Phi Beta Cons

Revenge of the Bureaucrats

We need a Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. I mean, War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death are no laughing matters. But today, there is nothing guaranteed to induce terror like “Bureaucracy.” In academia today, red tape is everywhere, enforcing inefficiency, political correctness, immobility, and stagnancy.

In much of the country, state authorization of new schools is proving to be very anti-innovation and anti-competition, preventing online schools from crossing state borders. In North Carolina, it is especially insidious. To start, the University of North Carolina is the authorizing agency for four-year academic schools. It took an act of legislature to get Western Governors University, an online school already successfully operating in a bunch of states, to receive authorization. Of course, the UNC system has been trying to grow its own online operation; cartel-like behavior, anyone?

How bad is it? Authorizers can demand specific room temperatures at new schools. Jesse Saffron discusses the insane bureaucratic overreach of state authorizing in this article.


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