Universities-The Ridiculous Direction of Higher Education, Part 1 of our Higher Education Series

Universities – The Ridiculous Direction of Higher Education:  Education has a major influence on our culture and too often faith is expelled from universities.  There are problems with Colleges, Universities, and Higher Education.  Listen to the program today to hear part of David’s fascinating presentation from the Pro Family Legislators Conference. You will learn about many of the issues with our current forms of higher education, how our taxpayer dollars are being wasted on ridiculous degrees that you may not have heard of before, and how all of this affects jobs and our economy.  In this episode, we will be talking about what needs to be done in these universities to bring faith back!

Air Date: 12/26/2017

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture.  This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton’s with us, president of WallBuilders. He’s a national speaker and pastor. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.

You can find out about all three of us at our websites – WallBuildersLive.com and WallBuilders.com.   Also, some great information at both of those websites you can dive into.

Universities – A Major Collision of Faith and the Culture

Rick:

And speaking of that intersection, man, the university campuses across the country a major intersection, or I should say collision, of faith and culture. When you can have any faith at all it’s definitely a major influence on the culture itself, the things that happen on our university campuses. And too often, faith is expelled from those universities.

David, Tim, let’s talk about what needs to be done with those universities. We’re going to have a great presentation later today, and all throughout this week, from David on this very issue where you spoke to some legislators about this because they can really do something about turning around these universities.

David:

Yeah, Rick, state legislators — they’re often very much on the front side of policy battles. Congress gets it, but by the time Congress gets it, its way downstream. When something really gets the attention of Congress, it’s because it’s a really big problem. But, the state legislators a lot of times are really closer to what happens with the people. And they start hearing about it before Congress hears about it.

So, when you look at issues like universities, the state legislators get it before the federal guys get it usually. Now, what happens when you look around the country, if you look at polling, George Barna and I did a book a year or two ago called U Turn and it looked at polling over the last 50-60 years, what has changed in America. And if you want to take any aspect that’s moving in a non-conservative, non-Constitutional, non-Biblical direction, there’s lots of them. You can choose morality, you can choose what’s happening with marriage and sexuality, you can choose what’s happening with economics, you can choose anything you want to. And anything that is moving in an adverse direction from a Biblical, Constitutional, standpoint can pretty much be tracked back to one word – and that’s education.

It’s Important That Our State Legislators Weigh in on This Issue

David:

That’s because that’s what we’ve been teaching for the last 10, to 15, to 20, to 30 years. And in universities it’s really bad stuff on steroids, quite frankly. And so, getting these state legislators aware of what’s happening at the university level and having them start to weigh in is a really important thing.

Tim:

Well, and guys, I’ll point out, one of the topics that is so often disgusting in culture today are millennials, and how the snowflakes, and all these terms, these adjectives, that you get it kind of associated and lumped on–

David:

What, you mean like trigger warnings–

Tim:

Oh yeah.

David:

–and safe spaces, and microaggression?

Tim:

All these kind of things that actually are fairly accurate in a lot of situations. And we’re saying millennials, now it’s even going down to GenZ, this next generation. These kids that are in high school now are no longer millennials, but as the next generation, they’re getting the same kind of indoctrination. But, as we’re seeing so much of their crazy decisions, crazy–

It’s Indoctrination

David:

Wait a minute, I thought it was education, are you sure that it’s an indoctrination?

Tim:

Yeah, I don’t —

David:

It’s not an education?

Tim:

Well granted, they’re learning something, but they’re not learning to think, they’re just learning to memorize what they’re told. And therefore, we would call that indoctrination.

Rick:

And certainly not speak out if it’s anything different than what the professor believes or the campus.

Tim:

It really is the exception to the rule when you have a kid who’s willing to stand up and defend their faith and there are some of those out there. We’re so grateful that there are some kids that have come from homes where their parents have instilled in them those values. But, for so many parents, they’re having, it seems for them fighting a losing battle. But education is the reason why. These kids are — whether it’s starting in high school, which, by the way, we can back up to kindergarten now where kids are told, “Hey, you can choose your preferred gender.” You can choose your bathroom.”

