California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month . . . Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs . . . one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.
Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.
At the federal level, Obama earlier refused to accept deficit-reduction deals that would reduce the rate of increase in federal education spending, which has risen steadily under both the Bush and Obama administrations. Much federal education spending is wasted, like the $130,000 in stimulus money that was recently spent for a book that demonized white people and encouraged teachers to treat students differently based on their race.
Michael Barone argues in today’s paper that America is in the midst of a college bubble, and notes that “there are more administrators than teachers at Cal State now” — 12,183 college administrators, an increase of 221 percent.
George Leef explains that while many Americans are poorly-educated, federal college subsidies won’t change that, nor will such increased spending grow the economy. He also discusses law schools, their dishonest sales pitches to would-be students, and how the legal profession uses law-school attendance requirements to make legal educations and legal services more expensive. Despite growing subsidies for law schools, law school tuition has risen 1,000 percent after adjusting for inflation since 1960.
Increasing numbers of Americans now are forced by government regulations to go to college, trade, or professional schools just to learn things that could more easily be learned on the job, thanks to the proliferation of unnecessary state licensing requirements that require useless paper credentials. The increasing supply of would-be students, and financial aid that directly encourages colleges to raise tuition, have enabled colleges to raise tuition year after year, consuming a larger and larger fraction of the increased lifetime earnings students hope to obtain by going to college.
College students are learning, reading, and studying less and less with each passing year than they once did. Even elite schools often teach their students little. I learned more practical law in six weeks of studying for the bar exam and a couple summers of working for law firms than I did in three years of law school. I spent much of my time at Harvard Law School watching “Married With Children” or arguing with classmates about politics, rather than studying (much of what I did study was useless). Even students who were frequently on drugs had no difficulty graduating.