Opening for its first students in 1854 with no less a prestigious president than Horace Mann, founder of American public education, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, was bankrupt and ceased operations just before the seniors finished their final term in the spring of 2008. Imagine that you are a senior with weeks to go to complete your degree and suddenly you are told the school is closing its campus due to bankruptcy.
What would you do? Who would you blame? What about the tens of thousands of dollars you begged, borrowed and spent to get to within a few weeks of graduation? Would you have to repay student loans if it wasn’t your fault the school wasted the money without giving you an education potential employers recognized as worth no more than the paper you printed your resume on?
Can UNC fail its students the way tiny Antioch did?
It already is.
The path to failure is marked with some milestones that are clearly identifiable from a distance. Some other turns toward financial and academic failure are so obscure that many even debate if they are headed the wrong way at all. That’s exactly what happened on the once bustling campus of Antioch. And it is happening here on Greeley’s own UNC campus. I know these things because I have been physically, educationally, and even financially attached to that beautiful little Ohio campus off and on since the 1960’s, and now I find myself observing UNC as a professional journalist.
I came to the Greeley campus to examine the value of English and Journalism programs. The newspaper had been made aware of instructors so slanderous toward any thinking not clearly set in liberal style socialism, open-minded students were afraid to engage them with questions of truth. What I have found is an incestuous, top heavy organization teetering on the brink of academic and financial bankruptcy.
The impending financial disaster is a problem for the State. Students’ costs have already doubled since 2005. Increases of 25% and more have come as a result of tuition and fee increases in 2009 and 2011 and more have already been authorized the state oversight commission.
But while costs are rising, value and relevance are declining. The New York Times has recently featured stories and editorials about the decline in the value of attending schools such as Columbia and N.Y.U., -both far more prestigious than UNC can ever hope to be. Each year students seeking post graduation employment learn employers have recognized the value of examining applicants for job specific experience and knowledge which combine for success more often than where or even if the applicants received a diploma.
The Obama distraction has focused public attention on bank bailouts and Wall Street brokers getting rich from stimulus spending. But clearly, academic bankruptcy at a national scale is pending. A journalist afraid of confrontation that might threaten his success or reputation among those he has been told to admire, can become nothing but a clone for hypocritical doctrine of those who have already failed. Academic bankruptcy is far more expensive for America than any bank failure. UNC journalism graduates being indoctrinated and intimidated to believe in progressive/socialism will be of no value in helping Americans in difficult coming years.
As America struggles to survive the current social and financial problems brought on by preaching to fear truth being forced upon students here and elsewhere in academia, the burden to resurrect the value of ‘freedom’ of the press to inform the citizens is borne only by those who would put aside personal fears for freedom and truth.
Bailouts have failed miserably everywhere they have been tried. There is every reason to believe they will fail at UNC/Greeley too. It is time to recognize the truth: that a poor quality product doesn’t need to be subsidized and kept in the marketplace by government ownership. That is as true for a failing car company as it is for a failing college.
Ok students, the ball is now is your court. When your civics teacher tells you that the U.S. – Mexican border fence stops birds from migrating (That really happened! ) – demand the truth with proof. If you don’t get satisfaction, write to me at the Greeley Gazette. We will protect your identity and we love and esteem …. the truth. The Truth!!
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