It’s Generally a Counter-Message

Tim:

And things that are generally speaking very counter to the message they’re getting at home. But, this is the kind of stuff they’re getting from all the way kindergarten up to the universities. But, at universities, it takes it a step further because of some of the degrees that are being promoted, some of the things that the lectures that are being given. And ultimately, just as indoctrinations, as we’re looking at the next generation and going, man, it’s so frustrating to see the nonsense that they are promoting, the things they believe, that they believe that socialism, or fascism, or communism, is a better system of government than capitalism or the free market. How in the world could they believe that?!

Well, this is where you see education has just driven them to really crazy positions. And so, this is something that has to be addressed. And really, state legislators were something we thought, this is a great place for them to get involved, because they can do something with the states or with the universities in their state specifically and make a difference for their state.

Rick:

And it’s important for our listeners to hear this as well. Because, even though this presentation we’re going to share from David was done at our Profamily Legislators Conference where these state reps and senators come in from all over the country to really sharpen each other’s countenance and share ideas. Even though this presentation was specifically for legislators, it applies to us as citizens as well because we need to influence those legislators. We want them influencing the legislation on this and and getting this right on the University level.

But, we as the citizens have to say to some of our legislators, “Hey, we’ve got your back on this and we’ll support you on this.” Or, “We encourage you to carry this legislation, to make these changes all over the country.”

Listeners Need to Really Pay Attention This Week

Rick:

So, listeners across the country, pay attention this week. This is a major influence on the culture that we’ve been losing for decades. The left has dominated on college campuses and David is going to lay out and explain the problem, but he’s also going to explain the solutions of what we can do. And, David, your approach on this is not a one University look. This is really stepping back and looking at the entire university system and where some of these changes need to be made.

David:

Yeah, it is looking at the entire system because, when you look at the entire university system across the nation, although there are good universities and colleges here and there, there are very few of them. And overall, the schematic, if you laid out a battle plan, the schematic you would say that probably 19 out of 20 universities are headed the wrong direction, maybe 24 out of 25, maybe 49 out of 50. It’s very, very, rare to find an exception in a different direction.

Tim:

And, Rick, let me just throw in too, and guys, as we’re saying that our listeners need to encourage their state legislators to get involved and take action – absolutely. And hopefully as they hear some of this presentation, they will be inspired and motivated to do that. But, it’s also so important for parents and grandparents to know exactly what the landscape looks like.

Rick:

Oh man, yeah.

Parents and Grandparents Need to Know the Landscape

Tim:

As they have kids or grandkids that are looking at university, and they’re paying however many tens of thousands of dollars, for their kids to go and learn, what? For them to have what happen? And what’s promoted? And they really need to know exactly the landscape of what their kids and grandkids are walking into.

Because more times than not, parents look at what their kids learn and we get e-mails all the time where, “Hey, our kids now hate America. Can you help? Are there books they can read? Hey, they hate the Founding Fathers. They think the Constitution is terrible. They don’t like the free market.”

And we’re getting all kinds of e-mails where parents are asking for help on the back side. But, really, you need to know on the front side exactly what you’re dealing with and what you’re going to send your kids into.

Rick:

Yeah, that’s so wise what you’re saying, Tim, because, it’s almost like we won the battle — not won the battle — we got enough people to pull out of public schools that were doing that and educate them at home or in private schools where they taught them good stuff. But, then we turned around and sent them off to these universities at 18 and reversed everything we worked so hard to do during that elementary education level.

So, this is a very, very, important week. A very important topic that we’re talking about today. We’re going to dive right in. We’re going to take you to the Pro Family Legislators Conference when we come back from the break. We’ll pick up with David giving that presentation to the legislators.

