The Higher Ed Labor Market Has Been Disastrously Distorted
In response to my letter to the editor yesterday in the Grand Forks Herald, making the point that sky-high pay for faculty and administrator’s at the state’s universities is a symptom of the higher education bubble, UND journalism professor Richard Shafer calls me a “partisan propagandist” who doesn’t understand that there’s a competitive market for higher education instructors.
I’m amused by the “partisan propagandist” jab, as if the nation and the state’s higher education woes had anything at all to do with political parties. Mr. Shafer’s jab at bloggers just seems childish.
I’m also surprised that someone as allegedly learned as Mr. Shafer would fail, so completely, to miss the point of my letter. It’s not the level of pay per se that I’m objecting to. There is, absolutely, a competitive job market for higher education faculty and administration, and if our universities are to do an adequate job of education (something that seems low on the list of priorities these days, but I digress) they must be competitive on compensation.
Which is why I said exactly that in the letter.
My point was that these pay levels are bloated, and growing at a far more rapid pace than pay in other industries, because of the nation’s higher education bubble. The government is subsidizing demand for higher education, which has resulted in dramatic increases in tuition costs, student loan debt and university pay scales.
It’s a bubble that, much like the housing bubble, is ultimately unsustainable. And, sadly, those who are suffering the most as a result are the very ones who are education policy is supposed to be helping.
The students.Tags: higher education bubble, North Dakota News, richard shafer, University of North Dakota