In a Tuesday floor speech, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) lamented the state of higher education in the United States.
Alabama’s junior senator blasted the incorporation of partisan left-leaning instruction, attendance costs, President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plans, and the administration’s proposed reforms to Title IX.
In his opening remarks, Tuberville touched on the role higher education has traditionally played in advancing American society.
“Beyond the subjects taught in classrooms and in textbooks, there are a lot of lessons to be learned in college,” said Tuberville. “It’s an important time for the overall development of our young adults. And just as colleges and universities are important to the students who attend them, they have also been, historically, an integral part of our society and development for the future.
“For many years, institutions of higher education were great examples of the beauty of the American experiment. They were places where free speech was not only allowed, but encouraged — and innovation and problem-solving were required for success.”
Tuberville warned that “left-wing activists” had effectively employed “indoctrination” to advance their political ideology.
“But this trend is changing,” he said. “Left-wing activists have fundamentally shifted higher education to become a vehicle to further their political agenda — and now they’re set on [forcing] American taxpayers to pay for the overpriced indoctrination, and taking athletic opportunities away from those who have worked so hard to compete.”
The freshman senator then took aim at the “skyrocket[ing]” costs of obtaining a college degree. The Biden administration’s plans to forgive student loan debt, he said, would serve to exacerbate the issue.
“The cost of attending college has skyrocketed. But these institutions have done little to ensure their value has increased along with their price, the increase of tuitions, and bloated school administrations continually drive budgets and tuition bills up,” said Tuberville. “President Biden recently decided to throw gasoline on this fire by attempting to use executive authority to — as he calls it — ‘forgive’ student loan debt for millions of Americans.”
Tuberville, former head football coach at Auburn University, doubled down on his criticism of the progressive administration’s proposed Title IX reforms, which seek to solidify so-called “gender identity” protections in collegiate sports.
“To best prepare America’s young people to be the next generation of leaders our country needs, I am fighting back against these policies — like [dismantling] Title IX and haphazardly forgiving student debt — that encourages young adults to break the rules and ignore their responsibilities,” he said. “Instead of making our colleges more expensive and less fair, Congress should be focused on reforms that get to the root of the cause.”
Tuberville concluded, “Our country cannot thrive without allowing young adults to freely and fairly learn, grow, develop, and create — on and off the field. We must protect that fair playing field while encouraging college students to take responsibility for their own actions and financial decisions — something all of us here in Congress should learn to do as well.”