We’ll be back, David, and Tim, and I, here in the studio at the end of the program today. So stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History

This is Tim Barton with another moment from American History. The year after the American War for Independence ended we begin addressing the issue of Muslim terrorists in North Africa, who were attacking American ships, killing, and enslaving American seamen.

Congress dispatched John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate peace. When they asked the Muslim ambassador the reason for the unprovoked attacks he told them that it was written in their Qur’an, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them whenever they could be found.

Sixteen years of negotiations failed and in 1801 America send its military to crush the terrorists. When that war ended in 1805 the first American edition of the Qur’an was published, urging Americans to read the Qur’an to see for themselves that it’s teachings were incompatible with the safety and peace of non-Muslims. To see the first American Qur’an and to get more information about America’s first war on Islamic terror, go to WallBuilders.com.

30,000 Foot View of Higher Education

David:

So, what I want to do for the time we got here before lunch is take that 30,000 foot view particularly of higher education. Because we get into all these micro battles that go on with higher education and sometimes miss the higher view. So, what I’m going to show you for the next several minutes is a higher view of higher education. It’s a 30,000 foot view and if we’re looking at things that need to be fixed with education, let’s get back and look at the whole system, know what’s going on with the system, what it’s producing, what’s good, what’s bad, what’s ugly.

So, within that framework, you’re probably familiar with Sunset Laws. Here in Texas, we have a Sunset Commission.  They are an active committee, an active commission, that looks at all the agencies and all of the stuff. And there’s 42 states that have some type of sunsetting provision. The deal is real simple with the sunset law, is it requires that institutions and programs prove their effectiveness in order to justify their continued funding — existence and funding.

If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, it’s time for you to go away. We’re not going to keep funding endless programs that don’t work. So, sunset makes you accountable, it’s the concept of accountability and it puts strings attached. You exist, but we’ve got strings attached to you and if you don’t perform the way you’re supposed to, we’re going to jerk those strings away from you and you won’t exist anymore. It’s probably time to do some strings attached mentality with higher funding in many ways.

“You Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater”

David:

And this is one of the areas that’s really tough to hit because, no, academic freedom, you don’t mess with academic freedom, you get everybody upset and all the things they say. But, nonetheless, you need to know some of the trends that are happening over the last few years and the trends that have occurred within higher education. So, in doing that, let’s start by looking first at what public views of higher education are. And in doing that, let me do a little — okay, you’ve heard the phrase, “You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Okay, let me state upfront right now that what I’m going to show you is generalizations of what’s happening in education.

This does not mean that every college and every university is bad. It does not mean that every Republican is good and every Democrat is bad. It does not mean that the whole millennial generation and where they’re headed with the colleges is all bad. There’s great stuff coming out of the millennial generation. I’m going to show you the problems with it.

So, understand that what I’m showing you is not every single college is this way. This is the trend. This is a 30,000 foot view of where higher education is moving. There are certainly exceptions all throughout this.

Kids Are Taking on Their Professors and Winning

David:

In the case of millennials, one of the things that we do in the summertime is we have these these two week long programs where we’ll bring in up to 50 kids at a time, 18 to 25, university age kids, and I have never been so encouraged as I was this last summer. Watching what happens in two weeks with these kids to be able to go back. And now we get all these texts and group meets and everything where these kids are taking on their professors and winning. It’s embarrassing their professors because they’re asking things their professors don’t know how to answer and it’s a lot of fun. We’re getting word now that professors are saying, “Man, the paper you just wrote, that’s, I’ve never seen a paper like that.”

That’s a player that they usually find at the at the next level. This is amazing. So, I’m seeing great things, Tim and I see great things with what these kids are able to do. There’s good stuff out there, but I want to show you the 30,000 foot view.

Recent Poll: Colleges and Universities Have a Positive or Negative Effect?

