Although spectacular, the bribery scandal in college admissions is only a minor issue plaguing higher education today. The pressure to succeed is so high that ways to achieve that success are up for grabs. It applies not only to prospective students but, tragically, also to those in administrative positions.

Salaries for deans, provosts and presidents today are unjustifiably high. Merit is trumped by cheap reliance on identity politics as much as by marketing ploys and deceitful practices to “sell” education to students and their parents.

Some brazen measures guarantee recruiting outcomes that, though legal, are far from the right thing to do. Students of our state who deserve to get into our nation’s most prestigious colleges would be poorly served by an uneven playing field.

But many smart and motivated students who take advantage of our own state’s public educational opportunities deserve better than to be treated as paying customers by those who think they can run the show without accountability.

It’s time to take our state colleges and universities back and hold their leaders accountable. Cost may have been a factor when these leaders chose their education, but profit can no longer be allowed to be the reason they occupy these powerful positions. Higher education is ours, not theirs.

Mathieu Deflem

Blossom Street

Columbia

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