An Acerbically Brilliant Analysis of Media Analyses of Spiraling Higher Ed Costs

ACADEME BLOG

What follows is about 10% of a long but very engaging article, “Colleges Are Full of It: Behind the Three-Decade Scheme to Raise Tuition, Bankrupt Generations, and Hypnotize the Media,” published today in Salon. Its author is Thomas Frank, who edits The Baffler magazine (which, if you haven’t read it, is well worth a visit: http://thebaffler.com/).

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And so, beginning in the ’80s, university administrators, their words dutifully transcribed by journalists, blamed utility bills for soaring tuition. They blamed libraries, which made a certain amount of sense until libraries went dramatically out of fashion in the Internet age—and yet still tuition prices went up.

They blamed professors, of course, since professors are the most visible part of a university and because it’s easy to hate professors. Sometimes university spokesmen would claim that colleges were being forced to spend a lot in order to hire the very best professors…

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