Why Public Higher Education Should Be Free
How to Decrease Cost and Increase Quality at American Universities
Publication Year: 2013
In Why Public Higher Education Should Be Free, Robert Samuels argues that many institutions of higher education squander funds and mislead the public about such things as average class size, faculty-to-student ratios, number of faculty with PhDs, and other indicators of educational quality. Parents and students seem to have little knowledge of how colleges and universities have been restructured over the past thirty years.
Samuels shows how research universities have begun to function as giant investment banks or hedge funds that spend money on athletics and administration while increasing tuition costs and actually lowering the quality of undergraduate education. In order to fight higher costs and lower quality, Samuels suggests, universities must reallocate these misused funds and concentrate on their core mission of instruction and related research.
Throughout the book, Samuels argues that the future of our economy and democracy rests on our ability to train students to be thoughtful participants in the production and analysis of knowledge. If leading universities serve only to grant credentials and prestige, our society will suffer irrevocable harm. Presenting the problem of how universities make and spend money, Samuels provides solutions to make these important institutions less expensive and more vital. By using current resources in a more effective manner, we could even, he contends, make all public higher education free.
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Universities are in crisis because they have lost their central identity. They were once defined by the twin goals of research and instruction, but now these two main activities are often lost in a sea of competing interests. It turns out that when a educational system or institution loses sight of its center, it spins out in many different directions, and these new interests ...
Why Tuition Goes Up and Quality Goes Down at American Research Universities
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Every year, tuition at American colleges and universities goes up, but vir-tually no one seems to know why. In fact, the average cost of higher edu-cation in the United States increases at twice the rate of inflation, and by going up 8 percent each year, the cost of tuition doubles every nine years.1 Meanwhile, educational institutions claim that they are losing money and ...
Where the Money Goes in Research Universities
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...to explain why costs go up at American research universities, this chap-ter will look into how these institutions spend their money. Since very few people have ever examined university budgets in a detailed and care-ful way, it has been easy for schools to claim that tuition never covers the true cost of education. However, if we look closely at the numbers, we ...
Shortchanging Instruction at Research Universities, and Why Students Don’t Complain
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...the previous two chapters have described how research universities have been decreasing their spending on direct instructional activities, while they increase their expenditures in other areas. In order to examine how these reductions in instructional budgets affect the education provided by these institutions, this chapter will examine the changing nature of ...
The Role of the Faculty and Graduate Students in Changing Universities
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Although some people believe that universities are now controlled by lazy liberal professors who indoctrinate their students into left- wing ideolo-gies, the reality is that professors at research universities have lost much of their power, and they now represent a small minority of the employees at these institutions. Moreover, as universities seek to cut educational costs ...
The Rise of the Administrative Class
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In the summer of 2000, I was sitting at a bargaining table with ten univer-sity administrators, discussing the different ways of assessing the quality of teachers in the University of California system. I started to get frus-trated because the conversation was going nowhere, but then I realized that no one on the other side of the table had ever taught or had studied ...
The University as Hedge Fund
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In the winter of 2009, some of the most prestigious private and pub-lic research universities in the United States announced that they would have to scale back class offerings, increase class sizes, limit the hiring of new faculty, and restructure academic programs. The main reason for these changes was that the schools had lost billions of dollars in their ...
The High Cost of Research
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American research universities have played an essential role in the world economy and the development of many important new technologies and medical innovations. In fact, without the research done at these institu-tions, we probably would not have the Internet, cellphones, most vaccines, and many other inventions that make our lives easier and more sustain-...
Technology to the Rescue?
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I am sitting on an Amtrak train trying to finish reading a novel, but I can-not concentrate because I am surrounded by people speaking— no, yelling— into their cellphones. Right behind me is a young college student who has two papers due the next day, one in history and one in English. I know this because she has called at least five different people to talk about how much ...
Making All Public Higher Education Free
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...throughout this book, I have pointed out a series of counterintuitive paradoxes. It seems that the more money research universities spend, the higher their tuition and the lower their quality of instruction. One would think that raising the price would improve the education, but as I have shown, due to the lack of concern for instructional quality, that is not the ...
Educating Students for a Multicultural Democracy
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Currently, there are two major movements in education around the globe: increased stress on efficiency and standardized testing, and a grow-ing focus on teaching the whole student and covering a large variety of subject matter. Driving much of the first movement is the idea that educa-tion’s only purpose is to prepare a student for a future job in knowledge ...
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About the Author
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RobeRt SamuelS is president of the University Council– American Fed-eration of Teachers union, which represents over three thousand lectur-ers and librarians in the University of California system. He is a lecturer at the University of California’s Los Angeles and Santa Barbara campuses. The author of the popular blog Changing Universities, he often writes for the ...
Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2013