In my copious spare time, I enjoy compiling a list of bad ideas for universities. Here’s what’s currently at the top:
- University of Antarctica – an opportunity to create the first university on the last continent. And why not, since every northern country except Canada has already established a university above the Arctic Circle, and Canada is suddenly intent on establishing three?
- Fortune Cookie University – an institution where the entire curriculum is delivered via messages inside fortune cookies. Could result in weight gain; will result in surfeit of lucky numbers.
- Grade Inflation University – a school that compensates for poor employment outcomes by retroactively awarding graduates higher grades, including the innovative A+*. Oh wait, that school already exists.
- Trump University – no, not the shuttered real estate scam, but rather an institution that gets to the essence of Trump by training public figures to disregard their better judgment and say whatever the hell pops into their heads at any given time.
- Free College – where tuition is covered – but not the more expensive cost of living (for which debt-producing loans remain available) – as a means to encourage enrollment by students who are least likely to complete.
While the order isn’t set, somewhere on this list you’ll also find a more fundamental characteristic of America’s colleges and universities: building forward from K-12 education.