CFA’s Mark Steinberg on the Cost of Public Higher Education

Mark publishes in Letters (The New York Times):

The Cost of Public Colleges: Easing the Burden

Published: February 9, 2012

To the Editor:

Yes, declining state support has eroded quality, accessible public higher education of the sort that I experienced as an undergraduate in California in the 1970s. But your Feb. 4 editorial “Reining In College Tuition” treats the symptom more than the cause.

“Punishing” schools that have partly filled the gap with higher tuition may make education cheaper but will surely damage that education. College teachers across the country have seen many of these “more cost-effective ways to deliver education”: bigger classes taught by overworked and lower-paid adjuncts, more online courses, freezing the pay of faculty and staff, and other measures that control costs at the expense of quality and access.

The solution? Help states restore funding for public universities. Also, reduce the gigantic growth in the number of administrators and administrative salaries, so that resources are devoted to our primary mission: serving the public good with new knowledge and educating citizens regardless of income.

MARK STEINBERG
Urbana, Ill., Feb. 5, 2012

The writer is a history professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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3 responses to “CFA’s Mark Steinberg on the Cost of Public Higher Education

  1. Great Letter, Mark.

    Readers, do check out our reports on administrative bloat at UIUC:

    Report on Increase in Administration Positions (.pdf)

    Report on Increase in Administration Salaries (.pdf) at our Reports section.

  2. Just found this Mark. You are absolutely right. We as a society have lost our bearings in terms of supporting the civic public sphere. Higher education is just one of the many victims. Nancy Sinkoff (Rutgers)

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