July 27, 2018

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Sad State Of Higher Education.

The state of the American university remains precarious for several reasons. College costs and student debt have reached a level beyond which they cannot keep rising indefinitely. Colleges keep expanding their use of badly paid adjunct professors hired after only a perfunctory look at their credentials. These adjuncts increased from about 13 percent of the faculty in 1988 to about 51 percent in 2011; in 2011 another 29 percent were instructors not eligible for tenure, and only 21 percent were tenured professors.

Meanwhile, a growing number of courses are available on the Internet, many for free, raising the question of why students should pay as much as $4,000 for a classroom course when they can take a better course for much less or for nothing. At the same time, many American voters, state legislators, and governors who have a low opinion of professors and their ideas are becoming still more reluctant to subsidize higher education through taxes. Between 1987 and 2012, state and local spending on higher education per full-time student fell by 30.6 percent in constant dollars, while tuition at state and local institutions rose by 100.5 percent.

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