On higher education
To the Editor:
“Just as important as solving the problem correctly is to solve the correct problem” — Ken Krawchuk from the Pennsylvania Project Podcast
Solving the problem of ever-spiraling college tuition may not require either Jim Riviello’s or Mary Gay Scanlon’s solutions. Rather, can we now question why college tuition has spiraled this high and whether all the expenses are necessary? For instance, is the top-heavy number of administration positions at most colleges and universities necessary? Is it necessary for a college or university to build and rebuild whenever the requisite funds magically appear (Maralyn Lois Polak calls this “the edifice complex”).
(One more example of how money talks, if not screams, is the historical note that In 1992, the New Jersey college Glassboro State, became Rowan College to give thanks to Henry Rowan for a gift of $100 million. Will Swarthmore College become Lang College, and would we have to become Lang Borough?)
A few queries and points come to mind:
Is there a way to reduce and/or stabilize costs without sacrificing quality of education, and has this question ever been asked? Have any studies been done?
Couldn’t there be either citizen and/or government oversight of the costs of our college system? Has this been considered?
The Community College system needs to be built up a lot more and to be available at a lower cost
Are we encouraging apprenticeships in the various trades that do not require college?
Also, are these apprenticeships available to anyone who wants to apply, rather than “having to know someone?” Someone coming to clean gutters should not ever need an Associate’s in Gutterology. He should just know how to do his job. (Something I couldn’t do.)
P.S. We should discern a way to listen to opposition opinions without judgment.