I started this blog because I think there is abundant evidence that higher education in America has, as University of Chicago President Hutchins would probably put it, lost its “soul” because too many “…institutions [have] determine[d] to do something in order to get money…”, and, in my opinion, also prestige, earned or not. I believe some institutions have lost more of their soul than others – but, in sum, it has been lost.
(For insightful comments abouth higher ed giving up on its civic responsibility and losing its integrity, see President Hutchins full quote and Derek Bok’s quote at Quotes and, see the page with quotes from David Riesman and Clark Kerr David Riesman’s “On Higher Education – The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism”.
For evidence of what has happened, see the books and/or articles listed in Reading List for Prospective Students and Parents . Or, you can read some of my posts on this blog. For example,Law Schools , Are Trustees Too Focused On Investments to the Detriment of the Educational Mission?, Good Graph on Textbook Costs and some advice, No Jobs for Ph.D’s? Depends on what you mean by Ph.D., Comparing College Value – Caveat Emptor, , Why Ph.D’s don’t get jobs as professors, If even Harvard faculty are afraid of speaking out on issues of higher education, who will?)
I believe that this chase for prestige and revenue has become a disease that has metastisized throughout our whole system of education. (See, for example the posts, AP Calculus Courses Discussion on NPR, Even More On AP Courses – From the New York Times, More on AP Courses,On Mark Bauerlein’s Commentary in “The Chronicle of Higher Education, University Education Dumbs Down High School) It has also effected our economy and the lives of many Americans. (See NY Times article on Visas and hi-tech, WSJ Article: …Grads May Be Stuck in Low-Skill Jobs,Article on Jobs and Degrees in Chronicle of Higher Education).
Now, for the purpose of this blog. I have two goals, and, two ways of using this blog in order to achieve those goals. My first goal is to inform students, parents, or any interested party, of the realities of higher education. The second goal is to add to growing volume of evidence about those realities.
I try to achieve those goals by using my personal observations and experiences from inside higher ed. The first way I try to do that is by pointing out news stories and articles that I think help explain what is happening in higher ed. The other way is to use my experiences to try to give insight into, not only what is happening, but why and how. At times, I do that by commenting on news stories. At other times, I will try to give examples of how things happen. Through these examples, I hope I can shed some light on how things really work and why.