Nearly everyone recognizes that student debt has risen to a level that will be difficult to sustain, given the nation’s slow-growing economy and the sagging incomes of too many college-educated Americans. Nearly 40 million Americans carry some form of student debt; more than 7 million are in default on their loans, and many more have missed scheduled payments. The total amount of outstanding student debt is estimated to be $1.2 trillion, with about two-thirds of this sum underwritten by the federal government.Read more
According to a report released in April by the American Association of University Professors, the gap between the salaries of faculty at private and public universities is widening. The AAUP’s “Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession” stated that at public institutions full professors’ salaries averaged $130,039 and assistant professors’ $77,446 in 2014, while at private institutions the average salary of full professors was $177,600 and assistant professors $95,312.Read more
Scott Walker was never going to win fans among the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Four years ago, Wisconsin professors were in the state capitol protesting the governor’s plans to limit public employee collective bargaining powers. But, boy, did he make enemies this month when he proposed $300 million more in budget cuts to the state’s university and altering the words of the school’s mission. Walker has clearly made some tactical missteps in recent weeks—and the fact that he himself doesn’t have a college degree doesn’t add to his credibility.Read more
Many cheered last month when President Obama finally used his bully pulpit to talk about the problems facing young men of color. Of course, the president did not have much else to offer: Nearly all of the $200 million pledged for his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is from private foundations, not public coffers.Read more
The disappointing employment report made public on July 8 provided fresh evidence that economic growth is slowing and the state of the economy will be the central issue in next year’s presidential election. As if in anticipation of the jobs report, David Plouffe, senior political adviser to President Obama, said shortly before the bad news was released, “The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers.Read more
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