This article (HT: Andrew Kern at CirceInstitute.org) points to some serious problems in our system of higher education, problems the author–and others–thinks might lead to a meltdown. Some excerpts:
On tuition inflation:
American colleges continue to float in the bubble of economic exceptionalism once occupied by Detroit carmakers. American median income has grown 6.5 times over the past 40 years, but the cost of attending one’s own state college has ballooned 15 times. This kind of income-price mismatch haunted the housing market right before it melted down.
Tuition at the private University of Southern California has risen 360 percent since 1980, to $41,434 a year. At the University of Illinois, a state school, the annual tuition of $13,658 is six times that of 1980. These numbers are all adjusted for inflation and don’t include room and board.
On college athletics:
Duke University in Durham, N.C., spends over $20,000 a year per varsity golf player. And these squads rarely pay for themselves. There are 629 college football teams, and only 14 make money.
On faculty inflation:
Full-time faculty members are being paid more for teaching less. Some elite colleges now offer sabbaticals every third year instead of the traditional seventh. Harvard has 48 history professors, and 20 of them are somewhere else this year. (emphasis added)