The Focus of University Leadership

Update –  A provocative article from Thomas Sowell entitled the “Economics of College“.    Sowell makes some fascinating observations for the reason that college costs so much:

There are two basic reasons. The first is that people will pay what the colleges charge. The second is that there is little incentive for colleges to reduce the tuition they charge…

Today, a teaching load of more than 6 semester hours is considered sweatshop labor on many campuses. Incidentally, since academic class hours are 50 minutes long, 6 semester hours mean actually 5 hours a week in the classroom.

Feb 11, 2008 – If you’re a reader of my blog, you probably recall my previous postings that blast the high-cost/low-value of a college education.  You may have also read my comments about organizations that focus on topics such as “diversity”.  Well, it appears that someone has actually taken the time to quantify the misdirected focus of American universities.

There was an interesting study documented at City Journal, where they rated universities by comparing the quantity of course titles and descriptions that contained the words “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” versus those that used variants of the word “math.”:

The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82 percent more courses featuring social goals than featuring math. At Harvard and Stanford, the ratio is about 2: almost twice as many courses are social as mathematical. At the University of Minnesota, the ratio is higher than 12. And at UCLA, a whopping 47 course titles and descriptions contain the word “multiculturalism” or “diversity,” while only three contain the word “math,” giving it a ratio of almost 16…

The Programme for International Student Assessment’s latest results paint a bleak picture: U.S. 15-year-olds ranked 24th out of 30 industrial countries in math literacy…

The issue isn’t whether we should be teaching cultural awareness in education colleges or in public schools; it’s about priorities. Besides, our students probably have great appreciation already for students from other cultures—who’re cleaning their clocks in math skills, and will do so economically, too, if we don’t wise up.

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