The Corner


A Dismal Look at Higher Education’s Future

American higher education has been in trouble for a long time, thanks to government meddling — especially federal student aid that has flooded campuses with poorly prepared kids who are much more interested in having fun than in learning anything. In recent years, however, a new problem has arisen; namely, what Professor Jacob Howland calls “corporatist progressivism” in a City Journal essay.

In his essay, Howland particularly describes the downfall of his institution, Tulsa University (TU), following a takeover by a super-rich Oklahoman with “progressive” visions. It serves as a poster child for the “comprehensive commodification” of higher education.

Howland writes, “Colleges and universities were once understood to be places where the young, sheltered from the demands of work and social utility, could ripen into mature adults. That is no longer the case. TU is following a path paved by powerful people and organizations. Where does this path ultimately lead? The strategic plan tips its hand when it praises Karamay in Xinjiang, China, as a ‘model city for the future, built from the ground up in the past decade,’ which ‘has the ability to plan in [the] absence of tradition.’”

Read the whole essay.


George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.


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