Once again, Rich Vedder asks the right (and to the higher ed establishment,embarrassing) question at CCAP:
When asked why we teach so little, we reply “teaching is only a small part of our duties.” But who decided that? The donors to universities? State legislatures? No. The universities themselves have decided to downplay instruction in order to do what the faculty wants –doing often marginal quality research of dubious value in order to enhance their own individual national recognition and marketability.
One of the primary reasons why higher ed has become so costly is that most professors don’t actually teach much so they have time for all of their research interests. Many schools pay big bucks to hire academic stars so they can elevate their US News ranking, but what good does a high ranking do for undergraduates who are largely taught by grad students? And how much of that research would pass the test of the market — that is to say, if outside parties had to pay for it? Probably very little.