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Ivory Tower Overhaul

By Alexander Carpenter
In light of the spirited response to Jonathan Pichot’s provocative essay on Adventist higher education, I am posting this recent Cato Institute discussion by the U.S. Secretary of Education’s panel to inspect and renovate American higher education. I think might be especially informative as the panel includes the president of St. John’s College (which has come up in the comment section and is a school on which both Pacific Union College and Andrews University have modeled their honors programs). The other reason that this might be helpful is that, included on the panel is the author of Generation Debt, a book (and growing movement) addressing the often-cruel reality of the government subsidized, for-profit student loan industry.
things everyone seems to know about higher education are that it’s
extremely expensive and that it gets more so every year. That, however,
is about the extent of our collective certainty, because many critical
questions never seem to get answered: Why does tuition rise
relentlessly? What are students actually learning? What’s the payoff of
higher education? In light of all the open questions, it’s no surprise
that Americans are getting increasingly uneasy about the prices that
colleges and universities are asking them to pay.

Last year, the
U.S. secretary of education established a commission to inspect
America’s ivory tower and formulate a “national strategy” for its
renovation. With the commission’s final report now out, we invite you
to join our diverse panel of experts for a lively debate of higher
education’s problems, and the best ways to fix them
– The Cato Institute

Charles Miller, Chairman, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on
the Future of Higher Education; Christopher Nelson, President, St.
John’s College; Anya Kamenetz, Author, Generation Debt; Neal
McCluskey, Policy Analyst, Center for Educational Freedom, Cato
Institute; and moderated by Doug Lederman, Editor, Inside Higher Ed.

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