We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have diversity administrators because we have a population that is actually diverse. Do you think Switzerland and Spain spend money on that? You can't even invent a controversy there.
Well, you can, but this is one place where the Europeans and Northeast Asians have got us beat. When accused, they say "Yes, yes of course. You're absolutely right. Terrible treatment of minorities here. We condemn this." Then they do nothing. It works a treat, because everyone is used to that level of hypocrisy. For better or worse, the Americans and Canadians can't manage that with a straight face.
Assistant Village Idiot
Higher Ed is expensive because financing it is cheap and easy. Just like the Real Estate market bubble in the last decade only worse because borrowers 1) don’t often think about the cost, 2) have inflated expectations about their ability to repay, and 3) have a mechanism that defers repayment until college is completed so the urgency and debt load is not readily apparent like a mortgage payment next month.
Government is up to its neck in subsidizing and controlling both education and healthcare. At one time both were affordable but ever since they have gone authoritarian and decided that the Constitution is living and breathing, the mandate to provide rather than promote either education or healthcare has gone through the roof. What better place to set up a business to skim off a couple percent of the pot of money flowing through either of these occupations. And what better place to make sure that unions mandate that technology not cost them a nickel.
Why is higher ed so expensive in the US? Just look at who is running it. The people running these places couldn't successfully run an ice cream stand, yet we are giving them hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of employees to manage. How could anything possibly go wrong?
A big part of the college experience is the privilege of having the name of a particular institution on your resume. The word "Harvard" means a lot. And the same goes for about two hundred top-tier schools.
But if you just want to talk about learning, many on-line schools are improving so rapidly that they will match regular universities in the next twenty years. Already, there is an on-line law school. You can soon expect an on-line nursing school, with local internships.
Prices for these on-line schools work-out to about 25% of the cost of "real" Universities; and often include live-chat sessions, video recordings from famous instructors, and dedicated teachers who are actually better than the Adjunct Professors that you get at Stanford. In addition, on-line schools are willing to give credit for work experience; and in the future, may even coordinate with employers so that certain types of work will earn college credits. It's a new game.
The biggest issue right now is the fact that there is no philosophical connection between the major field of study that a student wants, and the philosophy of each University. It used to be that a student could go to a Catholic University, or a Mormon University, or a Conservative University, or a Liberal University; depending on his or her cultural values. But students are no longer given that choice. By fiat, all schools are now liberal.
This has happened because government-funding dictates that each school comply with certain political positions; such as Title IX. And the government has become so vicious that it will not allow an on-line school to offer any independent philosophical view. It would never get accredited. (Imagine a degree in Anthropology which teaches that white culture is superior to black culture.)
At the heart of the problem is the fact that there is a huge political disconnect between the taxpayers, and the government. Government employees no longer feel that they are elected representatives of the people. They are now fully-functioning political organizations unto themselves. What we have is a giant log-jam of bureaucracies, that will have to be broken-up and sent down the river; along with black, latino, and asian studies.