For American higher education, the Tea Party feels like a wake. As political groups, often with ties to the movement, have increasingly intruded on the affairs of public colleges and universities, financial cutbacks have forced campuses into a triage mode. Administrators squeeze savings out of already malnourished budgets; programs disappear; tuitions rise; and the inequalities of a seriously stratified system worsen. With higher education increasingly hard to pay for in the current economic crisis, it can no longer serve as a safety net for the middle class and a source of economic mobility for society. Nor, given the political attacks on academe, can our colleges maintain the intellectual excellence, diversity, and freedom that once made them the envy of the world.Do you get the impression that the author has a little bit of an entitlement complex, and just despises the fact that we rubes out in the sticks don't feel like financially supporting her and her whims anymore?
Oh, you think perhaps I'm mischaracterizing the author's intent? Let's see her closing paragraph:
It's a vicious circle, and one that can only get worse unless the academic community—the entire academic community—recognizes that its own self-interest requires a united defense. That defense must transform the public debate about higher education into one that recognizes the broader social forces involved, explains the need for public financing, and stops scapegoating the faculty. Even then, as the economy totters, maintaining an optimistic perspective on the future of American colleges and universities requires considerable cognitive dissonance.
Circle the wagons and demand more money. Show the corn-pones how important the self-important are.
Sorry, lady. You want me to pay for it, I get a say in it--he who pays the piper calls the tunes. She doesn't like that fiscal conservatives want to start (finally!) calling some of the tunes.
Get used to it.