Ivory Tower Overhaul

(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

In light of the spirited response to Jonathan Pichot's provocative essay on Adventist higher education, I am posting this recent Cato Institute discussion by the U.S. Secretary of Education's panel to inspect and renovate American higher education. I think might be especially informative as the panel includes the president of St. John's College (which has come up in the comment section and is a school on which both Pacific Union College and Andrews University have modeled their honors programs). The other reason that this might be helpful is that, included on the panel is the author of Generation Debt, a book (and growing movement) addressing the often-cruel reality of the government subsidized, for-profit student loan industry. Two things everyone seems to know about higher education are that it's extremely expensive and that it gets more so every year. That, however, is about the extent of our collective certainty, because many critical questions never seem to get answered: Why does tuition rise relentlessly? What are students actually learning? What's the payoff of higher education? In light of all the open questions, it's no surprise that Americans are getting increasingly uneasy about the prices that colleges and universities are asking them to pay.

Last year, the U.S. secretary of education established a commission to inspect America's ivory tower and formulate a "national strategy" for its renovation. With the commission's final report now out, we invite you to join our diverse panel of experts for a lively debate of higher education's problems, and the best ways to fix them - The Cato Institute

Featuring Charles Miller, Chairman, the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education; Christopher Nelson, President, St. John's College; Anya Kamenetz, Author, Generation Debt; Neal McCluskey, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato Institute; and moderated by Doug Lederman, Editor, Inside Higher Ed.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4184