Today’s InsideHigherEd.com has published a report on California Governor Jerry Brown’s sleight of hand by which he has resolved California’s public university financing crisis.
You will recall that when Gov. Brown first ran for the office of Governor, he criticized his father, former Gov. Pat Brown, for being a “big spender.”
This week Brown followed in the footsteps of Big Spender Pat Brown by using loads of cash raised from high taxes to buy off the University of California’s Janet Napolitano.
In other words, Après moi, le deluge.
To Brown’s credit, he tried to address his budget problems by attempting to introduce MOOCs at San Jose State. That came to a halt in the face of faculty “concerns,” accrediting agency regulations and U.S. Department of Education Title IV regulations.
Arizona State University is taking a different approach to accredit MOOCs that has yet to prove itself. So, the verdict is out on whether MOOCs will be permitted to become included in traditional degree programs.
EDUcourses will market a commercial MOOC platform for colleges to offer “free” MOOCs. Colleges strapped for new enrollments will grant academic credit for completion of free MOOCs after a student enrolls and makes his first tuition payment. Once enrolled, in order to meet accreditation regulations colleges will assign an Adjunct to grade coursework and “engage” with students who completed an academic year of free MOOCs.
Those costs will be amortized over the remaining three years of a student’s enrollment.
At colleges whose enrollments are slipping, the opportunity to pick up one, two or three hundred new enrollments may mean the difference between closure and continuing operations.
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Daniel de Vise is reporting on WaPo this week that the UC-Berkeley and other state schools may be “in peril.”
Across the nation, a historic collapse in state funding for higher education threatens to diminish the stature of premier public universities and erode their mission as engines of upward social mobility.
At the University of Virginia, state support has dwindled in two decades from 26 percent of the operating budget to 7 percent. At the University of Michigan, it has declined from 48 percent to 17 percent.
Not even the nation’s finest public university is immune…Continue reading UC-Berkeley and other ‘public Ivies’ in fiscal peril >>
Lenore T. Ealy of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy posted and essay this morning asking if the type of philanthropy that was activated by F. A. Hayek’s essay, “The Intellectuals and Socialism” in 1949 rescue modern-day higher ed:
By the end of World War II, freedom and its institutions were under siege in the United States. Woodrow Wilson had rationalized the administrative state; Roosevelt’s New Deal had redirected Americans’ loyalties from their localities and states toward the federal government; and the socialist dreams that had given rise to both Nazi and Communist totalitarianism had infected many of America’s intellectual elite.
These events awakened a number of philanthropists to the pressing need to understand, restate, and amplify the philosophic foundations of a free society and to re-ground our social institutions, including educational and charitable entities, on classical liberal principles. Ultimately, they focused on restoring respect for limited government rather than trying to change the institutions that had become permeated with Progressivism. They chose to support small nodes of classical liberal scholarship, wherever they appeared, inside or outside higher education…Continue reading Can Philanthropy Rescue Higher Education? >>
Erin France reports, after speaking to Dr. Montgomery’s daughter:
…Montgomery, 86, penned novels, short stories, poetry and essays and knew many authors including Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy and Eudora Welty.
Besides his writing, Montgomery also was known for his love of teaching.
He taught at UGA for 33 years, but even after his retirement in 1987, Montgomery continued to lecture at events held across the world.
Many of his students continued to keep in touch long after they left his classroom….(more)
Jed Donahue adds:
…Marion Montgomery, scholar, critic, and award-winning poet and novelist, died last week at the age of eighty-six. A prolific author, he published more than twenty books during his long career, including a monumental three-volume cultural critique, ‘The Prophetic Poet and the Popular Spirit.’ He also wrote such memorably titled works as ‘With Walker Percy at the Tupperware Party,’ ‘Hillbilly Thomist,’ and ‘Why Poe Drank Liquor.’…(more)
When industrialized countries in the West became fully developed they developed systemic problems. Individually these problems can be resolved by the electoral process. Taken as a whole, only the creative destruction of free market capitalism will assure the survival of an America that celebrates personal freedom, individual initiative, and entrepreneurial risk.
Today bureaucracy and regulatory overreach have overwhelmed individual initiative, developed inequities between those whose wealth affords them access to investments in new businesses and a middle class not permitted to risk personal savings in non-registered securities. American healthcare has failed to respond to market demands and has become, like higher education, beyond the reach of wage earners. American higher education, designed for the education of 1920s and 1930s era elites, has been blocked from adopting new technologies. And even America’s national defense Establishment has become sclerotic with bureaucracy.
In private sector manufacturing, General Motors is one of the best examples of a company that lived beyond its time, became torn between labor unions that diverted capital away from productive use and the organization men who made it to upper management in GM’s bureaucracy by going along to get along. Read more…