May 18, 2015

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: ASU’s Answer to the Admissions Scandal at UT-Austin:

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Arizona State University president Michael Crow discussed the steps that ASU has taken to improve the quality of education offered.

President Crow outlined ASU’s approach, emphasizing its inclusivity, from the use of technology—like the “eAdvisor” program for online learners—to a partnership with Starbucks. But, behind the tech-heavy offerings, was an even more promising phenomenon—a president who understands that inclusivity is not achieved through ever-expanding enrollment and the erosion of admissions standards. Said President Crow of state funding for higher ed: “Our argument to the state has been that you fund us for the wrong thing; it shouldn’t be our enrollment but what we produce.”

That’s a rare outlook among today’s higher ed executives—or so the excuses offered by University of Texas at Austin president Bill Powers would have led us to believe. President Powers defended himself this past February, against allegations that he had admitted unqualified applicants to UT-Austin, by claiming that “everyone else does it.” But we should not allow the revelations of a cozy system of privilege that rewarded the politically connected at the expense of academic standards, more deserving students, and a basic sense of integrity, to be brushed off so lightly.

Have you noticed that the people who talk about equality the most are the people who are most invested in a system that provides special deals for insiders?

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