Thursday, February 03, 2005

Out of controls 

Last seen losing Republican primaries for wearing bad flannel shirts, an old warhorse for education was heard from again. At a meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Sen. and former education secretary Lamar Alexander said price controls in higher education are a bad idea. But he told the schools that political correctness has gotten out of hand.

The idea of price controls from Washington for colleges and universities is a bad idea. It's a bad idea because what has made our system of higher education superior is autonomy and choice.


While Mr. Alexander supported colleges on price controls, he chastised them for what he described as their double-talk on diversity, suggesting that some colleges have become intolerant of unpopular views. As evidence, he cited recent attacks on the president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, for his comments on women in mathematics and science. Mr. Summers was vilified by some academics for suggesting that one reason fewer women make it to the top in math and science may be because of innate differences of ability from men.

Colleges and universities "get a little obnoxious sometimes in their self-righteousness," said Mr. Alexander. "Institutions that preach diversity and then don't allow diverse questions to be asked are not doing a very good job of what I think colleges and universities ought to do."
Good for him. Source: Chronicle of Higher Ed. (subscribers only)