Changing the Incentives in College Teaching

George Leef

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, I continue with the topic that took center stage at our event on May 10 — the low quality of many college courses.

The problem is that at many colleges and universities, it’s easy for professors to take a lackadaisical approach (instigating what Murray Sperber calls the faculty/student non-aggression pact) because they lose nothing by doing so. Although most college leaders pay lip service to educational excellence, it’s only talk because relatively few students really want a rigorous education and would have a hard time identifying good or bad professors even if they did.

But as the air starts going out of the higher ed bubble and people figure out that merely getting a piece of paper isn’t good enough any more, all of that will change.

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