“Highly Educated”

The Diplomad cautions us about talk of “highly educated” voters—who are often astoundingly ignorant. He recalls interviewing candidates for internships at the State Department and asking them questions about World War II. Only one got them all right. (They’re not hard: “Who was Mussolini?” for example.) The amazing part is, none of the other fourteen got even one question right. The Diplomad concludes: Every time … Continue reading “Highly Educated”

Where Your Tuition Money Goes

Inside Higher Education publishes figures on expenditures in higher education, confirming what those of us on the inside have known for a long time: the far-above-inflation increases in tuition over the past twenty years have not gone to faculty or anything else involving instruction. Median Spending Per Full-time Enrolled Student, 2005, by Sector Sector Direct Instructional Costs Other Educational Costs Non-Educational Costs Total Private research … Continue reading Where Your Tuition Money Goes

Professor Sues Students…

when it sounds as if it should be the other way around. “Worst professor ever”—well confirmed. What on earth is going on at Dartmouth? Consider her qualifications for a position at Dartmouth Medical School: After obtaining a BA from Dartmouth College, I have an MS in Genetics from UC Davis and a PhD in Literature from UC San Diego. Literature!  And the sentence is only … Continue reading Professor Sues Students…

Mankiw on Textbooks

The New York Times complains about the high cost of textbooks, and says that something ought to be done about it. Greg Mankiw points out that, if textbook prices really were unreasonably high, textbooks would represent an excellent business opportunity, and the Times should go into the business and undercut the current publishers, something they would actually be well-placed to do. But, of course, they … Continue reading Mankiw on Textbooks

Doubting Thomas

Syracuse philosophy professor and noted virtue ethicist Laurence Thomas walks out of class when a student in the front row sends a text message, sparking a debate about the justifiability of his action and the collective punishment it involves. (HT: Instapundit) I wouldn’t doubt Larry Thomas when it comes to a question of ethics. I admit, however, that it would never occur to me to … Continue reading Doubting Thomas

No longer a “brain-dead liberal”

David Mamet writes revealingly of his political awakening: As a child of the ’60s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, that business is exploitative, and that people are generally good at heart. These cherished precepts had, over the years, become ingrained as increasingly impracticable prejudices. Why do I say impracticable? Because although I still held these beliefs, I no longer … Continue reading No longer a “brain-dead liberal”

Schools of Social Work

The National Association of Scholars has published a report on schools of social work throughout the country, finding that most are committed to ideological indoctrination rather than unbiased research: “Social work education is a national academic scandal.” Stephen Balch, NAS Director: Defenders of the American university claim that the seriousness of the problem of political correctness has been greatly exaggerated by critics. There is, however, … Continue reading Schools of Social Work

The Cost of a College Education

Ilya Somin makes the case against government subsidies for college tuition at the Volokh Conspiracy. His point is that the higher-than-inflation increases in the cost of college over the past forty years are justified by the even greater increases in expected returns on a college education. According to a 2002 Census Bureau study, a college graduate, on average, earns $1,000,000 more than a high school … Continue reading The Cost of a College Education

University Endowments

Gary Becker and Richard Posner discuss the use of university endowments, and, in particular, the question whether universities should be required to spend a certain proportion of their endowments each year. Posner especially interests me when he writes, Given the competitive structure of higher education, it is hard to see why government should step in and try to limit tuition. The universities have a competitive … Continue reading University Endowments