In the last few years, conversations have been growing like gathering storm clouds about the ways in which our universities are failing. There is talk about the poor educational outcomes apparent in our graduates, the out-of-control tuitions and crippling student loan debt. Attention is finally being paid to the enormous salaries for presidents and sports coaches, and the migrant worker status of the low-wage majority faculty. There are now movements to control tuition, to forgive student debt, to create more powerful “assessment” tools, to offer “free” university materials online, to combat adjunct faculty exploitation. But each of these movements focuses on a narrow aspect of a much wider problem, and no amount of “fix” for these aspects individually will address the real reason that universities in America are dying.
So, here is the recipe for killing universities.
1. Defund public higher education.
2. Deprofessionalize and impoverish the professors (and continue to create a surplus of underemployed and unemployed Ph.D.s)
3. Move in a managerial/administrative class who take over governance of the university.
4. Move in corporate culture and corporate money focused on career prep over well-rounded education
5. Destroy the students through dumbed-down curriculum, take away fulltime faculty who mentor and advise, and make it insanely unaffordable.