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August 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

Vedder in Forbes: Seven Challenges Facing Higher Education

Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at Ohio University and Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, authored an article in Forbes headlined “Seven Challenges Facing Higher Education.”

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder

For more than 15 years, I have redirected my academic career away from economic history, labor economics, and public finance towards the economics of higher education, and have made, with frequent urgency, several arguments, all pointing to a growing, unsustainable crisis that is requiring solutions. I am aging and tiring of making the same points, so very soon will disband the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Gratifying, however, what were once highly contrarian views are now increasingly accepted, and other able scholars and writers can continue to carry on the call for reform and change.

Paraphrasing Gen. Douglas MacArthur, “old scholars never die, they just fade away.” Before I “fade away,” however, let me review seven of the biggest problems the nation faces with respect to its universities.

First, the huge increase in the costs of universities are starting to seriously turn off potential customers and alienate the public, whose support of colleges is waning. For the past five years, aggregate college enrollments have fallen. Rising college costs and stagnant or declining pecuniary benefits have led more persons to ask: “is college worth it?” or, “do I get a good return on my college investment?” While many college administrators and professors decry it, most Americans go to college primarily to enhance the probability of vocational success. As enrollments have grown faster than the number of good high paying jobs, more students are “underemployed,” suggesting we are overinvested in higher education.

Read Vedders’ second through seventh challenges in Forbes.

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