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Victor Davis Hanson Wonders if Universities Are Doomed

Victor Davis Hanson Wonders if Universities Are Doomed

“Zoom courses, a declining pool of students, and soaring costs all prompt the public to question the college experience altogether.”

Victor Davis Hanson is a gentleman and a scholar. He is also one of our greatest minds.

He writes at American Greatness:

Are Universities Doomed?

In a famous exchange in the The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”

“Gradually” and “suddenly” applies to higher education’s implosion.

During the 1990s “culture wars” universities were warned that their chronic tuition hikes above the rate of inflation were unsustainable.

Their growing manipulation of blanket federal student loan guarantees, and part-time faculty and graduate teaching assistants always was suicidal.

Left-wing indoctrination, administrative bloat, obsessions with racial preferences, arcane, jargon-filled research, and campus-wide intolerance of diverse thought short-changed students, further alienated the public—and often enraged alumni.

Over the last 30 years, enrollments in the humanities and history crashed. So did tenure-track faculty positions. Some $1.7 trillion in federally backed student loans have only greenlighted inflated tuition—and masked the contagion of political indoctrination and watered-down courses.

But “gradually” imploding has now become “suddenly.” Zoom courses, a declining pool of students, and soaring costs all prompt the public to question the college experience altogether.

Nationwide undergraduate enrollment has dropped by more than 650,000 students in a single year—or over 4 percent alone from spring 2021 to 2022, and some 14 percent in the last decade. Yet the U.S. population still increases by about 2 million people a year.

Men account for about 71 percent of the current shortfall of students. Women number almost 60 percent of all college students—an all-time high.

Monotonous professors hector students about “toxic masculinity,” as “gender” studies proliferate. If the plan was to drive males off campus, universities have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.


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“Goodbye, Columbus”

I wanted my kids to go to college and get high-paying tech jobs.
I want my grandkid to go to a solid trade school, apprentice, then start his own business.
The “instruction” in today’s colleges actually adds negative value.

From the article:
16,937 enrolled.
15,750 administration staff.

Most college curricula we’re developed decades ago.

Think about it.

Look at a 5-10 mile radius of almost any college in America today. What you’ll find is mostly blight.

The faculty and the administrators at these places cannot really be expected to tell you the truth about what they really have to offer. After all, they are frightened about losing their livelihoods.

– – – – –

Americans really need to ask themselves why any future employer would want to offer them a job.

Before it’s too late.


    JVJ1975 in reply to JVJ1975. | December 24, 2022 at 6:32 am


    Hundreds of colleges graduate “top” students every year. They are a dime a dozen.

    If you’d like to be employable, why not commit to becoming fluent in, say, Japanese. Or Korean. Or Brazilian Portuguese. Or any other foreign language. Spend a year or more living and functioning overseas. You might work part time teaching ESL. Or not. You might work as an au pair. Or learn to bartend in America before going overseas to an immersion experience.

    Or get your HVAC or Electrician or CDL-A certification (or other) in the US whilst you’re gearing up your second language to the intermediate level.

    There are many many many options.

    But the point is that at some point within approximately five years or so, you will have skills that very few others will have.

    You’ll be able to function across cultures.

    You’ll have life experience/s.

    You can start with on-line instruction and go from there.

    At any point, you can always stop, and put everything on pause … and just enroll at an American college.

Suburban Farm Guy | December 24, 2022 at 8:34 am

Our entire Education System gets the grade it has fully earned: F.

Go woke, go broke. It’s so bad that it must be intentional. Kids being failed up to the next level year after year get an entirely different lesson. Polish the Teacher’s Social Justice apple to get good grades… No math, no actual science — what’s the worst that could happen?

With the exception of health care and other professional STEM programs, most universities are not worth the organization and infrastructure required to keep them in this environment. With graduate scientific programs going woke and valuing DEI over true scholarship, and law programs going completely bonkers, I say let those universities who refuse to recognize this reality die on the vine. We know that the fallout from COVID and wokeism is still going to be felt long into the future, but then those same educational institutions pushed this stuff onto the public. Let them reap what they have sown.

Suburban Farm Guy | December 24, 2022 at 9:02 am

When this observer was in school, the rap was that schools only served to fashion warm bodies into mindless tools of American industry. But… while we weren’t looking, the venture was repurposed into producing tools of Marxist revolution against those same American ideals that are now absent from the scene — except as villains. It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your school is?