The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

December 12, 2013

Jim Bailey:The high cost of higher education hits home at AU

The announcement was something of a bombshell for students and faculty at Anderson University with fiscal cutbacks that included elimination of majors in the fields of theatre, philosophy and French.

In essence, however, the process demonstrates stark reflection of changes in the pattern of higher education and how they affect the already high cost of preparing students for the real world.

And doubtless similar stories are being told across the spectrum of America’s privately endowed colleges and universities as they wrestle with continuing to attract students in sufficient numbers to balance the bottom line.

Class offerings at AU are infinitely more diverse than they were when I was an undergraduate more than half a century ago. As a young man with ambitions in the field of journalism, I was forced to major in English while picking up maybe a dozen credit hours in courses relating directly to writing and journalism.

In those days there was a critical demand for teachers to educate mushrooming numbers of baby boomers, and institutions like Anderson were grinding out budding young teachers by the hundreds. I quickly ascertained that trying to convey knowledge to younger human beings was not my forte.

In those days French, German and Spanish were offered. Anderson College’s French teacher at the time originally came from Virginia, and students frequently joked that at Anderson you learned French with a Southern accent.

But the educational picture has continued to evolve. Instead of assembly-line school construction, buildings once devoted to education are standing empty and teaching jobs are hard to come by.

Fields such as theater, philosophy and French are the stuff of teaching more than practical application, unless one wants to set up shop as a guru or something. Nor are profitable theater jobs waiting for all comers without specialized training at some place like Juilliard School in New York. Then paying off those college loans is a challenge.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

How often would you ride an express bus to Indianapolis?

Every work day
Once or twice a week
Occasionally
I'll stick to driving my car, thank you
     View Results