An Economist editorial wonders whether America’s top universities are doomed to become failures like America’s car companies. Rising tuition, excess administrative cost, and increased drop-out rates are all causes for concern. Most troubling, however, is that full-time students are spending only 14 hours per week studying compared to 24 hours/week in 1961. What is causing this decline?
“The most plausible explanation is that professors are not particularly interested in students’ welfare. Promotion and tenure depend on published research, not good teaching. Professors strike an implicit bargain with their students: we will give you light workloads and inflated grades so long as you leave us alone to do our research.“