Higher education in 2014 is paying the price of having been a law unto itself for too long

higher-education-costHigher education is in the dock in 2014. The questions are flying. Why does it cost so much? Why does it cost more each year? Why do so many students not finish? Why can’t they get good jobs? Why is it not equally accessible to all?

Why is it not doing a better job training teachers for K-12? What do we have to show for the trillion dollars in student loan debt? Who will repay it? And why do some universities seem to be living in luxury on accumulated endowment while still charging exorbitant tuition?

These are fair questions. Shame on higher education that we have not been more proactive in explaining ourselves. Shame on higher education that we have not stewarded more cautiously the public funding that has been readily available over the past several decades.

Shame on higher education that we have kept too much in our proverbial ivory tower writing and speaking only to each other, all too often leaving graduates to fend for themselves after they “walk the line.” Higher education certainly owes the public some answers.

If this trial is to turn out well for the public, and not simply serve certain short term political purposes, there are other questions that need to be asked in cross-examination.

Let me suggest a few…

(Next page: 5 important higher ed questions worth exploring)


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