraceptive … Continue reading Student Voices: The Obama’s Administration’s Attack on Religious Colleges

A Major Expansion of Online Courses

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced yesterday that they will partner in a collaborative new higher-education venture, to be called EdX, that will offer a range of online courses to potentially tens of thousands of student worldwide, most of whom will not be enrolled at either Harvard or MIT. The EdX courses, … Continue reading A Major Expansion of Online Courses

Muslims, NYPD and Dubious Journalism Awards

The Joan Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School has weighed in on the long Associated Press series of articles attacking the New York Police Department for its surveillance of Muslims. This series has won a Polk Award, a White House Correspondents Association award, a Pulitzer Prize and now $25,000 from the Shorenstein Center for excellence … Continue reading Muslims, NYPD and Dubious Journalism Awards

Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court

Get ready for a brand new defense of affirmative action that you’ve never heard before: preferences are necessary to assure selection by merit. How can that be? Simple. Just rework Claude Steele’s theory of stereotype threat–that minorities do less well on tests than their abilities warrant out of fear that their performance will confirm negative … Continue reading Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court