- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

While rightly focusing on the bad sausage of political deal-making, your Feb. 18 editorial “Academic malpractice” overlooks the greatest danger to society - ideological control of our nation’s system of higher education.

In good economic times or in bad, whenever students have only one source from which to borrow to finance higher education, that one source, whether public or private, has tremendous control over the academic institution. That control comes from the power to grant or withhold loans for students depending on whether the institution “qualifies” as defined by the sole-source loan provider.

Though there are a multitude of well-documented abuses in the present system that demand correction and solutions, giving the federal government control of the academy is not one of them. Passing the proposed Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act would attenuate academic freedom and innovation in favor of ideological control of faculty, curriculum, admissions and graduation.

GORDON E. FINLEY

Professor of psychology

Florida International University

Miami

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