As we endeavor to open the economy back up and begin to see the financial destruction wrought on businesses big and small, it becomes essential to discuss just which sectors and companies should receive bail-outs and which should not. Among those companies that should be left to fail are many colleges and universities that are so without virtue or merit that they should be relegated to a free-fall into oblivion.
Most college students have left campus by this point in the pandemic, and they have realized that the vast majority of coursework can be completed online—with very few exceptions—without having to pay thousands of dollars in tuition, dorm fees, meal plans, and parking passes. Students don't need to be on campus to learn and they don't need to have the storied and fantastical "college experience" to get their degree.
There are lots of good reasons to let these universities and colleges that can't make it through the pandemic shut down without government hand-outs fail.
Mountains of Debt
This is the biggest talking point in all debates and discussions about colleges and universities.
The national government should not relieve all student debts, as it’s a bit tone deaf to ask taxpayers to fund the bailout of students who willingly took on this debt.
But there’s no question that student debt is astronomically high.
The malignancy of the student debt crisis is that colleges and universities are charging students way too much for the services they provide. There is almost no education that can possibly warrant a semester fee of $20,000-$30,000.
And these institutions should be punished for price-gouging students.
Value of University Degrees Have Diminished
And this is the case for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most consequential is that a university degree no longer guarantees a job, much less a job in a relevant field.
Many students now have to seek a master’s degree or a doctorate to be competitive in a given field. A simple undergraduate degree is little better than simply attending college in the first place.
But there is also the fact that so many degrees are given out every single year. To show promise in a field is no longer a requisite. All that is required is a solid “C” across the board. There is no longer an emphasis on giftedness.
The job market is oversaturated because of this. Thousands of students end up moving back home to work at Starbucks after their four years, suffocating beneath the heel of debt and unable to find a job in their chosen field.
The time spent in college is time that a student could be learning on-the-job. If a student is majoring in journalism, for example, they should be shadowing at their local newspaper. An engineering student should be shadowing other engineers who are actually working professionally as an engineer.
Staring at PowerPoints for four years isn’t going to do much in the way of preparing students for what they will actually be doing in their career.
What we have instead are students who spend a ton of money getting an education, only to have sacrificed those four years without getting paid or learning a valuable skill. Colleges and institutions have set students up for failure.
Exploitation of Teaching/Graduate Assistants
Teaching assistants, who teach required courses to undergraduate students, make less than those who work in fast food.
As a teaching assistant myself, I make $544.00 every two weeks, with no option for a benefits package. But this just speaks to the bogus idea that these institutions really want their students and staff to succeed. They cut financial corners any way they can, because, after all, they are a business.
Athletes Get a Pass
Professors and instructors are told all the time to pass the athletes in their class. A few years back, Rutgers University football head coach was fined for approaching a professor, demanding that the professor change the grade of one of his players.
But this kind of thing happens all the time.
Professors should not be pressured to pass a college athlete who has a reading level just above that of a fifth grader. The scholarship that student has could go to another student, who might take their studies and athletic career a bit more seriously.
If 99 percent of college athletes go pro in something other than sports, then that 99 percent better start reading some books and working toward something other than running down a field with a ball.
An athlete who gets an accounting degree but can’t read IRS tax forms is a bad look.
The idea of tenured professors seems like a good one. These are people who have excelled in their field of study, completed the grunt work, and have earned their lifelong professorship.
But when a professor no longer has to meet standards in their curriculum, they are essentially permitted to teach anything they want, so long as they satisfy the bare minimum.
This is why tenured professors who teach, for example, a Research and Publication class, meant to educate students on how to get published, can spend half the semester talking about queer studies and how white men need to “shut the fuck up.” I've seen it happen.
The debunked ideas of White Fragility and Implicit Bias are the well-known bread and butter of leftist professors, who seek to confirm that white people are somehow unconsciously racist. Push back against this nonsense is likely to be met with accusations of fascism and neo-Nazism.
According to a 2006 study, 17.6 percent of social science professors self-identified as Marxists. And with the rise of social justice warriors and the open acceptance of socialist ideas, this percentage is likely to be even higher.
This kind of intolerance for reason and logic should not be supported by the federal government in any form.
While the name of this policy seems encouraging, it actually paves the way for impressive amounts of mediocrity. Talent and promise are exchanged for quotas and diversity.
Louis Pojman wrote a great paper on why “Strong Affirmative Action” is a terrible idea, arguing that the policy is a flimsy method of accepted racism and sexism.
And why should the federal government continue to financially support an institution that has implemented a method of racism and sexism and discrimination based on immutable qualities?
The civil rights movement abolished the acceptance of prejudice based on immutable qualities, yet it is entrenched in the realm of higher learning.
There should be no government support for an institution that implements policies which openly advocate for one people group over another based on race and sex.
Heavy Liberal Bias
With a heavy political bent in universities across the country, there is little room for productive intellectual discourse. Institutions hire from within, thus closing the gap on potentially new and revolutionary ideas.
The Daily Wire reported that the numbers of Democrats to Republican professors at colleges and universities across the country is 10.4 to 1. A whopping 40 percent of the colleges and universities did not register a single Republican professor, where 80 percent of the college and universities had so few number of Republican professors that the number was insignificant.
There is no free exchange of ideas. This is cohesive with Milo Yiannopoulos’ experience at Berkeley in 2017.
The same happened to Ben Shapiro, where he has been protested many times.
And many of these protests are violent and cause substantial damage to universities. This does not bode well for universities that claim to be platforms for a free exchange of ideas. Violent students are ideologically driven by what they have been told at their institutions of higher education.
There is no reason why the federal government—or any government—should be obligated to defend and financially save institutions that have not only harmed students, but have set an ideological precedent of intolerance and violence.
The billions of dollars handed out to universities every year could be going toward funding students who are working on-the-job and learning valuable skills.
An institution that is churning out little gray crank-turners while allowing them to financially suffer beneath student debt should have a taste of their own medicine.
Let colleges and universities plummet.