College and Value

My wife sends this to me from the NYT. Here’s a snip (login may be required):

Some public university officials say they worry that students who are charged more for their major will stick to the courses in their field to feel that they are getting their money’s worth.

“I want students in the College of Engineering at Iowa State to take courses in the humanities and to take courses in the social sciences,” said Mark J. Kushner, the dean of that college. To address problems like climate change, Mr. Kushner said, graduates will need to understand much more than technology. “That’s sociology, that’s economics, that’s politics, that’s public policy.”

Undergraduate juniors and seniors in the engineering school at Iowa State last year began paying about $500 more annually, he said, and the size of that additional payment is scheduled to rise by $500 a year for at least the next two years.

Mr. Kushner said he thought society was no longer looking at higher education as a common good but rather as a way for individuals to increase their earning power.

2 thoughts on “College and Value

  1. gibb

    I’m always amazed at the roundabout nonsensical ways universities come up with to solve simple problems.

    It’s about time Mr. Kushner woke up: “he thought society was no longer looking at higher education…etc.”

    From the article: “The price sensitivity of poor students is causing them to forgo majoring, for example, in business or engineering, and rather sticking with something like history.” Well then, just something to protest and think about when the effects turn up a decade from now.

    You work in a community college, you see how many students take a course and drop it midway into the semester: do you think these kids even have a clue about getting their money’s worth?


  2. Mary Ellen

    Good thing I don’t want to be a pharmacist. I don’t buy their rationale, that the professors are demanding higher salaries than the colleges can afford. I think they’re pro-rating their popular programs just to make a buck. Then again, I think college should be free, just like health care.

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