David:

So, again, going back to public views, when you ask the public today, “What do you think of higher education?”  Here’s one of the recent polls: the percentage who say college and universities have either a positive or negative effect on the way things are going in the country. Are colleges moving the right way? Do they have a positive or negative effect? If you are a Republican, you say by a big margin that colleges and universities have a negative effect. The percentage of Republicans who think colleges and universities have a positive effect on the country – only one out of 3, 2 out of 3 say colleges and universities, right now, have a negative effect on the nation.

However, if you’re a progressive Democrat, 72 percent of you think that college is headed in the right direction. We love the — iif you like, if you’re progressive than you like where colleges are headed. If you’re a conservative, you don’t like where colleges are headed. Now that’s the public view.

Let’s go back in and say, okay, how about those that work within the system itself?  If you work within the system, you have academic views. Let me take you to college presidents. If you ask college presidents, “What’s the most important thing your university should be doing? The number one –which of these would you say is the most important role colleges and universities play in society?” The answer of college presidents is, first and foremost, “We want to prepare students to be productive members of the workforce.”

Productive Members of the Workforce?

David:

That’s what college presidents think that universities are supposed to do is to prepare you to be productive members of the workforce. So, productive members of workforce, that’s number one in the minds of college presidents. If you ask parents, “What do you think is the purpose of education?” This is an area where they agree with the university presidents. You have 72 percent of parents who say, “We believe that acquisition of real world marketable skills is the number one purpose of higher education.”

So, both presidents and the public agree the number one thing that colleges should do is prepare you for a job, to help you get a job. Now, when you look at that, if the objective is jobs, if both the college presidents and the public say our number one objective for higher education is to get you a job in your career field, the question is, are we having success in that? Are we doing good? Are we helping students get a job in their career field? The answer is a definite “no.”

Why would you say that? Because statistics right now are that if you look at the share of college graduates who can’t get a job related to their college major.  They went in debt with their college major, they spent four years to get that college major.  What happens after four years and tens of thousands of dollars?  Right now, only 27.3 percent of students who graduate are able to get a job in their major field. So, they put all this time, money, and effort, into something and three out of four are not able to get a job where they put all that time, money, and effort. So, what’s the deal? What’s happening?

Disconnected From Reality

David:

Why is it that they’re not able to get something related?  Well, they want a job in their major field – that’s why they took the major. Well, if you look at majors in colleges right now there are a number of majors. You actually have some 1,800 majors that you can have in colleges right now. Let me show you part of the 1,800 college majors. This is part of the problem we have with higher education – they are disconnected from reality. For example, you can get a college major in bagpiping. Now, I’m curious as to how many wanted ads you’ve seen recently that need bagpipers.

You have the same thing with auctioneering. That is a college degree that you can get. You can go into debt to get a degree on that. There is also theme park engineering. You have decision sciences – help you make a decision.  Really? You need a whole course, you need a major on that?

Here’s some more: you have turfgrass science, you have diving technology, you have turf and golf course management, you have sexuality as a major. You have parapsychology, the study of ghosts, really? We have, yeah, you can get an entire college major on that.

Again, have you seen a want ad recently for somebody looking on parapsychology of ghosts? Not hardly.

Again, cannabis cultivation — okay, a few states, maybe they need, now that they’ve voted that in.  Bowling industry technology.  You have surfing, you have nannying as a major.  If you can imagine, babysitting – that used to be how you earned extra money. Now it’s a major. You also have Star Trek as a major. It is a literal major. You can get an entire degree in Star Trek, or queer musicology, or Canadian studies.

I just haven’t seen a huge demand for Americans who need a degree in Canadian studies. You go to Canada, you learn Canada.  You get a job, but a degree in Canadian studies? And you have degrees now where you can learn how to pack boxes. That’s a really high one because people don’t know how to pack boxes. And you can get a degree on the Beatles, which, again, where’s the demand for that job? Or puppeteering is also degree.

So, there are — you look at the degrees that we offer, and look at how many areas you can get a degree in, and some of these are just squirrelly courses. There’s just some crazy, crazy, degrees that are out there, which, is going to be hard to get a job.

