Texas recently passed some of the most conservative, pro-gun legislation in the country, which drastically liberalizes open carry laws on college campuses. With the aid of lobbyists and lawmakers backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the legislation is now moving forward in more than fourteen other states as well. Student policymakers are a vital intellectual
Media coverage of Emma Sulkowicz’s performance art is drawing attention to a very serious and widespread issue: today, one out of every five women on a college campus has been sexually assaulted. President Obama himself spoke about it just last year. Worse, it is estimated that only 12 percent of sexual assaults are reported, meaning that far more
I have a piece at Rolling Stone, about how Yale’s giant donation and the collapse of for-profit colleges under fraud charges both tell the same story: as we defund and privatize state public colleges there no set of good institutions which will fill the void left behind.
Three quick follow-up points. First, a technical one responding to something several people have brought up. I argue: “how much will Yale increase its enrollment numbers as a result of this [Schwarzman $150 million donation]? We can make a good guess: zero. Yale’s freshman enrollment this past year [is] virtually the same as in 2003.”
Yale’s enrollment has not only been flat since 2003 but since around the 1970s, even though the number of students being educated overall has doubled over those 40 years. Some people have noted that there are plans by fall 2017 to increase Yale’s enrollment 15 percent. It’s true, though those plans have been in the works since before the financial crisis and have been significantly delayed, and are unrelated to the Schwarzman donation. The point very much stands.
Some thought this point was a cheap shot, but I think it is crucial to get out there in the debate. Private non-profits pick and choose strategically how to expand enrollment to fufill their private goals, and that’s great. But their goals do not line up with the public one of ensuring that all who qualify has access to quality, affordable higher education, and they certainly won’t step up as that system is pulled back.
Second, the for-profit stories are crazy. I need to be writing more about them, but keep an eye on their implosion, and what it means for privatization and running all government services through for-profit actors. The Corinthian debt-strikers are worth watching as well – here’s Annie Lowrey writing about them and Astra Taylor.
Third, two recommendations. Michelle Goldberg’s long Nation piece on the inequality amplifying consequences of public disinvestment at the University of Arizona, which I link to, is fantastic, and very much worth your time. I also tried to get in this great column by Andrew Hartman on how conservatives used to value mass higher education as a basis of Western Civilization during the Culture Wars – Alan Bloom describing it as “a space between the intellectual wasteland he has left behind and the inevitable dreary professional training that awaits him after the baccalaureate” – but now have traded that battle for one of defunding and privatization, but it didn’t make it. But check out my piece anyway!
From championing civil rights through Freedom Summer to fighting sexual assault, college students have long made a name for themselves as leaders of ideas, activism, and innovation. It should therefore come as no surprise that the fossil-fuel divestment movement—the campaign to get institutions to pull their financial investments from fossil fuels and redirect that money
We need to start holding colleges accountable as anchor institutions that provide economic growth and stability to their communities. In recent weeks, the debate about holding colleges accountable has focused on schools’ responsibilities toward failing students, continuously rising tuition, and increasing student debt. What’s been overlooked is the role of colleges as a potential force
The fossil fuel divestment movement on college campuses highlights two distinct aspects of the problem of climate change. The first and most obvious is that climate change and environmental issues are drastically changing our planet and require immediate action. The second is the responsibility of our colleges and universities to be stewards of responsible social
Our series on “The Good Economy of 2040” continues this week with Next American Economy Director and Roosevelt Senior Fellow Bo Cutter. If Cutter could pick one policy solution to ensure a good economy in the future, he’d call for universal pre-K through secondary school to “bring up children from low-income households” and teach all
“Within 5 years the world’s best education will be available online and it will be free,” said George Mason University professor Tyler Cowen in a September 2013 interview. “Arguably that’s already the case.” When I heard the claim last summer, I took notice. I was and continue to be an undergraduate with a love for
Our tuition checks shouldn’t be going to pay off debts from Wall Street’s bad deals. The last few decades have not been kind to America’s local public institutions. Cities that once built state-of-the-art infrastructure are now struggling to fix potholes in the street. Public schools that were once the best in the world are lagging
The ghost of Lehman Brothers is still haunting colleges and universities around the country, continuing to extract money from institutions even though the financial firm itself is long dead. When Lehman Brothers Holdings declared bankruptcy in 2008, it was the fourth largest investment bank in the United States. The giant’s collapse was felt in all