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Make College Cheaper by Cutting Administrative Costs
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The greatest problem with most universities today is that tuition is much too high, forcing an entire generation of students into long-term debt-servitude. Total student loans now exceed $1.2 trillion, and millions of students will probably never be able to pay them off.

During the mid-1970s, tuition at UCLA, Berkeley, and the other UC campuses was only $630 per year. Now the annual cost averages around $15,000, having increased many times faster than inflation.

An important factor has been the huge rise in educational expenses. Undergraduates now enjoy four years of access to nicer food, fancier dormitories, and Olympic-quality swimming pools, but must then spend 10 or 20 years paying back the crippling student loans that covered those temporary luxuries.

However, the biggest factor in rising expenses has probably been the huge growth in the administrative staff. A couple of decades ago there was one administrator for every two faculty members, and now the numbers are roughly equal. Doubling the number of these non-teaching administrators, some of whom receive outrageous salaries, explains where much of the extra money has been going.
.
One way of cutting tuition would be to persuade the state legislatures in California and around the country to allocate many billions of additional taxpayer dollars to increase public subsidies to their state colleges and universities. But most government budgets are very tight, so this seems unlikely to happen.

Therefore, the only apparent means of substantially lowering tuition is to drastically cut the expenses, especially those unnecessary administrative costs. Liberals and conservatives should unite behind this important political project, backed by the millions of students who desperately need cuts in their extremely high college tuition.

Ron Unz is chairman of Free Harvard/Fair Harvard, a slate of candidates running for the university’s Board of Overseers on a platform of immediately abolishing undergraduate tuition. He is also a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in California.
(Republished from Zocalo Public Square by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Academia, Tuition 
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  1. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Mr. Unz:
    You claim that the ratio of administrative staff to faculty was 1 to 2 a couple of decades ago, and now it is 1 to 1.
    I believe you, but want to ask a question:
    what about the ratio of admin. staff to number of students ?
    And thus, what happened to the ratio for faculty to students ?
    Myself, I do not have any data, and so my question is sincere.
    Respectfully, F. r.

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  2. The ‘capitalist world’ is against cheaper education. Their leaders are afraid that cheaper education will raise percentage of educated people, who would then ask more freedom to express their political and social opinions, and challenge the Zionist-controlled mainstream media.

    That’s why, wherever, the college education was free, such as Iraq under Saddam and Libya under Qaddafi, were invaded and destroyed by western ‘humanitarian’ wars.

    “We have a copy of an agreement between the would-be-rebels and the Mossad. The agreement states that Israel will provide arms and training to the rebels until they take-over the country and in return for that Israel will get to put a military base in the Green Mountain of Libya,” said Jo Anne and her husband James Moriarty, the whistle-blowers, who worked in Libya during 2007-2011.

    Cuba, the third country with free college education had been sanctioned for 50 years but escaped western ‘humanitarian destruction’.

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/11/06/libya-a-muslim-nation-destroyed-for-israel-and-greed/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    Given the type of education given at all but a few elite and a few nontypical, outlying schools, the "capitalist" establishment not only does not fear but in fact quite correctly welcomes mass "education".

    Several aspects of college education as practiced in the US today are ridiculous and destructive. Sports, of course, at least bigtime football and basketball programs wherein colleges act as farm clubs for the NBA and NFL.

    And the price of college textbooks is typically absolutely out of line with their real value. In many cases, courses could just as easily use public domain materials-after all, what is there to say about the Roman Empire not said in books long since out of copyright? Is there a better beginning electronics text book than the old US Navy rate training manual?
  3. As much a role as cronyism and bureacratic agrandizement have in the increase in admistration, don’t forget the role of federal regulations. All those regulations end up requiring administrators to track or enforce compliance and mandatory reporting. Part of the solution would be for the Department of Education (and parts of the Department of Justice) to also be reduced as a first step.

    Read More
  4. (1) Well, Zocalo Public Square asked me for a 300 word contribution to their Higher Ed symposium, so I spent a half-hour dashing it right off, and thought I might as well republish it here in my columnist slot. Anyway, I don’t use “ghosts” and am too busy copying with my last-minute U.S. Senate campaign to do any substantial articles right now.

    (2) There was an eye-opening article in The Nation last year focused on these huge recent rises in administrative numbers:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/why-is-college-so-expensive-if-professors-are-paid-so-little/

    The underlying data source was The New England Center for Investigative Reporting, which seems pretty credible:

    http://eye.necir.org/2014/02/06/new-analysis-shows-problematic-boom-in-higher-ed-administrators/

    They have a convenient online database showing the figures for every college, and in most cases the administrative growth seems to vastly outpace the growth in the numbers of students.

    http://college-table.wgbh.org/college_local

    For example at UC Berkeley, admins increased 100%, total full-time staff by 150%, yet students only by 30%. At UCLA, admins grew by 70% and students by 20%.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    At MIT, ever ahead of the times, the faculty, though already powerless to do anything about it, had cottoned on to this trend by 1993, when one of my old math professors wrote:

    the bureaucracy absorbs an unsustainable share of resources and thereby threatens the strength and vitality of our principal activities – research and education. [...]

    The time has come for a more radical surgery to restore the Institute to good health, but how can this be accomplished by task forces so constituted that the administration will in effect examine
    itself?
     
    As a snot-nosed college kid at the time, I saw my professors as world-bestriding colossi - which they were, in their fields.

    Then I happened across the MIT Faculty Newsletter ( the above was excerpted from pp. 10-11 of http://web.mit.edu/fnl/vol/archives/fnl54.pdf ) and was shocked to read about their complete subservience to the seemingly completely irrelevant administrators.

    It was a healthy Red Pill moment for me, one of my first.
  5. Agree wholeheartedly.

    Another effective and efficient strategy is to distribute the first two years of college to local “extension” campuses resembling junior colleges but employing real teaching professionals and high academic standards. These are easier to insulate from the “main campus” luxury and enable further economies by serving student living at home. This arrangement worked for me.

    Those that want the party experience can of course go to the main campus.

