The Corner


A Big Reason for the Rising Cost and Falling Quality of College

Among the many reasons why American higher education is in such decline is administrative bloat. It keeps adding to the costs that students, their families, and the taxpayers must cover, often for positions that are worse than useless such as “vice president for diversity and inclusion.” Those rising costs crowd out spending on actual education. Moreover, those administrators are prone to injecting ever more of the identity politics toxin into college veins.

In this Martin Center article, Wendy McElroy discusses the bad trend.

She writes:

Administrative bloat bears significant responsibility for the decline in educational quality and civility. The decline is partly due to the diversion of scarce funds from academia to administration and partly due to the ideological slant of administrative policies rooted in identity politics, such as mandatory sensitivity training on race.

McElroy doesn’t have any magic-bullet solution for this growing problem, and I don’t think there is one. Only when college officials are faced with the choice of dumping campus administrators who soak up desperately short dollars or closing will we see administrative bloat cured.

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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