"Why College Is Never Coming Back"

Interesting and depressing. Over the top, too, IMO. But there’s more than a grain of truth in what he is saying.

sadly, I do believe the Golden Age of college athletics and college as we know it is in our rear view mirror

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Higher ed reform is a great issue that no one talks about. I guess it doesn’t generate votes. But it’s needed, it’s doable, and it’s ripe for compromise.


I read it, but the author lost some credibility (for me) when he wrote this:

“It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become.”

I’m sure many of you will disagree with me.


That’s pretty funny. Buying into extreme leftist politics is a stereotype that might be true for some but it certainly isn’t for every student. It doesn’t give the student body any credit really. Or the faculty for that matter.


One improvement would be to educate more than indoctrinate. The ivy covered walls have ruined a good thing

Another way that colleges have failed.

That’s exactly where I stopped reading.

I had a conversation with a coworker the other day regarding the amount of money spent on physical infrastructure on college campuses that may now be permanently underutilized. It boggles the mind the millions and billions of dollars spend on that, and I’m not even bringing in the taj majal of college athletics construction.


I warned you guys that he was over the top in some ways.

That said, anyone who thinks universities today are places where diverse ideas will flow freely and openly hasn’t been paying attention for a long time now.


Oh, I’ve been paying attention. I’ve seen plenty of “kids” that hired on at my previous place of work that were very right wing.

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I don’t think he said anything about the political beliefs of the students. He’s talking about discourse on campus.

At any rate, the point is that higher ed should be reformed. If we value higher ed (and I do), we need to make it possible to work yourself through college. Everyone should have a flagship public school that is affordable and high quality. If people want to pay more to leave the state or go to a fancy private school, fine, but everyone should have a strong, affordable flagship option in the home state.

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Sounds like they managed to resist the pressure to become communists. :wink:

I am not talking about the colleges indoctrinating kids. I think all students, right, left, middle, woke or redneck, should be exposed to a wide range of ideas in college. It’s one of the best and most important things about college, IMO.

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His link certainly made it clear about the students getting indoctrinated.

Fair enough. I thought you were replying to LA’s comment and not to the article.

Indoctrination was the wrong word for him to use. If kids go to college and are never exposed to a conservative idea except when a group is shouting down a speaker with such ideas, I think that is a pretty flawed education. The students and society deserve better. I think I’d feel the same way if the situation were flipped and the professoriate were 95% Republicans, and liberals got shouted down much of the time.

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Colleges may not be the only thing that is never coming back.

Can you imagine what is going to happen to commercial real estate now that most major corporations have discovered that they can have the majority of their staff work from home, permanently?

Or that you can have your own exercise routine at home without paying for a gym membership.

Or that consumers will tolerate product support telephone lines with a 1-plus hour average wait.

Or that much like the corporate shift following the last recession, people are so much more in fear of losing their jobs that they will do whatever it takes to keep them.

Or that it’s really OK to stay home from church on Sunday.

Or that all that money we were spending on restaurants feels good back in the pocketbook.

Or, I really prefer not having to fly for vacations.

Or, I haven’t missed (you choose) Ute basketball, Jazz basketball, Real Salt Lake soccer, etc. - at all.

Or …

I’m not sure that any of these will ACTUALLY change, but you can rest assured that many things, some positive, some negative, will NEVER be the same again. It will be interesting and probably very painful to watch as they unfold.


That was a mildly interesting dreck filled screed. One thing that most commentators fail to discuss is how college became so expensive. Up until the 1980’s public colleges were highly subsidized by taxpayers. The premise was that investing tax dollars in college helps produce a more highly educated populace which results in those people getting higher paying jobs and thus paying more in taxes returning far more than they received in subsidized education.

Starting in mid 1980’s governments starting pulling back on the amount of funding they were spending on post-secondary education. Over time colleges were forced to make up the difference with increases tuition rates and more and higher fees. They also realized that they needed more people coming through the doors to maintain the base funding needed to support all of the normal operations of the institution. In order to attract more and more students, colleges started to offer more student services, fun and interesting course offerings, fitness facilities, student events, etc. The college landscape became more and more competitive with the offerings to attract students and the arms race was on! Basically more and more of the cost of post-secondary was off-loaded on to the backs of students and the government chose to back stop more loans rather than directly subsidize colleges. And the final piece was not allowing students to discharge student loans via bankruptcy. The banks get guaranteed payments at high interest as well. Also grant funding has steadily declined as well and the qualifications to receive grant funding has become more stringent. College today looks much different from a funding standpoint than it did when I first started back in 1989.

As for the notion of college as bastions of indoctrination, what a load of bovine and equine excrement!! I returned to college to attend the University of Utah as an adult graduating in 2008 so not too long ago. Previously I had attended 3 other colleges and universities and graduated from 2 of them. Even the fairly liberal University of Alberta was far from any “socialist indoctrination center”. MacEwan University was quite conservative at the time and still is today. Utah is somewhere in the middle but I would classify it as fairly conservative compared to many other schools I have visited for courses or where friends teach as faculty. Over the course of my post secondary education journey I never experienced anything close to indoctrination in any one ideology. I received a very broad spectrum of ideas and points of view over the span of years and degree programs. Just my $.02


Ok, the author has an opinion and a bias, which is OK, but their reliance on rhetoric versus fact in essence negates the value the article may have contributed to a public discussion.

To be blunt about it, I saw (and have seen) more indoctrination tactics used at private, Christian evangelical-based institutions than at any public institutions. Now setting that pettiness aside…

The reality is public universities are in trouble. It doesn’t take looking past our own University of Utah to make the point. In 2017, the amount of money the school received from the state comprised roughy eight percent of the University’s budget. When I was an undergrad in the late 1980’s, state funding made up almost half the school’s budget. At the current state funding, there has been serious discussion about moving the school private, just because the state no longer provides meaningful support. My guess is if that funding ever gets to below 5 percent, the school will transition to private. Also…

If tuitions continue to escalate and become even more of an economic impediment, the overall value to the public will be muted by “economic screening.” The doors to access higher education and technical training have to be kept as wide open as possible. The states used to be the great equalizer in making higher and technical education accessible and affordable. This is the real great failure. All COVID did was expose and accelerate it.


I should have posted an article that’s less incendiary. My bad.

Sadly, I think what you say is true. The tuition explosion is a disgrace. Back in the day (late 70s) as a student lobbyist I spent time at the Legislature pushing back on tuition increases. To their credit the legislators we spoke to then were not eager at all to increase tuition, but they did gently point out to us that tuition was only about 1% of the overall U of U budget.

There must be several causes for the outrageous levels of tuition today. Applying Occam’s Razor to the question, the ease with which students can get federally guaranteed student loans must at least be part of that, but it’s hard to discuss because the issue has become politicized. (Imagine that, in today’s world!) An iron rule of economics is that if you subsidize something you get more of it.

Whatever the cause, it’s a disgrace.

If the amount of debt owed about $1.5 trillion) gets out of hand and people start defaulting on a widespread basis. we’re looking at a crisis like the housing bubble of 2008-09. Here’s a report by the left of center Center for American Progress on options for dealing with the problem:

And here’s the conservative Heritage Foundation’s take.

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The offloading of ever increasing portion of the cost of education on to the backs of students - there I fixed it for you. :slight_smile: