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September 11, 2013

College For Free

Ry Rivard:

ould public colleges be free?

Yes, says the head of the union for University of California's 4,000 instructors and librarians.


Trim non-essential functions, redirect a bunch of money and end tax breaks that mostly benefit wealthy college-goers' families, argues University Council-American Federation of Teachers President Bob Samuels. Of course, not everyone would agree with his definition of non-essential, particularly researchers.

Samuels' new book says students have become "slaves to debt" because colleges have decided to get into "expensive and disorienting" endeavors - research labs funded by external dollars, luxury dorms and athletics - that have little to do with instructing students. He says American higher education costs more than it should and undergraduates are forced to pick up the tab for university mission creep. On top of that, undergrads are suffering through large, impersonal classes and left in the hands of graduate students. While Samuels wants all of public higher education to be free, many of his examples of spending cuts are generally found at research universities with big-time athletics and don't exist at, say, community colleges, which already charge bare-bones rates.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at September 11, 2013 12:56 AM
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