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

Wasteful Productivity

When humanities departments at research universities report the productivity of their faculty members, they point first not to the number of undergraduates enrolled in their classes, not to the amount of knowledge and level of skills those students attain, not to the external funding professors garner.  No, they tally publications.  Productivity is measured by books […]

Accreditation: Removing the Barrier to Higher Education Reform

America’s system of higher education is on the verge of dramatic change. After years of debate, enterprising academics may have resolved higher education’s most frustrating dilemma: the fact that although a college degree or an equivalent set of skills is essential for a good job and the chance of upward economic mobility, a traditional college education has become unaffordable for many Americans—unless they […]

Anatomy of a Revolution? The Rise of the $10,000 Bachelor’s Degree

  In 2011, Governor Perry challenged Texas public higher education to develop degrees costing no more than $10,000. This year, a number of schools complied. But critics contend that these new programs attain the desired price point through tactics that do not actually reduce real costs. This criticism may miss the larger point. Until now, the debate […]

Colleges: Diversity in Everything, but Ideas

Why is it at universities that many if not most professors, especially in the humanities, are liberal?  When I taught at Eastern Michigan University there were 77 professors in the English department—76 were Democrats; I was the lone exception.  I have heard a number of theories: One, professors live in a world of ideas and, […]

Hooray for the Rankings!

Heaven knows there are oodles of problems with American higher education – and you’ll get them all thoroughly dissected, diagnosed, and wellness plans delivered at SeeThruEdu – but I want to start my blogging here on a positive note. At least, a relatively positive note: American higher education is way closer to a free market […]

The Constitution and Higher Education

Yesterday, September 17, was Constitution Day, so this is a good time to reflect on the role the federal government was supposed to play in higher education under the Constitution. That’s easy. There isn’t any such role. Please read the Constitution, which is not very long. You won’t find any mention of education at any […]

Admission Against Interest: Professor Says We Already Have Enough College Students

In a recent column in The Journal Record, an Oklahoma City business newspaper, Oklahoma City University law professor Andrew Spiropoulos challenges the conventional wisdom on the need for more college graduates. “Gov. Mary Fallin and politicians-turned-higher-education-bureaucrats like Chancellor of the State System of Higher Education Glen Johnson and University of Oklahoma President David Boren agree […]

Education and Democracy

NOTE: Today is Constitution Day, which celebrates the signing of the Constitution by the Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.   In 2004, Congress passed a law requiring all government-funded educational institutions to provide instructional programs on the history of the American Constitution every September 17th.  We at commend Congress for its recognition that […]

Rights, Duties, and the Vocation of Professor

Even when faculty accept the distinction between training for a profession and education for citizenship, conflicts arise between their role as teachers and their rights as citizens. Some teachers use class time to advocate partisan political positions. I disapprove, but understand they believe the right to free speech guaranteed under the US Constitution‘s First Amendment […]

The Lack of Civility in Today’s Academic Discourse

Over the past year and a half I have published some 30 op-eds constructively critical of the status quo of higher education.  Surprisingly, I have received few rebuttals, primarily because all of my pieces have been data-filled.  I let the data do the talking. Still, there are some who just cannot stand any criticism of […]