UNR provost: College is not a job-training activity

Victor Joecks

And to think “experts” keep telling us that more money for higher education is the key to economic diversification. Maybe those “experts” should talk to the individuals running UNR.

Despite discomfort among students about the prospect of finding employment after graduation, UNR Provost Marc Johnson said alumni employment is not the university’s primary concern.

“I guess my attitude toward (the survey) is that college is not a job-training activity,” Johnson said. “The university can’t be held responsible to get people jobs.”

Johnson said the university strives to create well-rounded graduates.

Johnson also said the results of the alumni employment survey are meant to assist individual colleges and not to assess the university’s job creation for graduates. Because the university is not concerned with tracking graduate employment, the office of the Provost leaves restructuring in the hands of the deans of the different colleges on campus. [Emphasis added]

When proponents of limited government, like NPRI, talk about why government shouldn’t choose the winners and losers in a society, this is a perfect example.

Some people think universities should be about the liberal arts and learning as its own end. Some think they should be a way to grow the economy. Others think a degree should be a person’s ticket to a better future. Throw in the waste that inevitably comes from any government action with this multitude of cross purposes, and you’ve got a complete cluster. (Note: No one’s “wrong” here. It’s just a question of priorities and recognition that no institution can be all things to all people.)

Despite doubling Nevada’s subsidy to higher education over the past 12 years and nearly doubling the amount it gives to UNR and UNLV, Nevada’s economy lacks diversification and neither UNR nor UNLV graduates more than 55 percent of its students within eight years.

So is education at UNR a job-training activity? Let UNR, free of taxpayer handouts, decide that for itself.