The explosion in the number of college students since World War II has created numerous difficulties for private higher education, the first president and current chancellor of Brandeis University said in a lecture last night.
Speaking at the Cambridge Forum, Abram L. Sachar said the problems facing higher education include the rising cost of running a university and resulting high tuitions, the growth in the numbers of disadvantaged students, the change in the moral climate of society, and the rapid growth in the volume of knowledge in the last 25 years.
"The G.I.Bill of Rights was the greatest gift of gratitude by a nation to its young people," Sachar said. However, he added, it destroyed the intimacy of higher education by democraticizing it.
Sachar said he disapproved of admissions quotas, adding that he hopes the Supreme Court will sustain the California Supreme Court decision in favor of Allan Bakke, because "while I have a firm conviction that this country owes a great deal to the disadvantaged, this isn't the way to do it. There are other avenues to be explored."
A program like Brandeis's volunteer faculty tutoring for the disadvantaged might work better than quotas, Sachar said.
"The upheavals of the late '60s in education were the result of an explosion of knowledge and a refusal of teachers too involved in their research to take into account all the new areas of knowledge which must be included in a curriculum," Sachar said.
Sachar said the rising cost of private education will deprive millions of students of educational opportunities. He called on Congress to provide a tax break for parents who pay tuition.
"Youngsters are the most important resource of the future. Who knows who you are depriving?"