The HigherEd Policy Cult

How to know you are in higher ed a cult:

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

  1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
  2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
  3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
  4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
  5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
  6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
  7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
  8. Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.
  9. The group/leader is always right.
  10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Apologies to the Cult Education Institute

The higher ed oyster farm

The bills were debated daily
Debated day and night
They did their very best to make
Sheets of text smooth and bright
And this was odd, because it was
Not a question of right.

The clerk was smiling sulkily,
Because he thought Speaker
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” he said,
“To come and spoil the fun.”

Higher ed bills flew far and fast
Their ink was dry and dry
You could not see a smudge
No smudges were on the bills.
No lobbyists could be seen
Something about forests and trees.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of students:
“If they were only cleared away,
The campus would be grand!”

“If we made student aid
Harder to get, a year at a time,
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of loans–and loans–the FAFSA
Of Pell grants –work study
And will we pass free college–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait, there’s more!” said the Walrus.
“We’ll add standards,
We’ll make them take 15 credits,
And keep a  3.0 GPA, or else
They’ll pay us back, as they go.
We’ll call it free, or at least affordable.”