Letter: Private funds can help public education

I agree with Professor Kevin Cope regarding Louisiana’s historical disdain for “group labor action” (The Advocate, March 9, Page 3B). Koran Addo’s narrative of Louisiana professors’ condemnation of “higher education apathy” is unsettling.

The crisis of higher education in the United States in general, and Louisiana in particular, is owed to a host of factors that go beyond known academic values.

Commoditization of education, overemphasis on nonacademic enterprises (commercially primed sports, tailgate parties and other hedonist pursuits) not to speak of professoriate’s own mediocrity and the mendacity of promotions and tenure at the expense of students’ wellbeing, constitute a nexus that requires more than fruitless debates.

I go on record in support of public subsidization of higher education. It will cost a fragment of what we spend as a nation on mindless wars.

However, it will require transparency and public accountability against campus cronyism, questionable merit, shoddy research and phony, often czarist, leadership at all levels. Universities are our most precious institutions. They need to be saved from themselves. Are we ready?


dean emeritus, LSU School of Social Work

Baton Rouge