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.
Urbana, Ill., Feb. 5, 2012
The writer is a history professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.