One thing is for sure this election year… we’re going to be investing more in education. (And by “for sure” I mean, “not at all” once the election is over.) But everyone is talking about it. And let’s admit that education is important if we’re going to train up a new generation of scientists, engineers, business leaders and the people who will make the economy go.
College and university administrators have been happy to scoop up all the money by rapidly raising tuitions and fees. Higher-ed expenses have been rising much more rapidly than inflation for three decades.
And what has the money been spent on? Some of it presumably goes to professors in the hard sciences and the great scholars who have made American universities the best in the world. Well and good.
But many university administrators have other priorities. The University of California system has been raising tuitions and cutting departments. But, reports John Leo in the invaluable Minding the Campus blog, its San Diego campus found the money to create a new post of “vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion.”
That’s in addition to what the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald calls its “already massive diversity apparatus.” It takes Mac Donald 103 words just to list the titles of UCSD’s diversitycrats.
The money for the new vice chancellorship could have supported two of the three cancer researchers that the campus lost to Rice University in Houston, a private school that apparently takes the strange view that hard science is more important than diversity facilitators.
So basically, we may not find a cure for cancer, but we’re going to be chock full of people who can make you feel better about it.
This is one of those crazy stories which seems to keep cropping up that ticks everyone off but probably doesn’t mean very much in the end. This isn’t a government problem and it’s not an education problem. It’s the administrative branch of the the industry of education which bends to the winds of populism rather than offering the best path toward success for their students. But in the end, nobody made the students go there. Everyone participates in the free market of education. The only votes which count here are the ones cast with the feet and wallets of parents and students.