Victor Davis Hanson’s analysis of today’s universities (“Behold our fake universities,” May 8), which he labels as fake, while insightful, omitted the root cause of the loss of academic rigor and of freedom of speech. A major driver of higher education’s decline is the capitalism he so ardently supports.
Student loans, which cannot be discharged by bankruptcy or defaulted on, are a no-risk, guaranteed, lucrative revenue stream.
Schools are financially encouraged to enroll legions of unqualified, unmotivated students and to keep them enrolled regardless of their lack of progress and in spite of their behavior. As long as the bodies are on campus, the money river flows on.
The source of the huge administrative overheads, the assistant deputy provosts, is the flood of cash generated by collecting on student loans. Universities have sold their souls, their very raison d’être, for money. A side effect is the resulting crushing debt. Student loan debt is now higher than all credit card debit in the USA.
This situation, which Mr. Hanson rightly deplores, will continue until student loans are issued using the same criteria as other loans.
Ed Cobleigh, Paso Robles