Dicta

The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

Why the Education Department's "gainful employment" rule is futile

George Leef

George Leef argues that the "gainful employment" rule will reduce students' options for employment without helping them avoid debt.

American Higher Education: Is It in Crisis?

Richard Vedder

Vedder foresees big changes coming in American higher education.

My Thoughts on the Harkin Report

George Leef

The recent report on for-profit colleges is worth paying attention to, but its approach is problematic, writes George Leef.

Misdirected Rebukes: For-Profits Aren't the Real Problem

Ashley Thorne

Pushing people into junk education is a problem; whether the junk is for-profit or not-for-profit is irrelevant.

A Rolls-Royce For-Profit University?

Richard Vedder

An elite, high-quality, for-profit, residential university is feasible, writes Richard Vedder.

Obama's Higher-Ed Agenda

Peter Wood

Peter Wood surveys the Obama administration’s eight-part higher-education agenda.

More on For-Profit Colleges

Carol Iannone

Carol Iannone questions both the real and potential merits of for-profit education.

Examining For-Profits and Cost Structure

Peter Wood

Continuing his series on for-profit colleges, Peter Wood sees an advantage in their pared-down offerings in the context of spiraling higher-education costs.

For-Profits Break the Monopoly on What a College Can Be

Peter Wood

In the final piece of his four-part series, Peter Wood argues that the United States needs the versatility that the for-profit sector provides.

For-Profit Colleges on the Brink, Part 2

Peter Wood

Peter Wood continues his series examining the case for preserving for-profits.

For-Profit Colleges on the Brink

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reviews the Obama administration’s assault on for-profit colleges in the first of a series.

Series Asks "Should Liberal Arts Supporters Care About For-Profit Ed?"

Ashley Thorne

NAS president Peter Wood has written a four-part series considering the value of the for-profit higher education sector, and whether those who care about the liberal arts should also care about the fate of this besieged sector. If there is a higher education bubble, for-profits may outlive not-for-profits in the case of a burst. His series draws on a number of his personal encounters with the for-profit industry.

No Good Guys in This Fight

George Leef

The for-profit higher education industry doesn't always deserve opprobrium.

A Regulatory Assault on For-Profit Higher Education

Richard J. Bishirjian

How the attacks on for-profit higher ed are squashing needed competition.

A Debate on the Higher Ed "Business Model"

George Leef

Last February, I participated in a debate organized by the Miller Center of Public Affairs and broadcast on PBS. That was one in a series of debates on issues of national importance the Miller Center has done. They followed that debate with another one on higher education, with the question being whether the business model of higher education is broken. In today's Pope Center Clarion Call, I take a rather critical look at the "business model" debate. It generated a little heat (specifically the hostility one debater, a community college president, has for the for-profit sector) but didn't shed much light on the key question: why does higher education cost so much?

Why Make Life Miserable for Proprietary Higher Ed?

George Leef

In today's Pope Center piece, Richard Bishirjian, president and founder of Yorktown University, writes about the Obama administration's moves that have a strong negative impact on for-profit higher education. The president wants people to think that he is not anti-business, but in the realm of higher education at least, it's hard to resist that conclusion.

Ben Wildavsky's Book on the Globalization of Higher Ed

George Leef

 That's the subject of my Clarion Call today. I like some aspects of the book. Best of all is Wildavsky's argument that we should abandon educational mercantilism -- the notion that nations have to compete to be tops in educational "investment," university prestige, and similar distractions. Because knowledge is not constrained by national boundaries, we should stop worrying about musty old "us versus them" ideas. Also, Wildavsky doesn't go for the tendency to bash for-profit higher ed, showing that it fills some important niches. What I didn't care for so much was the author's enthusiasm for the trend toward globalized universities, with lots of American universities setting up campuses in places such as Abu Dhabi. I see that as mostly glitz and conspicuous consumption rather than true educational advance.

Pullups: Outgrowing the dorm diapers and doing the real world workout

Peter Wood

If students need a grown-up university, why are colleges feeding them baby food?

The Study Abroad Scandal, Round Two Harvard, Yale, Columbia among 25 Universities Investigated

The fleet of college and university programs that ferry students across the ocean to study abroad has hit stormy weather, at least in the Northeast. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has unleashed a second wave of subpoenas aimed at colleges he suspects of exploiting their students.