Higher education in America is in crisis. Costs are too high, learning is too little, and the financial payoff to students and taxpayers is often abysmal. In Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America, economist Richard Vedder documents how this precarious situation was fostered by the expansion of government involvement in the academy, especially at the federal level.
Vedder vividly chronicles the many problems facing U.S. higher education, including in areas connected to speech and academic freedom; tuition and other costs; culture and curricula; governance; gender, race, and diversity; due process; admissions; and student loans. His reform agenda is equally comprehensive. Among others, Vedder urges ending discrimination against for-profit schools; ending grade inflation; ending speech codes and other barriers to academic freedom; ending affirmative action and related diversity programs; ending or revising federal student financial aid; instituting three-year degrees and year-round instruction; and providing earnings data on former students for extended periods after graduation.
Richard K. Vedder is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Economics at Ohio University, and the Founding Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. A former senior economist on the U.S. Joint Economic Committee, his many books on economics and economic history include Going Broke by Degree: Why College Costs Too Much (2004) and Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America (1997), winner of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Vedder holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.