    Read More
  6. Make college really cheap by taking courses via Coursera, EDX, etc, and sit for exams at supervised testing centers.

    Read More
  7. “Administrator creep” in the universities is only a pale reflection of what is happening at all levels in education. I noticed the administrator creep when reflecting on my own experience in elementary through high school and what we experienced with our sons in the 1980s and 1990s.

    In our day in elementary through high school, administration consisted of a principal, possibly a secretary, and few guidance counselors. Teachers were responsible for their own audio-visuals. And we received an excellent education from dedicated career teachers. We also walked two miles to school or relied on our parents or carpooling for transportation.

    Then, in our sons’ experience, the same grades evidently required a principal, a vice-principle, audio-visual experts, double the number of counselors, test monitors, and a gaggle of special needs advisers to address the needs of special needs students and slow learners. Some of the local high schools even had “deans” for this and that. And the fleets of buses … gargantuan transportation systems that operate only a few hours a day and are parked through the summer months.

    I stand in awe at the scale and costs of these layers of administration and transportation in elementary school through high school. But to what end? How do … how can communities pay for them?

    Read More
  8. How about making college cheaper by eliminating college. Start with law. Why does the US require an accredited bachelors degree before attending law school? Aren’t the undergraduates entering Harvard smart enough to major in law, graduate, pass bar exam, and start working as a lawyer? If you are a libertarian you might even question the need for the Harvard part and even the bar exam part. If you are a real revolutionary even high school is unnecessary for smart kids.

    Real revolutionary Marin Van Buren would have none of it:
    Van Buren received a basic education at the village schoolhouse and briefly studied Latin at the Kinderhook Academy and at Washington Seminary in Claverack.[26][27] His formal education ended before he reached 14, when he began reading law in 1796 at the office of Peter Silvester and his son Francis, prominent Federalist attorneys in Kinderhook.[28]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Van_Buren#Early_life_and_education

    More modern example Clarence Darrow:

    Darrow started to study the law on his own, and by the end of his third year of teaching, his family urged him to enter the law department at Ann Arbor. Darrow only studied there a year when he decided that it would be much more cost effective to work and study in an actual law office.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow#Biography

    See also legal education in the world, and especially our mother country UK.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_education

    Pretty much every academic major is really no longer needed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @blankmisgivings
    The obvious reply is that your proposed reform would not benefit a parasitic elite who gain from controlling the supply of professionals, and perhaps more importantly, create 'filters' such as attendance at Ivy League schools so that only people from elite families (plus symbolic quota populations) can compete for upper middle class professional jobs.

    Those 'filters' are more needed now than 100 years+ ago because general literacy is so much higher and there are probably more people as a % of the population who could competently perform professional roles, such as lawyer.

    But I suspect there is also a genuine element of increased technical specialization, in professional fields like law, and certainly medicine, which might account for some of the increased hurdles.
    , @Anonymous

    Why does the US require an accredited bachelors degree before attending law school?
     
    The U.S. law doesn't require a degree to go to law school. I never received a bachelor's degree but I went to law school at the New College of California.

    On the other hand, you're not wrong because most law schools will require a degree, but it's not a matter of law, just custom.
  9. @George
    How about making college cheaper by eliminating college. Start with law. Why does the US require an accredited bachelors degree before attending law school? Aren't the undergraduates entering Harvard smart enough to major in law, graduate, pass bar exam, and start working as a lawyer? If you are a libertarian you might even question the need for the Harvard part and even the bar exam part. If you are a real revolutionary even high school is unnecessary for smart kids.

    Real revolutionary Marin Van Buren would have none of it:
    Van Buren received a basic education at the village schoolhouse and briefly studied Latin at the Kinderhook Academy and at Washington Seminary in Claverack.[26][27] His formal education ended before he reached 14, when he began reading law in 1796 at the office of Peter Silvester and his son Francis, prominent Federalist attorneys in Kinderhook.[28]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Van_Buren#Early_life_and_education

    More modern example Clarence Darrow:

    Darrow started to study the law on his own, and by the end of his third year of teaching, his family urged him to enter the law department at Ann Arbor. Darrow only studied there a year when he decided that it would be much more cost effective to work and study in an actual law office.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow#Biography

    See also legal education in the world, and especially our mother country UK.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_education

    Pretty much every academic major is really no longer needed.

    The obvious reply is that your proposed reform would not benefit a parasitic elite who gain from controlling the supply of professionals, and perhaps more importantly, create ‘filters’ such as attendance at Ivy League schools so that only people from elite families (plus symbolic quota populations) can compete for upper middle class professional jobs.

    Those ‘filters’ are more needed now than 100 years+ ago because general literacy is so much higher and there are probably more people as a % of the population who could competently perform professional roles, such as lawyer.

    But I suspect there is also a genuine element of increased technical specialization, in professional fields like law, and certainly medicine, which might account for some of the increased hurdles.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carbon blob
    But I suspect there is also a genuine element of increased technical specialization, in professional fields like law, and certainly medicine, which might account for some of the increased hurdles.

    Pretty sure med students in the UK start straight out of secondary school. (Then again, secondary education in the UK is probably more rigorous than in the US, judging by A-levels vs. AP exams.)

  10. A prime objective should be to halve the library staff, explained in my blog back in 2011:

    Burn the Libraries

    I’ve always loved libraries, although I haven’t used one in a decade. In the great, futuristic movie “I-Robot” a CEO mocked Will Smith as one of those backward types who wanted to preserve libraries. I basically agree, libraries are extinct. Their main function today is to provide free internet access to the poor, which I fully support. But this does not require $60,000 a year “librarians” with useless college degrees on how to utilize the “Dewey Decimal System”, which search engines have made irrelevant. Most public libraries have lines of people waiting for their 15-minute turn at free internet, whilst traditional librarians wait around for someone to ask about old books.

    Many public libraries justify their existence by providing DVDs, but that service is available in the private sector for a $1 rental. As our cities struggle with funds, libraries should become rows of computers for the poor to use the Internet, or free wireless for those with laptops, watched over by a $14 an hour Joe. Perhaps a children’s’ book area, and magazine area is needed, but no more book stacks and outdated reference sections. Used books can be found cheaply at Amazon.com and other outlets for the rare book reader.

