Here are excerpts of the
article, which was published in Canada but is equally applicable to
higher education in the U.S.:
A university degree, after all,
is a credential crucial for economic success. At least, that’s what we’re told.
But as with all such credentials—those sought for the ends they promise rather
than the knowledge they represent—the trick is to get them cheaply, quickly,
and with as little effort as possible. My students’ disaffection is the real
face of this ambition.
I teach mostly bored youth who
find themselves doing something they neither value nor desire—and, in some
cases, are simply not equipped for—in order to achieve an outcome they are
repeatedly warned is essential to their survival. What a dreadful trap.
One in particular matches
perfectly with the type of change I’ve observed on my watch: the eradication of
content from the classroom.
All efforts to create the
illusion of academic content are acceptable so long as they are entertaining,
and successful participation requires no real effort and no real accountability.
Remove your professor hat for a
moment and students will speak frankly. They will tell you that they don’t read
because they don’t have to. They can get an A without ever opening a book.
But don’t worry—you won’t go
bust because of this failure, not in the modern university. So long as your
class is popular and fun, you’ll be favoured by the administration and probably
receive a teaching award. This, even though your students will leave your class
in worse condition than they entered it, because you will have pandered to
their basest inclinations while leaving their real intellectual and moral needs
no clearer example of administrators’ contempt for faculty. But there is also
no clearer example of their contempt for students.
As money is siphoned from
academic programs through attrition, it is channelled into a host of
From 1979 to 2014, central
administration and staff ballooned by three and a half times, while the size of
the faculty merely doubled.
Parents, students, and
governments keep supplying them with capital, assuming there will be a genuine
return on investment. But since the institution no longer produces anything, no
such return is forthcoming.
Spending on the student
services sector in Canadian universities increased an incredible six-fold
between 1979 and 2014.
The student services cabal is
no longer there to support faculty in their work of educating students “but to
compete with them to define the student experience.”
Insiders are quiet after they
read this, because they know it's true.
The financial burden created by
the higher education cartel is immense and expanding:
To mask the enormity of the
sums squandered on "education" that has little measurable results,
the federal government has purchased most of the debt:
No inflation here--just a 137%
increase in 15 years:
A system that piles debt on
students in exchange for a marginal or even zero-return on their investment is
morally and financially bankrupt.