COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Columbia Daily Tribune yesterday reported that Josh Hawley “has repeatedly bashed the value of a university degree” while campaigning in Missouri. The Tribune noted that Hawley — who himself was educated at both Stanford and Yale — was a Mizzou law professor and his wife is currently on faculty at Mizzou. A spokesman for Mizzou responded to Hawley’s comments by saying, “The university and university leaders believe there is no better vehicle for advancement and quality of life than public higher education.”
In his standard stump speech as a candidate for U.S. Senate, Attorney General Josh Hawley has repeatedly bashed the value of a university degree, accusing U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of voting for massive federal spending to produce unemployable graduates indoctrinated into leftist ideology.
Hawley, a Republican, who attended Stanford University for his undergraduate degree and Yale University for his law degree, is a former assistant professor of law at the University of Missouri and his wife, Erin Hawley, is currently an associate professor of law. He hopes to win the GOP primary against 10 lesser-known opponents to take on McCaskill, a Democrat, in November.
…“Senator McCaskill has voted time and again to hand out millions and millions of your hard-earned money to these four-year colleges and institutions that take your money and then churn out increasingly worthless degrees with skills that nobody can use,” Hawley said. “Meanwhile, if you don’t have an expensive four-year degree in this country, you’re not treated with any respect.”
…At a March Lincoln Day event in Gasconade County, Hawley said students are being miseducated by their schools.
“Our universities have taken billions of dollars in tax subsidies, your money, and they’ve taken billions more in middle class debt, your money, and they’re increasingly doing what?” Hawley said. “Giving students worthless degrees and indoctrinating them in far-left thinking. It’s time to put a stop to that.”
…“I can assure him that my degrees from Mizzou are very valuable and I believe every waitress shift I worked to help pay for them were worth it,” McCaskill said.
Pell grants and other federal financial aid give students a shot at a middle-class life, McCaskill said. The recent decision to allow Pell grants for students attending summer classes will help them finish faster and find employment, she said.
“As far as his comments that universities indoctrinate students into far-left thinking, well, that sounds a little nuts,” McCaskill said.
…MU spokesman Christian Basi responded to Hawley’s comments by pointing to a recent consultant’s report concluding the university adds $5.4 billion annually to the state’s economic output and a survey of students released in December reporting 74 percent of graduates were employed and 90.4 percent had “successful career outcomes” that included military service or seeking an advanced degree.
“The university and university leaders believe there is no better vehicle for advancement and quality of life than public higher education,” Basi said.
Austin Petersen, one of Hawley’s more active GOP opponents, criticized his comments as pandering to voters who should be told that the federal government should have no role in education.