    At the university level, politicians must demand library reform, simply by cutting budgets in half as part of a reform plan devised by outsiders. For example, look at the huge library staff of the University of Texas at Austin, earning a comfortable living off an outdated concept.

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/directory/phonedir.html

    I doubt much has changed over the past two decades, with over a hundred people doing little, except surfing the net during “work” hours for topics that interest them. Google has copied all library books for on-line access, so why keep thousands of hard copies collecting dust on shelves? If they are “historic” sell them to collectors because their content is available on-line.

    Rather than cutting back on nursing, pharmacy, or engineering degree programs, UT Austin should fire 124 library staffers, delete or merge most library departments, and close half of their outdated book storage facilities that no one uses anymore. UT students wouldn’t notice any change. This is not drastic, because firing half will still leave a staff of 124, which is probably too many. Prompt action is required because of budget shortfalls, so the state legislature should slash library budgets in half, which would shed over 1000 library staffers from the state university system, allowing 1000 professors to remain in classrooms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ttjy
    I do like libraries ,but I think at least half the people who go to my public library go for the dvd's and cd's.

    I got my money's worth for my library taxes. I would say that is one of the worthwhile things I have gotten out of my taxes.

    If I had to purchase all the books I have read, it would have cost me much more money than I spent on my taxes, especially because I live in a condo so my taxes aren't as high as the houses in the area. That doesn't even include all the movies and cd's I have checked out.

    I wonder if private libraries are feasible. Of course, most people wouldn't join because they are already paying taxes for the public library, but if that went away I wonder if it would work.
    , @berserker
    I agree with most of what you have written. What really gets under my skin is that these "esteemed" academic librarians have tenure. They become eligible for a tenured position simply by spending a year or two acquiring a MLIS degree (another pointless requirement for librarian positions at universities). Meanwhile, the rest of the faculty need a PhD at a minimum.

    Apparently, librarians deserve tenure because they do "research". This so-called research component constitutes typically ten percent of their work. They are also typically not trained to do any kind of graduate level research. In any case, there are faculty with PhDs in Library and Information Science departments doing "research". Is there any need for more "researchers"?

  11. Other ideas from my blog, along with the funniest short video ever made.

    Mar 9, 2010 – Waste Not?

    As some state governments go bankrupt, they need root out waste. State universities exist to train people to provide services to citizens, but have become a hobby shop in many cases. Do California universities need to offer paleontology courses and award college degrees to study dinosaurs? Our nation has far more PhDs in paleontology than it needs. Everyone agrees that California has too many lawyers, and most don’t even practice law. So why not close down some state laws schools, perhaps the one at UC Irvine that recently opened for no sane reason.

    “Ethnic Studies” are another group of programs where scrutiny is overdue. A few years ago, the “Daily Show” highlighted an example with hilarious sarcasm as “correspondent” Samantha Bee interviewed a UC Davis professor, who was concerned about the lack of Asian men in porno films, so he made his own: They So Horny.

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/b97ic9/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-they-so-horny-

    Yes, those are real people, google the names!

    Read More
    • Replies: @cynthia curran
    True, Jack Horner had dyslexia and had trouble passing the University of Montana. He could a job at the Paleo-Museum in the area and became such an expert he comments on Dinos all the time on TV.
  12. The other thing is that professors (I am one) need to go back to teaching more and researching less. A very few professors do important research and should be funded. The rest of us should go back to the teaching load of the 70s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @berserker
    - I agree. There should be a dual-track: one for teaching and one for research. I think this is how it is in some European countries.
    - Teaching should be taken seriously. At the doctoral level, graduate students should be trained in teaching.
  13. @blankmisgivings
    The obvious reply is that your proposed reform would not benefit a parasitic elite who gain from controlling the supply of professionals, and perhaps more importantly, create 'filters' such as attendance at Ivy League schools so that only people from elite families (plus symbolic quota populations) can compete for upper middle class professional jobs.

    Those 'filters' are more needed now than 100 years+ ago because general literacy is so much higher and there are probably more people as a % of the population who could competently perform professional roles, such as lawyer.

    But I suspect there is also a genuine element of increased technical specialization, in professional fields like law, and certainly medicine, which might account for some of the increased hurdles.

    But I suspect there is also a genuine element of increased technical specialization, in professional fields like law, and certainly medicine, which might account for some of the increased hurdles.

    Pretty sure med students in the UK start straight out of secondary school. (Then again, secondary education in the UK is probably more rigorous than in the US, judging by A-levels vs. AP exams.)

    Read More
  14. @Rehmat
    The 'capitalist world' is against cheaper education. Their leaders are afraid that cheaper education will raise percentage of educated people, who would then ask more freedom to express their political and social opinions, and challenge the Zionist-controlled mainstream media.

    That's why, wherever, the college education was free, such as Iraq under Saddam and Libya under Qaddafi, were invaded and destroyed by western 'humanitarian' wars.

    “We have a copy of an agreement between the would-be-rebels and the Mossad. The agreement states that Israel will provide arms and training to the rebels until they take-over the country and in return for that Israel will get to put a military base in the Green Mountain of Libya,” said Jo Anne and her husband James Moriarty, the whistle-blowers, who worked in Libya during 2007-2011.

    Cuba, the third country with free college education had been sanctioned for 50 years but escaped western 'humanitarian destruction'.

    https://rehmat1.com/2014/11/06/libya-a-muslim-nation-destroyed-for-israel-and-greed/

    Given the type of education given at all but a few elite and a few nontypical, outlying schools, the “capitalist” establishment not only does not fear but in fact quite correctly welcomes mass “education”.

    Several aspects of college education as practiced in the US today are ridiculous and destructive. Sports, of course, at least bigtime football and basketball programs wherein colleges act as farm clubs for the NBA and NFL.

