Leaders of state colleges and universities have taken out full-page ads in the nation’s newspapers, billed as an “open letter” to the new Obama administration asking for a government bailout. Specifically, they are asking for no less than 5% of all money appropriated for economic recovery.
More than 40 higher-education leaders from across the country asked Congress today to commit 5 percent of any economic stimulus program to the nation’s colleges and universities.
The educators, including University of Virginia President John Casteen III and Chancellor William E. Kirwan of the University System of Maryland, published an open letter in newspapers warning that state budget cuts have harmed the public educational enterprise that is at the heart of the nation’s long-term security.
“For the first time in our history, the cohort of Americans ages 25 to 34 is less well educated than the older cohorts that preceded it,” it says. “We cannot accept such dangerous signs that our future prosperity and security will be weaker than our past.”
Let your mind boggle for awhile. As is so typical of a certain kind of administrator, the request is not for anything specific but for a percentage cut of everything! And the argument for doing so is their own failure!
Why are Americans aged 25 to 34 less well-educated than previous generations? Because the education currently being dealt out is so poor! These college presidents have gutted their own curricula, allowed academic classes to be turned into leftist re-education camps, and allowed academic standards of every kind to be thrown out the window.Here at Patrick Henry College, where I am an academic administrator (also classroom teacher, I hasten to add), we do not even take government money. But, swimming against the stream, we are giving our students a superb education. We have a 75-credit true core curriculum, rich in the great books and the great ideas, academically rigorous and educationally stimulating. Our students learn to read, write, think, discuss, and create. We are no ivory tower. We give our students opportunities to practice their vocation in an apprenticeship program that offers on-the-job experience. The companies and, yes, government agencies that get our students as interns praise their preparation, analytical ability, work ethic, and personality qualities. And standardized tests are showing that our students are out-performing their peers in regular schools in every category!
We too need money, of course, especially since we refuse the government trough and since we want to keep our tuition low and affordable. We have to make it up from private donors. We have some wonderful supporters, but raising the money we need is always a challenge. We need to build up an endowment to support our work permanently. I cannot see why people of means, especially those who are worried about the bad things happening in higher education, do not just throw money at us! If you would consider throwing some money at us, in big amounts or small, as a Christmas gift and as a pre-New Years tax write-off, click here.
(OK, sorry for the commercial. I don’t do that often. I could never be a college president because I hate to ask for money. We will continue with our regularly-scheduled programming.)