Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Another Great Idea From the University of Virginia to Destroy American Higher Education, Equal Opportunity and Economic Competitiveness

Make Elite Public Universities Private Schools

When historian can get past the subjective nature of their work and can look objectively at recent American history they will regard the growth of low tuition, state subsidized public colleges as a major factor in the phenomenal economic growth of the middle class in the past World War II era.  The GI Bill and federal aid to higher education opened up the opportunity for a college degree to millions, and their education and training made the U. S. the dominant economy of the last half of the 20th century.

Historians will also find that the relative decline in America beginning in the late 20th century was in part caused by the decline in public education and state supported colleges.  Instead of educating the middle class, state schools now educate more and more of the wealthy class, and as for the middle class, they are left with huge student loan debt because taxpayers support lower taxes in place of higher education.

Now the University of Virginia is considering taking the first step that would transform this wonderful elite state university into a private school.

A University of Virginia panel has proposed that the institution break many of its ties with the state government and operate more like a private school.

Such an arrangement — which would need state lawmakers’ approval and likely would meet opposition — would allow Virginia’s flagship public school the freedom to more easily increase tuition and accept more top-tier students from across the country and the world. Although it could increase U-Va.’s prestige and shore up its finances, such a move could also make it more difficult for in-state students to win admission and could significantly raise their tuition.

The state of Virginia has already done its part by reducing its support of UVa.

The 11-page draft report says that change is needed at the university because of “significant, sustained, and permanent decreases in federal and state funding.” Under the proposal, U-Va. would give up much of its state funding, which totaled more than $154 million in 2012-13, or about 6 percent of its $2.6 billion budget. 

And of course University officials deny this would harm the historic mission of UVa, a mission that originated with Thomas Jefferson and his desire that the state provide a great public education for its citizens.

“President Sullivan has no intention or interest in attempting to make U.Va. a private institution,” McCance wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. “She strongly believes and has consistently stated that the University of Virginia has a unique and important mission as a public university and that it embraces this mission and the responsibility of serving the Commonwealth and the nation through that role.”

But no one should be fooled, this is the first step in making UVa private in everything but its name.  And the model will set the stage for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to do the same, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and others will be waiting and watching. 

But maybe higher education in America is not that good, after all the idiots that are developing this policy which will further accelerate the decline of this country are all college graduates, and many probably have advanced degrees.  That hasn't smartened them up very much, has it?

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