There’s a lot of buzz about Scott Walker as a viable, possibly dark horse presidential contender for 2016. But what are his views on higher education?

Peter Augustine Lawler writes at National Review Online:

Scott Walker, Mad Men, and Higher Education

So my reservations about Scott Walker as presidential candidate have to do with my reservations about his diagnosis concerning why higher education isn’t efficient and effective. The disease: Faculty don’t teach and otherwise work hard enough, combined with the residual “shared governance” (between faculty and administration) that inhibits administrative innovation and makes proper accountability impossible.

The cure: Cut budgets, make faculty teach more, and increase administrative control All that supposes that the main cause of the cost bubble (analogous to the recent [and future?] housing bubble) in higher education is instructional cost. But it’s not. It’s more rapid administrative bloat, irrelevant amenities and projects, and often pointless compliance with increasingly intrusive regulations flowing from the government and accrediting agencies (which are basically agents of administrators). The number of so-called lazy tenured and tenure-track radicals is on the decline, the number of credit hours generated by temporary faculty and adjuncts (both of which are readily controlled by administrators) soars. I’ll say more about this later.

For now, I thought I’d comply with a few requests and give you a taste of what I said at Carleton about “Privileges, Responsibilities, and Higher Education.”

Because we live in a very untraditional time, we can’t help, as Mark Henrie explains, but experience nostalgia for this or that more traditional or less displaced point in the past. Higher education should discipline our nostalgia by informing it or making it intelligently selective.

When we long for the classical polis or the medieval village or the heroic liberalism of our Founders or.a secure place on Wendell Berry’s farm or to be Southern ladies and gentlemen irascible enough to be easily provoked to secede or the time without entitlements that produce degrading dependency of the 1890s or the time of strong family values of the 1950s, we don’t long for everything about this or that way of life we imagine with some evidence existed at a particular point in history.