Is State-Run Higher Education Doomed?

February 11, 2011 at 9:25 am 2 comments

“Doomed” is rather a harsh word.  How about “Headed for Change”?  While the rhetoric is extreme, the arguments made in this series are certainly interesting and challenging.  What’s going to happen to the American Public University System?

So where is all this going? Consider these six facts:

College debt is becoming the next major loan crisis following the same scenario as housing crisis: Too many huge loans made to people who cannot possibly afford them.

States have made, and continue to make massive cuts in funding higher education. Specifically, funding cuts the operational budgets of state-run universities and colleges.

The budget cuts have driven up tuition and fee costs, making the concept of an ‘affordable’ college education at a state-run institution a myth.

The budget cuts have also forced higher education institutions to increase class sizes and cut services, so students/parents pay more and get less in return.

The budget cuts have effectively ended the concept of job security for the professor as university administrators have hacked away at programs in desperate attempts to slash expenses.

State-run universities and colleges are locked into a brick and mortar concept that demands that education must occur primarily on a centralized campus with massive overhead costs.

Put these six facts together and there is one unmistakable conclusion: state-run universities cannot continue in their present form, and may not survive at all.

via Is Higher Education Doomed (Part I): Driving Off a Cliff Near You – The State-Run University – Technorati Lifestyle.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Miller  |  February 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I can see a crisis of sorts looming with college debt, but not in the same sense as the mortgage debt crisis. Legally, student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Also, from what I understand, the federal government insured private student loans up to 90% of their value. So when students are late in paying, the banks still get most of their money back, no matter what.

    The problem with the mortgage crisis was not only that people lost their homes to foreclosure, but also that the holders of mortgage backed securities and the holders of CDOs on them were losing a LOT of money on them, which magnified the economic issues a thousand times. I don’t see that situation here. The big problem that I’ve heard a little about (it seems like it should be highlighted more) is students taking on huge student debts that they may spend the rest of their lives paying off, due to poor job prospects, even with their degrees.

    I don’t know what the status of C.U. Boulder is. I heard about a court case they were involved in last year, where it was ruled that even if C.U. gets zero funding from the State of Colorado, it will still be considered a state university, because its existence is mandated in the state’s constitution. There was some talk about 5 years ago of C.U. eventually becoming a private institution, due to decreasing state funding.

  • 2. Aaron Lanterman  |  February 25, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I gave a talk on our graduate seminar called “Education and Innovation in the End Times,” that riffed off of this idea a bit.


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