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Op-Ed: American Taxpayers Losing Patience With ‘Campus Kooks’

Op-Ed: American Taxpayers Losing Patience With ‘Campus Kooks’

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make crazy.”

If the sentiments expressed in this opinion piece are shared by many Americans, and they likely are, we may be approaching a turning point in higher education.

Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit writes at USA Today:

States are cutting university budgets. Taxpayers aren’t interested in funding campus kooks

Times are bad for higher education, and higher educators are beginning to notice it. But the industry’s problems are mostly of its own making.

The latest “cri de coeur” comes from University of North Dakota’s Sheila Liming, who writes, “My University is Dying; And soon yours will be, too.”

She notes: “Starting in 2016, our state university system endured three successive rounds of annual budget cuts, with average 10-percent reductions resulting in a loss of more than a third of the system’s overall funding. Additional cuts, even, were on the table this past year. And while our state legislators ultimately avoided taking yet one more stab at the dismembered body of higher education, there has been no discussion of restoring any of those funds.”

And it’s not just North Dakota: “The experience of living with the metastasizing effects of austerity grants me some insight into what has been going on in Alaska. In July, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced a plan to strip the University of Alaska system of 41 percent of its operating budget. He has since tempered this plan, opting instead for a 20-percent cut to be meted out over a period of three years.” Why are these cuts actually occurring?…

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make crazy. And higher education has become objectively crazy. It’s not a shock that taxpayers think their money might be better spent elsewhere than on subsidizing enclaves of insanity. It’s especially true when universities spend so much of their time attacking so many of the Americans who pay taxes to support them, from Trump voters, to Christians, to gun owners and businesspeople. It takes a lot of chutzpah to slap someone in the face and then put your hand out for money, but that’s what universities have been doing for decades and with special force over the past few years.

As Glenn would say, read the whole thing.


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