I've long argued that, in higher education, there is excess capacity in access-assessment-remediation-retention (otherwise known as paying twice for high school.)

Let the record show that new evidence out of Marquette University is not of the kind that would cause me to reconsider my hypothesis.
The College of Professional Studies is one of the great bad ideas the Marquette administration has ever had.

Lured, apparently, by the hope of making a lot of money, Marquette decided to jump into a burgeoning market: Degrees ‘R Us operations catering to “non-traditional” (read, older) students who want a Bachelor’s degree.

For many years at Marquette, departments were under pressure to offer a certain number of evening courses, in order to accommodate such students. We taught our share, and the vast majority of students were always the traditional collage-age [c.q.] undergraduates. But there was an integrity to the process. The non-traditional students paid the same tuition, took equally demanding courses, and met the same requirements as traditional students. When they got a degree, it was a bona fide Marquette degree.

But the sight of institutions offering cut-rate degrees at lower cost with much laxer requirements lured Marquette into trying to compete in a market in which it was not well-prepared to compete, offering an education inferior to its traditional one, doing something sharply removed from its distinctive competence.

We heard accounts, from the few regular Marquette faculty teaching in the College of Professional Studies, of being pressured to reduce course demands far below the level required of traditional Marquette students. Thus the College of Arts and Science refused to accept credits from Professional Studies toward graduation requirements (except in a few rare special cases).
For all the good it did.  Here, in business-speak, is how a provost says "we messed up."
Our extensive analysis of the College of Professional Studies revealed that while we have a high quality product, the college is not financially viable in its current model. We cannot continue to compete without a major influx of resources in a market where competition has increased dramatically in recent years. Our strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, calls for all of us to ensure our valuable resources are sustainable and to be responsible stewards of these resources. Therefore, we will now work with the University Leadership Council, the University Academic Senate and faculty leaders across campus to review a proposed plan to phase out the college’s operations.
There's no link to the provost's statement. Apparently, despite all Marquette's plans to fire dissident political scientist John McAdams, he's still on the spam administrative information list.

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