They begged for them and got them. But at what price?
The college and university system in the United States fought long and hard to obtain as much student aid and tuition subsidies as possible from the federal government. And now, Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney explains that their chickens have come home to roost.
Last week, Obama gave a higher education speech. It addressed the endless upward spiral of tuition and debt, as well as the declining value of a college education in many fields. What was Obama's idea? As usual, let the federal government handle it.
Obama proposed that the federal government rate colleges (based on what criteria!) to determine which offered the best educational value. Suddenly, hard bitten liberal and left wing academics protested like Tea Party activists about the potential for political abuse.
Carney quoted former Harvard president Derek Bok, "I have to be somewhat apprehensive when any force as powerful as the federal government undertakes the task."
William and Mary economics department chair David H. Feldman warned in the Chronicle of Higher Education that tying outcomes to funding would force colleges and universities to reject at-risk students who could come and do well otherwise.
Others say that the information proposed as a baseline to analysis is incomplete.
The universities themselves invited this bind. They begged for the subsidies and got them. Then, as years passed, they built dorms that would make an Embassy Suites blush. They bloated salaries, travel budgets, and other perquisites of office. Higher education went on spending sprees, leaving faculty salaries and cash strapped students in the dust.
Now the federal government proposes to meddle in higher education in the same way that it has ripped apart the public school systems. Killing it with kindly bureaucratic help.
Interestingly, all that stands in the way of Obama is House Republicans. Congress has refused to authorize the sweeping data collection needed by the federal government to implement this. That being said, some conservatives may agree that the federal government deserves more bang for its buck. It is not as if academia has ever given Republicans a reason to offer a helping hand.
Not to mention that overspending taxpayer funds created this mess for the colleges
Will left wing higher education-ocrats deign to work with the Republican Party? Stay tuned!