Thursday, November 17, 2011

University of Charleston: Ahead of the Curve

The University of Charleston, yes, our Charleston, is getting ahead of the curve on changes that are coming to higher education.

It announced this month that tuition will drop 22% over the next few years.

High education costs, pushed by the student loan balloon, have soared. Students and institutions of higher learning alike rode the "free money" train for many years. Humanities departments rejoiced and hired hand over fist, granting tenure to many. Inevitably, student loan procedures will change. They will have to be more geared toward students who plan to do something productive with their degrees, something that will eventually be able to repay the loans.

Colleges and universities will have to do their part and lower their tuition and fees. Raises in these were only possible on a large scale because of the student aid programs.

The University of Charleston is adapting to the landscape before the changes come, trying to remain competitive for great students while dealing with the realities of the next several years.

Bravo, U. C. You are likely a model for the rest of the country.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Has CBS Rediscovered Journalism?

The lowest point of the news career of the Tiffany Network came in 2004 when Dan Rather pursued a story about George W. Bush's National Guard record into the ground, despite the fact that supporting documentation was forged. This came many years after Rather declared a vendetta for no conceivable reason against George H. W. Bush. In 2008, Katie Couric ambushed Sarah Palin by using a softball interview to ask strong questions. Which, honestly, is fair enough. A candidate or elected official should be prepared to answer tough questions at any time. But treat Obama and Biden the same, please. That's all we ask.

That was then. Are we seeing a new CBS?

Which old network has pursued Fast and Furious? CBS. Which old network spotlighted a Brietbart contributor's book on the use by congressmen and women (including Pelosi) of inside congressional information to score big on stocks? CBS' 60 Minutes.

CBS seems to have rediscovered the public benefit of journalism that shows less ideological favor and hits everyone just as hard. Now they are not yet perfect. Scott Pelley's laughable performance as debate moderator demonstrates that they have a ways to go. But at least they are covering the news.