Privatization—the other side of the deregulation coin—has long been a favorite watchword among economic conservatives. Indeed, we can go back all the way to 1981, when President Reagan warned us that government was the problem, not the solution.
Thirty-plus years on, this rhetoric still has staying power. It seems like a number of well-known public universities want to get the government "off their back" and go private. For example, in Oregon, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and Portland State University—the three largest of the state's seven public colleges and universities—will all be private schools as of next July.