Saturday, December 31, 2016

And Then, There's The Problem With Higher Education

The next time you hear some conservative blowhard whine about how colleges and universities are turning out one generation of liberals after another, get them to take a look at this.

The sad reality of higher education is that, even at high-prestige schools, there is a constant need to fundraise merely to survive.  This has always been true of privately owned or controlled institutions, but public colleges and universities, thanks to budget and tax cutting, now need to depend upon the kindness of donors who can write large checks.  The increased competition for funding created in the process makes all colleges and university that much more desperate in their fundraising.  And, unfortunately, that much more willing to compromise their principles.

For people like the Koch brothers, this creates an ideal opportunity to buy influcence.  They have seemingly unlimited amounts of money, and no principles beyond promoting their own power and influence.  Put that together with the schools' financial desperation and a fear of being branded "politically correct," and it becomes easy to see how American academia can easily be turned into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.

If I was a parent looking for a college or university for one of my children, I'd investigate and evaluate schools very carefully with respect to their willingness to accept money from influence-peddlers like the Kochs.  And, if I weren't satisfied that the school was truly committed to academic and intellectual freedom, I'd take my child, and my money elsewhere.  Hopefully, if you're in that position, you'll feel the same way.  Your child's future, and that of the country, depend on it.

No comments: