Phi Beta Cons

Few Colleges Make Efficient Use of Their Space

Some years ago, the Pope Center published a paper by economics professor Robert Martin in which he argued that college officials would much rather spend their time trying to raise more money than in trying to lower costs and improve efficiency. In this Real Clear Policy piece, Tom Lindsay supports his argument, specifically with regard to the very inefficient use of facilities we typically find at colleges. He quotes architectural planners Philip Parsons and Gregory Janks, who say that “Colleges have been prodigal.” Indeed so.

Some schools have been trying to make more efficient use of space to lower their costs, and we will no doubt see more of that as the incentives swing away from merely getting bigger to getting more efficient. Lindsay provides several examples in his article, including Kean University in New Jersey and BYU-Idaho. And there is also the ultimate space-saving innovation, online courses.

Creative destruction occurs when people find better and more efficient ways of doing things. There wasn’t much reason to search for them in higher education’s fat years, but it appears they’re behind us.

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

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
White House


Some of you will be familiar with a lefty, partisan Democratic organization called MoveOn, formerly MoveOn.Org. It was founded during an investigation into President Bill Clinton’s shenanigans (which were not, Democratic mythology notwithstanding, strictly sexual in nature) and argued that it was time for the ... Read More