I read with interest recent articles dealing with college affordability. What exactly are we paying for? The model of the residentially based college education already has been debunked as a poor means of distributing education in these modern times. The European Renaissance model worked well in the past, but we still are rapidly building physical plants at our colleges and universities today. The old model is too expensive and the same product can be distributed through our current technologies, sans classrooms and dormitories.
For instance, an undergraduate biology student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will never touch an electron microscope, but will see slides shown on a screen in a lecture hall. What is the difference? I attempted to attend an MBA program at the University of Washington in the early 1980s, needing either a weekend or evening program as I was working full-time. But neither format was offered. It was not seen as in keeping with the prestige of the institution. That, of course, has changed and they now dispense that education differently.
But change is slow in undergraduate education. Academia is nothing if not about defending the status quo. People in charge don't often vote for radical change. Peter F. Drucker was a clear thinker and management expert as a professor, author, consultant and adviser to leading business minds for 60 years. He made the call on the wrong-headedness of continuing to build residentially based universities years ago. He also suggested that no one be allowed to attend university until they were 25, but that's another discussion.
The costs of higher education are high because the model no longer fits the time in which we live.
Besides, the football team can still live on campus and that should keep the endowment growing.
Gaylord Lion, Durango