[April 28, 2014] The story about colleges and universities giving their athletes unearned or worthless degrees is back in the news. Historically this has been around as an issue since at least the 1980s (maybe earlier) and re-surfaces now and again. Colleges have the mission of providing the best education possible to all who attend. Leadership demands it, common sense requires it.
The focus is typically on the Athletic Departments and their alleged collusion on an underground system that allows their best (or all) athletes to get their college degree without true rigor or applied education standards. In other words, it is assumed, the colleges are failing at their key mission.
The real story however should be on the college departments that allow their courses (and majors) to be used as a vehicle to carry this forward. Some departments are, frankly, show cases for how not to get an education. While it differs widely from school to school, whenever you see college degrees in multidisciplinary studies, interdisciplinary studies, race and gender studies, etc., you can be suspicious of their quality.
Many of these college departments were created in the 1970s or have their origins there. The degrees are kept alive because no one wants to be accused of intolerance, racism, sexism … just name the “ism”. Better, college administrators believe, that they pay a small price to be left alone to focus their attention on their true mission.
[Don’t forget to “Like” the Leader Maker at our Facebook Page.]