It’s Not Just the Degrees

David:

But, it’s not just the degrees.  Look at even the courses that are being offered now. For example, this course – tree climbing – you can get an entire college course in tree climbing. As they describe it, “We learn how to climb large trees – ones where you cannot reach the first branch. The highlight of our class is an overnight in the trees. We also go to Costa Rica for climbing in the jungle.” That’s a course.

Okay, pornography – that’s a popular course on a lot of campuses now. As if we need a course, female sexuality.  The description of the course is, “The courses are studying the history and culture of the female sexuality perspective.” Again, the job demand for this course is, where? Where does this help get jobs?

The same way with maple syrup, this is a course. Here’s the description, “This class will explore the history of maple syrup production. Discover the ins and outs of making syrup, create and eat some sweet confections, and take field trips to local producers, restaurants, and festivals.” That’s your course? That’s a college course? Yeah.

And you also have the history of the pig as a college course. The description, it’s literally what it sounds like, it’s the history of pigs in America – college course. I love this college course – learning from YouTube. This course consists of students watching YouTube videos and discussing them. They also leave comments on the videos themselves – I think we do that anyway, I don’t think we need a course on how to do this.

But, you see the problem with all of this, and the wackiness. The problem, while we have 27.3 percent getting a job in their major field, is, number one, we have all these goofy majors where you’re never going to get a job. I talked to some state university presidents, and get ready for this, I called some state university professors. If you start a new major, like a major in nannying, or a major in Star Trek, or whatever else, how much does that take? And they said, “Well, it takes between a quarter and a half million dollars to get a new major started.”

So Now We’re Paying for Things That Are Not Usable

David:

That’s taxpayer dollars. So, we’re now paying for things that are not usable, it’s not good use of money. Up to quarter to a half million dollars being spent for something that nobody will ever get a degree in. So, we need some strings attached to that money. If we’re going to give you some money, you can’t do stupid stuff with it like this.

If they want that, great. Have them create their own course or whatever, but you don’t put a half million dollars into a course on how to pack boxes or a major on how to pack boxes.

The second problem we have is colleges now have a huge disdain for the free market. Let me give you a few examples. This is a research report out: College Degrees – The Good News and the Bad News.

Here’s one of the examples, “In 2009, we graduated 94,000 students with psychology degrees at a time when there were just 98,000 jobs in clinical counseling and school psychology in the entire nation. The latter figure isn’t new jobs – it’s total jobs.” So, what they’re saying is, in one year, we graduated 94,000 kids who had a psychology degree at a time when there’s only 98,000 entire psychology jobs in the entire nation. What you should be graduating in nationally every year is maybe six to eight thousand psychology majors.

The McDonaldization of Education

David:

But, when you’re kicking out majors at a rate that you’re producing 100 percent of the entire market every year you kick it out, that’s the McDonaldization of education. Man, we’re going to crank out burgers at a faster rate. Don’t really care what the demand is, we’re not going to alter them, we’re not gonna change them, we’re not going to customize them. You can go to Whataburger if you want to customize them. Here at McDonald’s they’re are all the same.

And that’s what we’re doing with education. We’re just cranking out degrees because we can talk about how many kids we graduated. How about we talk about how many kids got jobs after they graduated? Because you’re not preparing them. And again, they’re going into debt to do this.

So, the McDonaldization, what you’re seeing in the same report is, not only do we crank out a lot of psychology jobs, when it comes to STEM jobs, you know what STEM is – STEM science, technology, engineering, and math. When we come to STEM jobs, what we find out is in 1985, we graduated more students in computer and science technology than we did in 2009. So, twenty five years ago we graduated more kids in technology than we do now and think about the differences in technology between 1985 and today.

And by the way, if you don’t remember what that is, let’s do a quick review of technology in 1985. Here is your television in 1985, your car radio in 1985, your Apple Computer in 1985. Here is your cell phone in 1985.

