See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Fareed Zakaria Wrings His Hands Over a “Crisis” in Higher Ed

Fareed Zakaria, one of Time’s columnists, has a new piece entitled “The Thin-Envelope Crisis.”  It’s an exercise in hand-wringing over the supposed complicity of our colleges and universities in the decline of economic mobility in the country. He writes, “The institutions that have been the best at opening access in the U.S. have been its […]

The Implausibility of “Stereotype Threat”

(This piece is cross-posted at   Defenders of “affirmative action” — admissions policies that give preference to certain students merely because they have ancestry that is regarded as making them more “diverse” – have to work hard to explain away a serious problem. That problem is the tendency for the students who are admitted […]

Should University Presidents Speak Out?

A friend recently sent me an article entitled “University Presidents – Speak Out!,” published in The Nation. In the article, author Scott Sherman laments that university presidents don’t air their views more often on the “big issues.” His idea of an estimable college leader is someone like Lee Bollinger of Columbia (because he “spearheaded the […]


During the fat years for higher education (roughly, 1965 through 2008), when more and more money was pouring in, most colleges and universities added lots of administrative offices and programs. Over time, most of them grew, following the logic of bureaucracies in non-profit settings: look busy, hype your accomplishments (real or imaginary), then ask for […]

The Other Diversity Mania

When we hear talk about the “need” for greater “diversity” on American campuses, the speaker is almost always talking about racial/ethnic diversity – the assumption that some students are more “interesting” and will add more to the school just because of their ancestry. Sometimes, however, the individual has something else in mind, specifically “socio-economic” diversity. […]


I don’t know when the Supreme Court is going to issue its decision in Fisher v. Texas, but if it rules against the use of racial preferences by public institutions of higher education, there will be immense consternation in the Diversity Above All camp. A revealing example of the thinking of people in that camp […]

Another Feeble Argument for “Affirmative Action”

People who are in favor of continuing America’s obsession with group proportionality keep advancing arguments that it’s imperative for our institutions to “mirror” society. That is to say, it’s good if a group of people is composed of individuals so that it has roughly the same percentages of people “representing” blacks and Hispanics and women […]

The Greatest Benefit of Online Higher Education

I am not one of those people who sees online higher education as the panacea for our ailments, but I do see it as a source of competition in an area where competition has mostly been lacking. Let us say that your son or daughter is enrolled at Megga University.  He or she must choose […]


For years now, evidence has been mounting that America has badly oversold higher education. We know that many college graduates end up unemployed – most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters were jobless college grads. We know that many more are underemployed, working as bartenders or office clerks or aerobics trainers. And we know that […]

Universities are for free thought – as long as they’re the right ones

If you do a good job in your work, it really shouldn’t matter what political beliefs you hold, and especially in a university. After all, universities are supposed to uphold the ideals of free thought and free expression. They are the last places you’d expect to find an employee being punished for holding to a […]