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Truth is Powerful

Why Is Higher Education Such a Mess?


(kasto80/iStock/Getty Images) If you compare higher education in America today with what it was like, say, 50 years ago, the changes are stark. It used to be a reasonably affordable proposition where students studied academic disciplines taught by scholars. Now, we have far more students, college costs much more, and campuses are strife-ridden with ideological protests and politicized courses. Top Stories

What happened?

In today’s Martin Center article , Professor Robert Weissberg argues that the unhappy transformation was created by “the best of intentions.” He holds the faculty guilty, writing,” Today’s assault on intellectual excellence in the academy will eventually end. Hopefully, an investigation will then commence on its causes, and all the usual suspects will be rounded up. This tribunal will, however, likely ignore one key culprit: ordinary faculty—people like me—who complained about the assault, all while enthusiastically aiding it.”

The origin of the problem, he argues, was the decision to lower academic standards so that more students could succeed in college. Everyone thought that was a path to equality and justice.

Here is one example Weissberg gives: In a particularly bizarre case, a colleague received a clearly plagiarized paper and, rather than bring expulsion proceedings, offered to forget the matter […]

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