Commentary: Reforming American Higher Education: Intended and Unintended Consequences

May 30, 2023 1 min read

By Todd J. Zywicki
Minding the Campus

Excerpt: Identifying the problems does not answer the more important question: what is to be done? What practical, real-world policy responses are available that might arrest, then reverse, the decline of modern American higher education? And, equally important, what policy proposals will not have unintended consequences that will actually make matters worse?

Consider, for example, the origin text of the modern academic reform movement, William F. Buckley’s God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom” (1951). To say that the ideas Buckley critiqued are still prevalent on modern American campuses would be an understatement. Less appreciated is that Buckley’s proposed reform—electing CEOs to the board—has likely exacerbated rather than reversed this trend.

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