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

Texas poised to become national model for higher-ed reform

 (This article appeared in the January 12 Austin American-Statesman) By Thomas K. Lindsay, director the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In higher education, Texas’ struggles are America’s struggles. At the same time, the 83rd Legislature can make Texas’ solutions America’s solutions. Texas is well-placed to build on existing strengths relative […]

Give Parents a Head Start on Saving for College

I’ve often argued that public policy should encourage and reward parents, who, after all, contribute mightily to the common good by producing and maintaining human capital. Parents face countless challenges on the journey, as they worry about their children’s health and safety, education, moral formation, and much more. As a father with one child in […]


In his State of the University Address in September 2005, departing UT-Austin President Larry Faulkner had this advice for his successor: “Your greatest challenge will be to work out a new, stable financial model for the long-term sustenance of the university. For decades, we have been drifting away from a model built on public higher […]

Please Tighten Your Seat Belts

Two recent articles underscore the uncertainty about the future of higher education. In “The End of the University as We Know It,” Nathan Harden (author of “Sex and God at Yale”) describes how online courses and other innovations will force radical change in higher education. He thinks it will enable an enormous number of future […]

On the Unsustainability of the United States: Epilogue

A few days ago in the Wall Street Journal, the “Notable & Quotable” section excerpted several passages from a book written by the great Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. Three sentences caught my attention.  They point, I believe, in the direction of answering the question posed in my previous post: Why did college administrators and trustees […]

The Texas Model of Higher Ed Reform Spreading to California?

As Texas goes, so goes the country. (From the Chronicle of Higher Education): $10,000 Bachelor’s Degree Is Proposed in California Legislation By Eric Kelderman A California state legislator is the latest elected official to push for public colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees at bargain-basement prices. . . . The legislation in California follows similar suggestions […]

Part 9 of “Forgive us our debts – Not a chance”

Editor’s Note:  Today we are running the ninth segment of the 15-part series on college-student-loan debt.  (Thank you to for putting this together.) Debt collectors are rewarded for collecting as much of the money owed as possible regardless of the hardship that causes debtors. Debt collectors aren’t likely to explain ways for borrowers to […]


I recently wrote a story about an English professor hired at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington who is obsessed with pornography, so much so that he published two books of X-rated poetry, dedicated to kinky porn stars.  (The other mocks Christianity and includes “21 of the filthiest limericks I could think to write,” […]

Education: A Spending Litmus Test

So the country avoided the fiscal cliff, at least one level of it. We supposedly have the tax situation settled (unless the administration demands more increases) while spending remains essentially untouched. The latter will be dealt with in the next couple of months, we’re told. I don’t believe that any real cutting will be done. […]

Higher Education Spending: The Seen and the Unseen

In the January 2007 issue of Perspective, a monthly magazine I edit, Richard Vedder and Jonathan Leirer took a critical look at a study commissioned by Oklahoma State University which—to the surprise of virtually no one—concluded that OSU provides a big boost to the state economy. Vedder and Leirer found fault with the study, saying […]