Are you sending a child off to a liberal college? Are you paying for it? Are you getting your money’s worth? Economics professor and syndicated columnist Walter Williams says you might not be:
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they’re getting for their money.
Campus Reform documents outrageous behavior at some colleges. Mark Landis, a former accounting professor at San Francisco State University, frequently entertained students at this home. He now faces 15 charges of invasion of privacy. Police say he was discovered with dozens of graphic videos he had made of students using his bathroom.
Mireille Miller-Young — professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara — recently pleaded no contest to charges of theft of banners and assault on a pro-life protester last March.
Every so often, colleges get it right, as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign did when it withdrew its teaching offer to Steven G. Salaita. He had used his Twitter account to tell followers they are awful human beings if they support Israel, saying he supports the complete destruction of Israel, as well as calling for the decolonization of North America.
Then there are some strange college courses. At Georgetown University, there’s a course called Philosophy and Star Trek, where professor Linda Wetzel explores questions such as “Can persons survive death?” and “Is time travel possible? Could we go back and kill our grandmothers?”
At Columbia College Chicago, there’s a class called Zombies in Popular Media. The course description reads, “Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie.”
The bottom line is that many colleges have lost sight of their basic educational mission of teaching young people critical thinking skills, and they’re failing at that mission at higher and higher costs to parents and taxpayers.
Read more: Capitalism Magazine