Phi Beta Cons

Penn Sociologists Decry “Credentialism”

Noel Weyrich, a writer-at-large for Philadelphia magazine, relates that a growing number of scholars, notably two at U. Penn, believe that the vast expansion of higher education in the United States has been unhealthy for both society and the academy.
Professors Ivan Berg and Randall Collins claim that higher education has absorbed huge public subsidies by pledging to increase workplace productivity and advance social mobility – while not fulfilling either goals.
Bottom line? The credentials craze is destroying the love of learning.
Of more subtle interest here, too, is the quite different personal reactions to this issues by these two professors.