    And the price of college textbooks is typically absolutely out of line with their real value. In many cases, courses could just as easily use public domain materials-after all, what is there to say about the Roman Empire not said in books long since out of copyright? Is there a better beginning electronics text book than the old US Navy rate training manual?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Carlton Meyer
    Yes, the college textbook racket is one of the biggest crimes in the USA. If Mr. Unz would make this a campaign issue, he'd get millions more supporters. I addressed this in my blog last year with a simple solution:

    Sep 6, 2015 - The Textbook Racket

    One of the most powerful rackets in the USA is the multi-billion dollar college textbook monopoly. Prices have soared 1041% since 1977, and books now cost up to $400 each! Some courses require students to read several books! Corruption thrives when blatant conflict of interests exist. Some professors require students to purchase an overpriced book that they authored and receive royalties off each sale! If political leaders are truly concerned with soaring college costs and the resulting student loan crisis, they should break up this monopoly. 

    Pass a federal law stating that institutions whose students receive federal aid (which means all of them) must provide all textbooks and other required materials free of charge. Once powerful university systems must purchase the books they require, this racket ends instantly. Books would be purchased in volume at deep, deep discounts of perhaps $10 a book, or purchased even cheaper for electronic use. Universities may loan books to students and reuse them for years, just like public high schools. 

    If a publisher refuses to deal, a university could choose from dozens of similar books. For example, a publisher would have to choose to accept a $5 profit for each of the 5000 books a year sold to the University of Texas for $10 each, or accept zero! This would cost universities money, so a slight rise in tuition may be expected, but textbooks costs would drop some 95% once the free market is required and these corrupt monopolies end.
  15. @Former Darfur
    Given the type of education given at all but a few elite and a few nontypical, outlying schools, the "capitalist" establishment not only does not fear but in fact quite correctly welcomes mass "education".

    Several aspects of college education as practiced in the US today are ridiculous and destructive. Sports, of course, at least bigtime football and basketball programs wherein colleges act as farm clubs for the NBA and NFL.

    And the price of college textbooks is typically absolutely out of line with their real value. In many cases, courses could just as easily use public domain materials-after all, what is there to say about the Roman Empire not said in books long since out of copyright? Is there a better beginning electronics text book than the old US Navy rate training manual?

    Yes, the college textbook racket is one of the biggest crimes in the USA. If Mr. Unz would make this a campaign issue, he’d get millions more supporters. I addressed this in my blog last year with a simple solution:

    Sep 6, 2015 – The Textbook Racket

    One of the most powerful rackets in the USA is the multi-billion dollar college textbook monopoly. Prices have soared 1041% since 1977, and books now cost up to $400 each! Some courses require students to read several books! Corruption thrives when blatant conflict of interests exist. Some professors require students to purchase an overpriced book that they authored and receive royalties off each sale! If political leaders are truly concerned with soaring college costs and the resulting student loan crisis, they should break up this monopoly. 

    Pass a federal law stating that institutions whose students receive federal aid (which means all of them) must provide all textbooks and other required materials free of charge. Once powerful university systems must purchase the books they require, this racket ends instantly. Books would be purchased in volume at deep, deep discounts of perhaps $10 a book, or purchased even cheaper for electronic use. Universities may loan books to students and reuse them for years, just like public high schools. 

    If a publisher refuses to deal, a university could choose from dozens of similar books. For example, a publisher would have to choose to accept a $5 profit for each of the 5000 books a year sold to the University of Texas for $10 each, or accept zero! This would cost universities money, so a slight rise in tuition may be expected, but textbooks costs would drop some 95% once the free market is required and these corrupt monopolies end.

    Read More
  16. Does anybody have any idea how much the university diversity/inclusion/structural racism-sexism/critical theory anal crinkle counting and micro-aggression trauma centers rackets cost as a per cent of the total cost of a typical college degree?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sbaker
    The programs you mentioned are the shakedown schemes perfected by the reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharptons, and Tawanda Feces Brawley. They have expanded dramatically under the Obama directive of inclusion of the stupid for diversity of IQ needs. This is the road to expansion of more handouts for Africans that have no idea what to do with higher education. Any program with "studies" in the title means a new road for the tier two students.
  17. I notice that the administration of Harvard have announced that students who belong to certain organisations are now to be punished by, amongst other things, not being recommended for Rhodes or Fulbright scholarships:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/5/6/college-sanctions-clubs-greeklife/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    The real purpose of sanctions like that isn't to force integration via punishment, but to enable blacks to get Rhodes/Fulbright scholarships which otherwise would have gone to smarter whites. Give blacks enough time, and all the whites on campus will be excluded from eligibility for one reason or another. 'Anti-Racism,' is a code word for 'I ain't got mine, so I'm taken' your 'un.'
  18. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @jimmyriddle
    I notice that the administration of Harvard have announced that students who belong to certain organisations are now to be punished by, amongst other things, not being recommended for Rhodes or Fulbright scholarships:

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/5/6/college-sanctions-clubs-greeklife/

    The real purpose of sanctions like that isn’t to force integration via punishment, but to enable blacks to get Rhodes/Fulbright scholarships which otherwise would have gone to smarter whites. Give blacks enough time, and all the whites on campus will be excluded from eligibility for one reason or another. ‘Anti-Racism,’ is a code word for ‘I ain’t got mine, so I’m taken’ your ‘un.’

    Read More
  19. Tuition costs for my junior year at UCLA in 1952 were about $49 per semester and my student activity photo ID punch card, which included entry to all sporting events, cost $8.

    The tuition cost differentials between then and now are not primarily a consequence of academic needs, but of irrational socio/cultural policies. Most folks I talk to in my age bracket express shock and awe not only at the monstrously high and utterly unjustifiable college tuition costs of today, but at the complacency of the current generation that tolerates the pervasive damage they are doing to our social democracy. College debt has become so overwhelming, it is now among the most important socio/poltical issues of the times.

    With issues such as above in mind, let me suggest that it is time for The Unz Review to cross a dangerous threshold into TV country: Assemble the necessary financial and staff resources to take over, rebuild and enliven the TV franchise formerly run by Aljazeera America.

    All TV news/commentary outfits and most internet opinion sites severely limit what commentary is allowed within their realm and tend to furl in on themselves when it comes to the discussions or analyses of the narrow lists that are admitted.

