Monday, April 6, 2015

Dear New York Times,

Inside Higher Ed
April 6th, 2015

Dear New York Times,
I’m writing to apply for a position as editor of your higher education coverage. Judging by Sunday’s column, “The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much,” written by law professor Paul Campos, you need one. Preferably, one who has actually been in the room when tuition increases have been proposed and discussed.
As with so much of your coverage of higher education, the column is both a failure and a mess, and the two are related.
It’s a mess, to the extent that it refers “public higher education,” “public universities,” and “colleges and universities” interchangeably. They are not the same thing. “Public higher education,” for example, includes community colleges, which go entirely unmentioned in the piece. That’s not a small oversight, given that nearly half of the undergraduate students in America attend one. Community colleges don’t “cost so much,” nor have they evidenced “administrative bloat,” nor do they have “seven-figure salaries for high-ranking administrators,” unless you count cents. 

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