A group of leaders in higher education took out a two page advertisement in The New York Times to plead for additional money in order to ensure they can remain in business. The distinguished list of college administrators presented their list of how colleges and universities have served America and noted: “Furthermore, since 1986, college tuition and fees have risen nearly three times as fast as the median family income, after adjusting for inflation.” The college administrators insist the rise in college tuition is due to meet inflation and to offset having less money allocated to colleges by state legislatures. Of course, public institutions, not private, depend on state money. It is rather interesting that statement concerning colleges does not include the name of a single university professor, but, then again, what would college professors know about money and the need for more money.
The collection of college bureaucrats make no mention of constant rise in pay for presidents of colleges or the increase in bureaucracy in higher education since it is assumed when university bureaucrats spend money, it is always the right thing to do. They request an expenditure of $40 billion to $50 billion in federal money to make certain the university world is financially OK. Let’s examine the money game. Harvard has over $30 billion in its endowment fund and if you add endowments of Yale, Princeton or a few other wealthy universities there is more than $50 billion lying around.
The United States government is insisting that automobile leaders agree to work for less, should the same principle apply to college presidents seeking federal money? The federal government is insisting the automobile industry can in tune with producing cars that fit into 21st century needs. Would university presidents agree to rethinking the meaning and structure of their institutions in order to create a college education that is in tune with 21st century needs? The European Union is moving toward a three year undergraduate program–any takers for such an idea among those signing the ad? How about requiring Schools of Education to compel their faculties to teach in public schools in order to get a sense of reality?
A simple way for these college leaders to reduce costs for students would be requiring professors to develop textbooks utilizing Internet sources. This alone would save students close to a thousand dollars a year.
By the way, of the 51 people who signed the advertisement, two were women!!! Doesn’t that fact speak volumes as to the desire of these men to reform higher education?