    The Unz Review, more than any other journalistic review, has taken edgy, challenging internet opinion to a very special place by not only allowing, but encouraging open journalism on a widly diverse and lively scale: competitive commentary, links and their contradictions.

    To take that same vitally important challenge to TVland would be a real change of state in Tv journalism. I believe there would be a multiple flow of audience adnadvertising toward same.
    .

    Read More
    • Replies: @JackOH
    Alex, thanks. I like the idea of Unz TV. I've already suggested public speaking by Unz writers.
    , @Immigrant from former USSR
    My deep respect to the gentleman, who was born around 1934, and hence is about 82 now, and still has interest to read Internet.
    God speed, Mr. Contis.
  20. @Alex Contis
    Tuition costs for my junior year at UCLA in 1952 were about $49 per semester and my student activity photo ID punch card, which included entry to all sporting events, cost $8.

    The tuition cost differentials between then and now are not primarily a consequence of academic needs, but of irrational socio/cultural policies. Most folks I talk to in my age bracket express shock and awe not only at the monstrously high and utterly unjustifiable college tuition costs of today, but at the complacency of the current generation that tolerates the pervasive damage they are doing to our social democracy. College debt has become so overwhelming, it is now among the most important socio/poltical issues of the times.

    With issues such as above in mind, let me suggest that it is time for The Unz Review to cross a dangerous threshold into TV country: Assemble the necessary financial and staff resources to take over, rebuild and enliven the TV franchise formerly run by Aljazeera America.

    All TV news/commentary outfits and most internet opinion sites severely limit what commentary is allowed within their realm and tend to furl in on themselves when it comes to the discussions or analyses of the narrow lists that are admitted.

    The Unz Review, more than any other journalistic review, has taken edgy, challenging internet opinion to a very special place by not only allowing, but encouraging open journalism on a widly diverse and lively scale: competitive commentary, links and their contradictions.

    To take that same vitally important challenge to TVland would be a real change of state in Tv journalism. I believe there would be a multiple flow of audience adnadvertising toward same.
    .

    Alex, thanks. I like the idea of Unz TV. I’ve already suggested public speaking by Unz writers.

    Read More
  21. Curriculum already exist, so that is free.
    one professor and an aid or two can over see 100- 200 students online.
    students can telecommute, so no need for dorms or facilities.
    Just a server. Books are completely anachronistic

    A degree shouldn’t cost more than 4800.00 bucks or 100/Month and that should include the broadband connection.

    Everyone is just so fcuking stupid that they can’t see it.

    Another problem is that too many morons are enrolled in college. They’d be better off spending those 4 or 5 years working their way up to manager at a Star bucks instead of inevitably starting 4 years late as a barista with a bunch of student loan debt. LOL

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  22. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Alex Contis
    Tuition costs for my junior year at UCLA in 1952 were about $49 per semester and my student activity photo ID punch card, which included entry to all sporting events, cost $8.

    The tuition cost differentials between then and now are not primarily a consequence of academic needs, but of irrational socio/cultural policies. Most folks I talk to in my age bracket express shock and awe not only at the monstrously high and utterly unjustifiable college tuition costs of today, but at the complacency of the current generation that tolerates the pervasive damage they are doing to our social democracy. College debt has become so overwhelming, it is now among the most important socio/poltical issues of the times.

    With issues such as above in mind, let me suggest that it is time for The Unz Review to cross a dangerous threshold into TV country: Assemble the necessary financial and staff resources to take over, rebuild and enliven the TV franchise formerly run by Aljazeera America.

    All TV news/commentary outfits and most internet opinion sites severely limit what commentary is allowed within their realm and tend to furl in on themselves when it comes to the discussions or analyses of the narrow lists that are admitted.

    The Unz Review, more than any other journalistic review, has taken edgy, challenging internet opinion to a very special place by not only allowing, but encouraging open journalism on a widly diverse and lively scale: competitive commentary, links and their contradictions.

    To take that same vitally important challenge to TVland would be a real change of state in Tv journalism. I believe there would be a multiple flow of audience adnadvertising toward same.
    .

    My deep respect to the gentleman, who was born around 1934, and hence is about 82 now, and still has interest to read Internet.
    God speed, Mr. Contis.

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  23. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @George
    How about making college cheaper by eliminating college. Start with law. Why does the US require an accredited bachelors degree before attending law school? Aren't the undergraduates entering Harvard smart enough to major in law, graduate, pass bar exam, and start working as a lawyer? If you are a libertarian you might even question the need for the Harvard part and even the bar exam part. If you are a real revolutionary even high school is unnecessary for smart kids.

    Real revolutionary Marin Van Buren would have none of it:
    Van Buren received a basic education at the village schoolhouse and briefly studied Latin at the Kinderhook Academy and at Washington Seminary in Claverack.[26][27] His formal education ended before he reached 14, when he began reading law in 1796 at the office of Peter Silvester and his son Francis, prominent Federalist attorneys in Kinderhook.[28]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Van_Buren#Early_life_and_education

    More modern example Clarence Darrow:

    Darrow started to study the law on his own, and by the end of his third year of teaching, his family urged him to enter the law department at Ann Arbor. Darrow only studied there a year when he decided that it would be much more cost effective to work and study in an actual law office.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow#Biography

    See also legal education in the world, and especially our mother country UK.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_education

    Pretty much every academic major is really no longer needed.

    Why does the US require an accredited bachelors degree before attending law school?

    The U.S. law doesn’t require a degree to go to law school. I never received a bachelor’s degree but I went to law school at the New College of California.

    On the other hand, you’re not wrong because most law schools will require a degree, but it’s not a matter of law, just custom.

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  24. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Ron Unz
    (1) Well, Zocalo Public Square asked me for a 300 word contribution to their Higher Ed symposium, so I spent a half-hour dashing it right off, and thought I might as well republish it here in my columnist slot. Anyway, I don't use "ghosts" and am too busy copying with my last-minute U.S. Senate campaign to do any substantial articles right now.

