It's time to get the federal government out of education

Caleb Parke, in a column on the Fox News website entitled "Students, alumni outraged, 'shaking' after Vice President Pence invited to give commencement," tells of campus unrest at Taylor, a Christian university in Indiana.  Parke writes that "Vice President Mike Pence is getting pushback from Taylor University students and alumni after the small evangelical Christian school tapped the former Indiana governor to be this year's commencement speaker."

"Over 3,300 people," Parke continues, "have signed a change.org petition to get Pence's invitation to the mid-May commencement ceremony rescinded," claiming that the Trump-Pence administration's policies "are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."  Is it reasonable to wonder, I ask myself, if an invitation to former President Barack Obama, who from the Oval Office apparently selected enemies to be killed in drone strikes, would raise such a furor?

Some years ago, when my daughter graduated from the University of Maryland, those in attendance had the opportunity to hear a commencement address given by James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin.  On the list of speakers whose views I care to hear, the name James Carville does not appear.  That notwithstanding, those in attendance listened with respect to each member of America's oddest couple.

Times have obviously changed over recent decades as our distinctly American culture is being progressively destroyed by so called institutions of higher education.  What recourse does America have to reverse this trend?

The president has taken a good first step by denying federal funding to universities that refuse to support freedom of thought and ideas, but more should be done.  Perhaps it is time for the federal government to completely eliminate the funding of higher education.  Why do our taxes continue to fund the anti-American sentiments expressed and taught at the university level?  Why do universities, many having millions or billions of dollars in endowments while charging outrageous tuition and fees, receive continued government funding? 

Perhaps it is also time to reduce and restrict student loans.  It is almost criminal to allow university graduates to leave school with debt that can take decades to repay, especially for those graduating with degrees for which there is little demand in the work force.  In looking at bachelor's and master's programs in several local state universities, I found myself again wondering how many jobs are really available for graduates of degrees in applied ethnomusicology; women's studies; ethnic, minority, gender, and group studies; African-American studies; or trans-cultural German studies, to name a few.  While knowledge for knowledge's sake may be good, it does not necessarily lead to a successful career, financial well-being, or the ability to repay large student debt.

It is federal funding plus the student loan program that has allowed universities to unreasonably duplicate offerings (how many universities in a single city need departments of gender studies, etc.?) and to continue to raise tuition and fees.

It is time to force upon American universities some of the same economic realities that other business and normal Americans experience in daily living.  A university need not be all things to all students.  While each university should offer a selection of studies appropriate to being a university, should they all not at the same time specialize in certain self-determined fields of study?  Must one size fit all?  Should any single university be expected to offer degrees in every known and obscure field of study?  Wouldn't financially required specialization, by reducing unnecessary redundancy, have a profound effect on staff size, facility requirements, and overall costs of higher education?    

Addressing redundancy of departments and academic offerings in areas of study unheard of in previous decades might, in addition to making higher education more affordable, have the added benefit of reducing positions that seem to attract faculty intent on indoctrination as opposed to education.  Perhaps students and faculty, in this process, can be re-introduced to concepts of courtesy, openness, and simple decency with regard to those having opposing (otherwise known as normal) belief systems.  While such results may be unlikely, Americans could at least take satisfaction that educational intolerance seeming rampant on university campuses is no longer funded by federal tax dollars.

Caleb Parke, in a column on the Fox News website entitled "Students, alumni outraged, 'shaking' after Vice President Pence invited to give commencement," tells of campus unrest at Taylor, a Christian university in Indiana.  Parke writes that "Vice President Mike Pence is getting pushback from Taylor University students and alumni after the small evangelical Christian school tapped the former Indiana governor to be this year's commencement speaker."

"Over 3,300 people," Parke continues, "have signed a change.org petition to get Pence's invitation to the mid-May commencement ceremony rescinded," claiming that the Trump-Pence administration's policies "are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."  Is it reasonable to wonder, I ask myself, if an invitation to former President Barack Obama, who from the Oval Office apparently selected enemies to be killed in drone strikes, would raise such a furor?

Some years ago, when my daughter graduated from the University of Maryland, those in attendance had the opportunity to hear a commencement address given by James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin.  On the list of speakers whose views I care to hear, the name James Carville does not appear.  That notwithstanding, those in attendance listened with respect to each member of America's oddest couple.

Times have obviously changed over recent decades as our distinctly American culture is being progressively destroyed by so called institutions of higher education.  What recourse does America have to reverse this trend?

The president has taken a good first step by denying federal funding to universities that refuse to support freedom of thought and ideas, but more should be done.  Perhaps it is time for the federal government to completely eliminate the funding of higher education.  Why do our taxes continue to fund the anti-American sentiments expressed and taught at the university level?  Why do universities, many having millions or billions of dollars in endowments while charging outrageous tuition and fees, receive continued government funding? 

Perhaps it is also time to reduce and restrict student loans.  It is almost criminal to allow university graduates to leave school with debt that can take decades to repay, especially for those graduating with degrees for which there is little demand in the work force.  In looking at bachelor's and master's programs in several local state universities, I found myself again wondering how many jobs are really available for graduates of degrees in applied ethnomusicology; women's studies; ethnic, minority, gender, and group studies; African-American studies; or trans-cultural German studies, to name a few.  While knowledge for knowledge's sake may be good, it does not necessarily lead to a successful career, financial well-being, or the ability to repay large student debt.

It is federal funding plus the student loan program that has allowed universities to unreasonably duplicate offerings (how many universities in a single city need departments of gender studies, etc.?) and to continue to raise tuition and fees.

It is time to force upon American universities some of the same economic realities that other business and normal Americans experience in daily living.  A university need not be all things to all students.  While each university should offer a selection of studies appropriate to being a university, should they all not at the same time specialize in certain self-determined fields of study?  Must one size fit all?  Should any single university be expected to offer degrees in every known and obscure field of study?  Wouldn't financially required specialization, by reducing unnecessary redundancy, have a profound effect on staff size, facility requirements, and overall costs of higher education?    

Addressing redundancy of departments and academic offerings in areas of study unheard of in previous decades might, in addition to making higher education more affordable, have the added benefit of reducing positions that seem to attract faculty intent on indoctrination as opposed to education.  Perhaps students and faculty, in this process, can be re-introduced to concepts of courtesy, openness, and simple decency with regard to those having opposing (otherwise known as normal) belief systems.  While such results may be unlikely, Americans could at least take satisfaction that educational intolerance seeming rampant on university campuses is no longer funded by federal tax dollars.