We’re Graduating Less Students in Technology Than We Did Back in 1985

David:

I love the little tag there at the bottom – see at the bottom it says, “First in the market and first in use. It’s the best selling handheld cellular portable on Earth.” It’s a suitcase, it’s massive. This is technology in 1985. I think we’ve moved in technology and yet we’re graduating less students in technology than we did back in 1985.

We’re not paying any attention to the free market. We’re not responding to the market demands. We are just graduating stuff that’s easy for us to kick out or whatever kids want to take. We’ll just create a major for them if they have an interest in that. So, in 1985 we graduated more students in technology than we do now.

Now, that’s disdain for the free market and there’s a number of other examples. But this, again, we’re talking general trends. This doesn’t mean that every college and every university does this. We’re talking general trends among all colleges and all higher education in the United States. And so many of these colleges and universities are funded by our taxpayer dollars.

They are funded by state dollars. So, we’re funding something that disregards free market, that is generating failure at a rate – three out of four fail for the purpose of education. At least what parents and what professors, university presidents, say is the purpose of education. Three out of four universities fail that measure.

Now, let’s go back to this for a minute – jobs. We’re not doing a good job of getting jobs where we need.

Rick:

Well, hold that thought, folks. That’s David Barton you’ve been listening to at the Pro Family Legislators Conference sharing a presentation on higher education and several other issues that we’re going to cover throughout this week.

We’re going to take a quick break though. When we come back we’ll be back live in the studio with David and Tim Barton. Stay with us folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

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The Problem With the Results

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. We’re back in studio now with David and Tim. And we’ll pick up where David left off there with the presentation at the legislators conference. We’ll pick up with that tomorrow, and throughout the rest of this week, and finish it up next Monday.

David, Tim, you know, David, you laid out the results, the problem with the results, what parents are ending up with, with the marketplaces not ending up with, which is qualified applicants and people who can actually fulfill the jobs. Tomorrow you’ll dive into some of why those are the results and some of the reasons that we have so many liberal professors and actually some more of the negative results on the family as well.

David:

Yeah, it’s clearly a thing that parents are not getting what they think university is supposed to get. Kids are not getting it, even university administration is not getting what they say they’re trying to do. So, it’s not happening. And so three out of four kids are not getting a job coming out of college in their degree field and they have huge debt as a result. That’s just not the way it’s supposed to be and there’s a lot better ways of doing this.

Tim:

Well, and guys, let me let me throw out too for listeners who don’t know. Mike Rowe, he has now a show on TBN, he has stuff on Facebook, I mean, really–

David:

He did the series called Dirty Jobs.

A Major Deficit in Skill Jobs

Tim:

Yeah. He’s done a lot of these TV shows and programs, but he really helps promote the skills and the trade jobs. Where, I think he’s estimated there’s roughly 6 million of those jobs available whether it’s a plumber, or a welder, or electrician, or some of these technical, but skills and trade jobs. And there is this huge deficit.  For example, a welder can start at 80,000 dollars a year.

We have this major deficit where people don’t want to walk into these jobs. And yet, we’re promoting them to go to universities, they come out with debt, and even if you have a–

David:

And they come out of the goofy worldview on top of that.

Universities:  There Has To Be A Change

Tim:

Well, even if you came out with a great education incentive, you’re going to be a teacher. Well, a teacher starts off, what, 30,000, 32,000, 34,000 a year? And you have all this debt you have to pay off. There’s probably some better ways. If you want to make a living, there’s some other opportunities beyond just university. Which, of course, we’ll talk about that more in the coming days.

Rick:

Folks, we’re just scratching the surface today. We’re gonna spend the whole week on this topic. You don’t want to miss any of these episodes. And then, we also encourage you to grab them and share them with your friends and family on Facebook, and Twitter, and through e-mail, so check it out. Join us again tomorrow, but check it out throughout the rest of this week and then we’ll have a conclusion next Monday.

Thanks much for listening today to WallBuilders Live.

2018-01-02T00:37:15+00:00December 26th, 2017|Education & Schools|0 Comments

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