Higher education, lower standards

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Everyone should go to college, we're frequently told. But what if we had a college, and nobody came? And still got credit anyway.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may not have gotten quite to that point, but it's come close: More than 200 classes offered by the African Studies department, and very popular with athletes, appear not to have actually existed. Some of these courses "appeared to have little or no instruction. Nine of those classes listed instructors who said they had nothing to do with the classes, and that related records with their handwriting were forged."

UNC's chancellor and football coach lost their jobs. The African Studies department chair, Professor Julius Nyang'oro, is under indictment for fraud. That's bad enough. But it gets worse.

Now we're hearing that many UNC athletes can't really read or write. No one, of course, expects a person who excels at a sport to necessarily excel at academics, any more than we expect Nobel Prize winners to posses a great jump shot. But college "students" who are functionally illiterate strike at the very point of college, which is, supposedly, to educate.

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