BLOG: A College President who 'Gets It'

The open letter from the new president of Purdue articulates part of the problem with our government education system.

With college admissions season in full swing, we have always liked Purdue for its merit aid. But now, with it's new president Mitch Daniels (former govenor of Indiana), I have been looking for the "love" button on the Purdue website. 

Instead of the expense and formality of an innaugural celebration, he instead wrote this open letter ... which really could apply to the observations of most government universities ... but Mr. Daniels had the guts to write it.

Among the criticisms he cited:

  • "College costs too much and delivers too little. Students are leaving, when they graduate at all, with loads of debt but without evidence that they grew much in either knowledge or critical thinking."
  • "Administrative costs, splurging on 'resort' amenities, and an obsession with expensive capital projects have run up the cost to students without enhancing the value of the education they receive.”
  • "Rigor has weakened. Grade inflation has drained the meaning from grade point averages…."
  • "The mission of undergraduate instruction is increasingly subordinated to research and to work with graduate students."
  • "Too many professors are spending too much time 'writing papers for each other,' researching abstruse topics of no real utility and no real incremental contribution to human knowledge or understanding."
  • "Diversity is prized except in the most important realm of all, diversity of thought. The academies that, through the unique system of tenure, once enshrined freedom of opinion and inquiry now frequently are home to the narrowest sort of closed-mindedness and the worst repression of dissident ideas."
  • “Athletics, particularly in NCAA Division I, is out of control both financially and as a priority of university attention."

Enough said. And I couldn't have said it better myself. Bravo!

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