Rick Perry

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Sandy Baum in the New York Times

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Yesterday, economics professor emerita Sandy Baum was featured in the Times’ “Room for Debate.” The topic of discussion is whether Rick Perry’s call to reduce the cost of a four-year college degree to $10,000 is feasible, and Baum has some pretty insightful (if fairly obvious) things to say on the subject.

College is not the only thing people struggle to pay for or question paying for. Why does The New York Times charge for news? Shouldn’t everyone have access to the best possible coverage of world events? How could it hurt The Times if more people read their expert coverage?
But of course someone has to pay or there won’t be expert coverage. And someone has to pay or there won’t be the excellent teaching and mentoring we need — or the development of knowledge and ideas so fundamental to providing education.

Real talk! Although Skidmore tuition tends to verge on astronomical, it seems clear that cutting costs to the point that Perry proposes would drastically decrease the quality of a college education. Plus, I’m not sure Rick Perry is the best suited person to fix the myriad problems in American academia.

Read the whole discussion here.