Americans’ confidence in higher education is sinking fast, at least according to an August Pew poll. It turns out that “only half of American adults think colleges and universities are having a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days. About four-in-ten (38%) say they are having a negative impact — up from 26% in 2012.”
There are plenty of reasons for this development, but one is surely a failure of strong leadership. We used to have college presidents who stayed on the job for a long time and had a clear idea of what the academic mission of a school is and how they wanted to shape it over the long term. Now it is hard to find qualified people who want to do this job, even with the exorbitant salaries we pay them.
James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
Naomi Schaefer Riley is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.