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Some may think that the only sign of a college or university failing is when it closes. And that has certainly happened to some small, private colleges that have gone bankrupt in the last few years. Yet, failure has many faces and comes in many degrees.

We can say that colleges and universities fail when the quality of education they offer is not rigorous, regard- less of what some regulatory agencies might say. Or when they promise to prepare students for jobs that no longer exist. Luring new students based on rankings, amenities, and other forms of non-academic qualities is another form of failure, as is when they fail to protect students from the many dangers of early adult life away from home.


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.


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