    (2) There was an eye-opening article in The Nation last year focused on these huge recent rises in administrative numbers:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/why-is-college-so-expensive-if-professors-are-paid-so-little/

    The underlying data source was The New England Center for Investigative Reporting, which seems pretty credible:

    http://eye.necir.org/2014/02/06/new-analysis-shows-problematic-boom-in-higher-ed-administrators/

    They have a convenient online database showing the figures for every college, and in most cases the administrative growth seems to vastly outpace the growth in the numbers of students.

    http://college-table.wgbh.org/college_local

    For example at UC Berkeley, admins increased 100%, total full-time staff by 150%, yet students only by 30%. At UCLA, admins grew by 70% and students by 20%.

    At MIT, ever ahead of the times, the faculty, though already powerless to do anything about it, had cottoned on to this trend by 1993, when one of my old math professors wrote:

    the bureaucracy absorbs an unsustainable share of resources and thereby threatens the strength and vitality of our principal activities – research and education. [...]

    The time has come for a more radical surgery to restore the Institute to good health, but how can this be accomplished by task forces so constituted that the administration will in effect examine
    itself?

    As a snot-nosed college kid at the time, I saw my professors as world-bestriding colossi – which they were, in their fields.

    Then I happened across the MIT Faculty Newsletter ( the above was excerpted from pp. 10-11 of http://web.mit.edu/fnl/vol/archives/fnl54.pdf ) and was shocked to read about their complete subservience to the seemingly completely irrelevant administrators.

    It was a healthy Red Pill moment for me, one of my first.

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  25. Germany has 70 universities that are “free” to attend.

    The US has 629 public 4-year schools, and 1,845 private 4-year schools. That is 35 times more schools for a population that is only 4 times larger. Does anyone really believe that there are that many more college-capable Americans? Colleges in America don’t need to be made cheaper; most need to be eliminated.

    Most folks don’t need a college education for the jobs they end up in. That notion is a lie pushed by those utilizing colleges as government sanctioned and backed profit and lifetime employment centers.

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  26. It’s time to put an end to most taxpayer-funded scholarships and education grants which now sustain the wasteful colossus otherwise known as Big Education. This is a welfare scam for administrators and educators alike. Some see it as a Ponzi scheme that does not create wealth for those who pay into the system. Only the insiders truly benefit.

    It’s the pay, the perks and the pensions within the Higher Education network that are out of control. The students have purchased a bill of goods. But the jobs are not waiting.

    And the reason that most of the students are there in the first place is (1) extended childhood (which is a lot of fun) and (2) presumed salary bump upon graduation. But it’s no longer true.

    Once, college was reserved for the intellectually gifted. Today, it’s similar to a trade school without actual trades. And many college students can barely read or write.

    The education bureaucracy must be tackled just as surely as the military welfare system must be slashed and burned. Cut the fat! End the waste.

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  27. What about increased subsidies from state governments that come with requirements to cut massive portions of administrative bureaucracy ?

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  28. @Jim Bob Lassiter
    Does anybody have any idea how much the university diversity/inclusion/structural racism-sexism/critical theory anal crinkle counting and micro-aggression trauma centers rackets cost as a per cent of the total cost of a typical college degree?

    The programs you mentioned are the shakedown schemes perfected by the reverends Jesse Jackson, Al Sharptons, and Tawanda Feces Brawley. They have expanded dramatically under the Obama directive of inclusion of the stupid for diversity of IQ needs. This is the road to expansion of more handouts for Africans that have no idea what to do with higher education. Any program with “studies” in the title means a new road for the tier two students.

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  29. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Hey Ron I just voted for you. Thanks so much for your ideas and your site. It was real nice to have two people on the ballot to be excited about after years of casting protest votes and joke write-ins. I really hope I get to see you tear Kamala to shreds. She’s a foul striver psychopath. Can’t stand her.

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  30. Dear Mr. Unz,
    Since you’re attempting to salvage the Berkeley of the East, and you’re running for Senator in California with a big soapbox, may I plead with you to make this an issue in your campaign?

    UC regents are frustrated that campuses haven’t made bigger strides on diversity

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-regents-diversity-20160511-story.html

    These fools are attempting to impose a gigantic affirmative action/reverse discrimination policy on our beloved Alma Mater the University, not just students, but now graduate students and faculty, the heart and soul of our once great Cal.

    Please help.

    Cal alum undergraduate and graduate and 3rd generation

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  31. You are my hero, Mr. unz. To copy a comment I put under Paul Gottfried’s column on title Ix:

    Curiously, (Title IX does not apply) to schools, like Grove City College, that refuse to accept a single dollar of Federal money. Tuition is about 16k, and room and board about 9k. No screaming bargain, but substantially less than, say, Amherst College, with a TRB fee of over 60,000. Granted they discount from that for most students, but ya gotta pay for all those assistants and associate Deans to deal with Title IX, and IRB, and other things, somehow.

    Federal aid to higher education was a genius idea for the Feds. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, Federal expenditures of $75 Billion comprise 16% of all the money spent annually on higher education. That 16% lets them control and channel ALL the rest of the money spent, which would be about $500 billion, an almost 7-1 return on their dollar. The universities are addicted to the money, and it has destroyed the liberal arts, and turned teaching at the undergrad level at research universities into a sick joke. Given the increase in administrative bloat… Wait, I just looked something up.

    Benjamin Ginsberg reports: “between 1947 and 1995 (the last year for which the relevant data was published), administrative costs increased from barely 9 percent to nearly 15 percent of college and university budgets. … During this same time period, stated in constant dollars, overall university spending increased 148 percent. Instructional spending increased only 128 percent, 20 points less than the overall rate of spending increase. Administrative spending, though, increased by a whopping 235 percent.”

    It is almost certain that the Federal Government’s 16% expenditure in 2011 was more than eaten up by the percentage of university budgets spent on administration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    One corollary to this, relevant to Mr. Unz's Free Harvard campaign, is that Harvard, by rejecting Federal dollars, could probably make up for the loss by taking out ALL the parts of the administration that enforce Federal codes. There's at least a few hundred million dollars to save in there.

