The Free Beacon's Micah Mattix comments on Peter Lawler's new American Heresies and Higher Education.

I got out when I'd had enough of business fads, affirmative action, and special education.  But that's apparently what business as usual looks like.
American colleges are suffering from administrative bloat, which increases every year at the hand of career managers who value standardization and procedures above all else, and who already put a great deal of trust in technology and market solutions. If the relative reduction in the number of full-time faculty per students over the past 30 years did not lead to a more efficient and affordable college education, it’s unclear how further reducing it could. Furthermore, it is unclear how increasing the use of technology—online education—already embraced at most schools will change anything.

Lawler isn’t against technology, nor is he against market solutions. What we need, he argues, are market solutions to fix the actual problems. His solution to the crisis in American higher education is to greatly reduce the amount of work required for accreditation, which would partially reduce the need for an army of administrators. Instead of a multi-year process, make accreditation a spot-check, where a small team of peers arrives unannounced on a college campus to check the books, faculty credentials, visit a few classes, and look over course syllabi. Whether or not this would be enough is unclear, and it seems that changing how much funding is available to students would have to be addressed as well, but it would be a step in the right direction. It might even curtail the pandering to students we see at a number of colleges—the provision of “safe spaces” and renaming of buildings—to the extent that it’s mostly college administrators who view students as “consumers” and espouse the view that “the consumer is always right.”
I'm not sure that's the right diagnosis, or the right mix of fixes, but perhaps that's one more thing to read.

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