After a social media and listserv rush by contingent faculty on the NY Times original, responses to more critical readings have been emerging.
Yesterday the New York Times ran an editorial claiming to reveal “The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much”. In it Paul Campos offers a simple answer to his titular question. It’s because higher education administrators cost too much.
There is so much wrong with this that it’s tempting to respond with humor, as Dean Dad brilliantly does (“As with so much of your coverage of higher education, the column is both a failure and a mess…). But because a) the New York Times is still, despite everything, “the newspaper of record”, and hence widely read; b) this argument is popular and predates Campos, and c) these are very popular and costly mistakes. So let’s take it apart.
First, there’s the classic category error of conflating “administration” with “the…
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