    Ominously, the Pew report linked above lists tax dollars not collected related to Higher Ed as a form of expenditure, just not included in the $75bil. Expect any university that tries to wriggle free of the Federal grasp to be billed for the avoided tax dollars accruing to tax-free university endowments, and present as well in charitable contributions.
  32. @TomSchmidt
    You are my hero, Mr. unz. To copy a comment I put under Paul Gottfried's column on title Ix:

    Curiously, (Title IX does not apply) to schools, like Grove City College, that refuse to accept a single dollar of Federal money. Tuition is about 16k, and room and board about 9k. No screaming bargain, but substantially less than, say, Amherst College, with a TRB fee of over 60,000. Granted they discount from that for most students, but ya gotta pay for all those assistants and associate Deans to deal with Title IX, and IRB, and other things, somehow.

    Federal aid to higher education was a genius idea for the Feds. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, Federal expenditures of $75 Billion comprise 16% of all the money spent annually on higher education. That 16% lets them control and channel ALL the rest of the money spent, which would be about $500 billion, an almost 7-1 return on their dollar. The universities are addicted to the money, and it has destroyed the liberal arts, and turned teaching at the undergrad level at research universities into a sick joke. Given the increase in administrative bloat... Wait, I just looked something up.

    Benjamin Ginsberg reports: "between 1947 and 1995 (the last year for which the relevant data was published), administrative costs increased from barely 9 percent to nearly 15 percent of college and university budgets. ... During this same time period, stated in constant dollars, overall university spending increased 148 percent. Instructional spending increased only 128 percent, 20 points less than the overall rate of spending increase. Administrative spending, though, increased by a whopping 235 percent."

    It is almost certain that the Federal Government's 16% expenditure in 2011 was more than eaten up by the percentage of university budgets spent on administration.

    One corollary to this, relevant to Mr. Unz’s Free Harvard campaign, is that Harvard, by rejecting Federal dollars, could probably make up for the loss by taking out ALL the parts of the administration that enforce Federal codes. There’s at least a few hundred million dollars to save in there.

    Ominously, the Pew report linked above lists tax dollars not collected related to Higher Ed as a form of expenditure, just not included in the $75bil. Expect any university that tries to wriggle free of the Federal grasp to be billed for the avoided tax dollars accruing to tax-free university endowments, and present as well in charitable contributions.

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  33. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    {Make College Cheaper by Cutting Administrative Costs}

    YOU MEAN firing the workers to bring more profit for the thieves! Shame
    They have forced out millions of workers from their jobs in different industries. Massive unemployment ONLY benefited the thieves. It has not benefited the workers. Kicking out the workers from tge university is NOT going to decrease the tuition. You must be crazy to believe such a nonsense. It is the system that YOU MUST KICK OUT to free all.

    You should change the system not forcing people out of their jobs and survival means. Harvard is called ‘non profit organization’, where its endowment has surpassed $ 33 billions.

    This kind of PROFIT comes only by robing people using the neoliberalism economic system run by the thieves and the criminals.

    How do you create jobs for these workers that you want to kick out? I guess robbing other countries and kill their citizens, where you are doing with fool speed NOW is the answer.

    US police state is trying to rob $2 billions from Iranian people out of their own money that US kept illegally for the past 34 years in its banks. They robbed Libyan people 3.5 billions and then kill their leaders and destroyed their country by bombing their cities to stone age and killing 50000 of them.

    US and western countries steal educated people form other countries, like Iran, who are trained in Iranian universities at a very cheap rate because the system is NOT on based on profit. . If Iran and similar countries can educate their citizens at a rate close to nothing, then US can afford to educate most of its citizens at no cost or at a reasonable price to stop stealing other countries human capital. Stop robbing other countries’ brains. US and western countries are robbing other countries out of their natural and human resources while robbing their own citizens by denying them an education which is a human rights issue. Concentrate on you violation of human rights and leave other countries alone. People of the world NEVER forgets your crimes against humanity.

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  34. @Carlton Meyer
    A prime objective should be to halve the library staff, explained in my blog back in 2011:

    Burn the Libraries

    I've always loved libraries, although I haven't used one in a decade. In the great, futuristic movie "I-Robot" a CEO mocked Will Smith as one of those backward types who wanted to preserve libraries. I basically agree, libraries are extinct. Their main function today is to provide free internet access to the poor, which I fully support. But this does not require $60,000 a year "librarians" with useless college degrees on how to utilize the "Dewey Decimal System", which search engines have made irrelevant. Most public libraries have lines of people waiting for their 15-minute turn at free internet, whilst traditional librarians wait around for someone to ask about old books.

    Many public libraries justify their existence by providing DVDs, but that service is available in the private sector for a $1 rental. As our cities struggle with funds, libraries should become rows of computers for the poor to use the Internet, or free wireless for those with laptops, watched over by a $14 an hour Joe. Perhaps a children's' book area, and magazine area is needed, but no more book stacks and outdated reference sections. Used books can be found cheaply at Amazon.com and other outlets for the rare book reader.

    At the university level, politicians must demand library reform, simply by cutting budgets in half as part of a reform plan devised by outsiders. For example, look at the huge library staff of the University of Texas at Austin, earning a comfortable living off an outdated concept.

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/directory/phonedir.html

    I doubt much has changed over the past two decades, with over a hundred people doing little, except surfing the net during "work" hours for topics that interest them. Google has copied all library books for on-line access, so why keep thousands of hard copies collecting dust on shelves? If they are "historic" sell them to collectors because their content is available on-line.

    Rather than cutting back on nursing, pharmacy, or engineering degree programs, UT Austin should fire 124 library staffers, delete or merge most library departments, and close half of their outdated book storage facilities that no one uses anymore. UT students wouldn't notice any change. This is not drastic, because firing half will still leave a staff of 124, which is probably too many. Prompt action is required because of budget shortfalls, so the state legislature should slash library budgets in half, which would shed over 1000 library staffers from the state university system, allowing 1000 professors to remain in classrooms.

    I do like libraries ,but I think at least half the people who go to my public library go for the dvd’s and cd’s.

