On talking to those who don’t work in Higher Ed

Just a warning, this post was written with the sole intent of letting off some steam and to commiserate with others who work in higher education.

At a recent family function I found myself cornered by a curious cousin who wanted to talk higher ed. He had recently read an article in the NY Times which concerned the rapid rise in tuition rates and the collective growing student loan debt in the country. He told me he thinks he has a solid plan for everything that ails higher education. He then set out to tell me about his plan. The plan includes:

1) Only awarding financial aid to students who declare a major which is currently in short supply in the economy (i.e., engineers, nurses). Students in other majors, like History or Enligsh, would have to pay out-of-pocket; and

2) Completely do away with tenure

“Pretty simple,” he proclaimed.

Simple indeed.

How many of you out there have had similar “run-ins”? If so, please share how you approach them.

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