    I got my money’s worth for my library taxes. I would say that is one of the worthwhile things I have gotten out of my taxes.

    If I had to purchase all the books I have read, it would have cost me much more money than I spent on my taxes, especially because I live in a condo so my taxes aren’t as high as the houses in the area. That doesn’t even include all the movies and cd’s I have checked out.

    I wonder if private libraries are feasible. Of course, most people wouldn’t join because they are already paying taxes for the public library, but if that went away I wonder if it would work.

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  35. @Carlton Meyer
    A prime objective should be to halve the library staff, explained in my blog back in 2011:

    Burn the Libraries

    I've always loved libraries, although I haven't used one in a decade. In the great, futuristic movie "I-Robot" a CEO mocked Will Smith as one of those backward types who wanted to preserve libraries. I basically agree, libraries are extinct. Their main function today is to provide free internet access to the poor, which I fully support. But this does not require $60,000 a year "librarians" with useless college degrees on how to utilize the "Dewey Decimal System", which search engines have made irrelevant. Most public libraries have lines of people waiting for their 15-minute turn at free internet, whilst traditional librarians wait around for someone to ask about old books.

    Many public libraries justify their existence by providing DVDs, but that service is available in the private sector for a $1 rental. As our cities struggle with funds, libraries should become rows of computers for the poor to use the Internet, or free wireless for those with laptops, watched over by a $14 an hour Joe. Perhaps a children's' book area, and magazine area is needed, but no more book stacks and outdated reference sections. Used books can be found cheaply at Amazon.com and other outlets for the rare book reader.

    At the university level, politicians must demand library reform, simply by cutting budgets in half as part of a reform plan devised by outsiders. For example, look at the huge library staff of the University of Texas at Austin, earning a comfortable living off an outdated concept.

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/directory/phonedir.html

    I doubt much has changed over the past two decades, with over a hundred people doing little, except surfing the net during "work" hours for topics that interest them. Google has copied all library books for on-line access, so why keep thousands of hard copies collecting dust on shelves? If they are "historic" sell them to collectors because their content is available on-line.

    Rather than cutting back on nursing, pharmacy, or engineering degree programs, UT Austin should fire 124 library staffers, delete or merge most library departments, and close half of their outdated book storage facilities that no one uses anymore. UT students wouldn't notice any change. This is not drastic, because firing half will still leave a staff of 124, which is probably too many. Prompt action is required because of budget shortfalls, so the state legislature should slash library budgets in half, which would shed over 1000 library staffers from the state university system, allowing 1000 professors to remain in classrooms.

    I agree with most of what you have written. What really gets under my skin is that these “esteemed” academic librarians have tenure. They become eligible for a tenured position simply by spending a year or two acquiring a MLIS degree (another pointless requirement for librarian positions at universities). Meanwhile, the rest of the faculty need a PhD at a minimum.

    Apparently, librarians deserve tenure because they do “research”. This so-called research component constitutes typically ten percent of their work. They are also typically not trained to do any kind of graduate level research. In any case, there are faculty with PhDs in Library and Information Science departments doing “research”. Is there any need for more “researchers”?

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  36. @Anoni
    The other thing is that professors (I am one) need to go back to teaching more and researching less. A very few professors do important research and should be funded. The rest of us should go back to the teaching load of the 70s.

    - I agree. There should be a dual-track: one for teaching and one for research. I think this is how it is in some European countries.
    - Teaching should be taken seriously. At the doctoral level, graduate students should be trained in teaching.

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  37. Leftist conservative [AKA "Make Unz.com Great Again"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    so wrong, so so wrong…I thought you were supposed to be some sort of conservative/liberatarian sort….and yet you want to force the colleges to cut costs?

    Look, if you want colleges to charge less, offer young people to OTHER avenues….provide COMPETITION for paths to making a living in america.

    right now, for the vast majority of 18 year olds, they see college as the only path…they look at the skilled trades and semi-skilled work, and see hordes of immigrants dominating those fields…so where else can they turn to but to college?

    Mass immigration allows a near-monopoly for colleges. And what a surprise–with a near-monopoly, colleges are exploiting kids. Shocking, aint it?

    Solutions? Oh, I got ‘em, baby…unlike you…
    1) cut immigration to the bone…citizenship and hiring enforcement…e-verify to the max….border enforcement…cut foreign worker visas to the bone…elect trump and bring back some of the manufacturing jobs we lost.
    2) force high schools to offer vocational training in skilled trades, etc… BIG TIME.

    Now colleges have to compete for kids. Tuition, fees and book prices will come down.

    See? I am a gene-ee-us!

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  38. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Why not make college cheaper by making the colleges take the risk of the student loans. If the student and the program of study are so valuable, then the risk is very low for the College. If however it is a worthless degree, or the student is feckless, or both then no sane college would do so.

    I’m a big supporter of the Colleges being ‘self funding’ through the students/Alumni. Heck it was the original way of the university system going back to the first ones. A student would send a portion of his earnings for life to the teachers that taught him.

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  39. @Carlton Meyer
    Other ideas from my blog, along with the funniest short video ever made.

    Mar 9, 2010 - Waste Not?

    As some state governments go bankrupt, they need root out waste. State universities exist to train people to provide services to citizens, but have become a hobby shop in many cases. Do California universities need to offer paleontology courses and award college degrees to study dinosaurs? Our nation has far more PhDs in paleontology than it needs. Everyone agrees that California has too many lawyers, and most don't even practice law. So why not close down some state laws schools, perhaps the one at UC Irvine that recently opened for no sane reason.

    "Ethnic Studies" are another group of programs where scrutiny is overdue. A few years ago, the "Daily Show" highlighted an example with hilarious sarcasm as "correspondent" Samantha Bee interviewed a UC Davis professor, who was concerned about the lack of Asian men in porno films, so he made his own: They So Horny.

    http://www.cc.com/video-clips/b97ic9/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-they-so-horny-

    Yes, those are real people, google the names!

    True, Jack Horner had dyslexia and had trouble passing the University of Montana. He could a job at the Paleo-Museum in the area and became such an expert he comments on Dinos all the time on TV.

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