The Five Year Party by Craing Brandon

Is the higher education system working at the most effective capacity? No.

Compared to the past, is higher education better at preparing graduates for the real world? Probably not.

Who is to blame for the decline in higher education according to this book? Everyone, according to this book, except professors of course.

Craig Brandon spent several years teaching journalism and advising student journalists at a four year liberal arts college. Appalled by the negligence of the administration and the absurdity of students, Brandon left higher education and wrote this so-called tell-all book about the lies and dangers of party schools across the country.

What you get is an opinion article stretched out for an entire book. He spends the entire book blaming horrible administrators more concerned about the bottom line, students who are apparently too stupid to function, and lawmakers too busy to care. He uses some statistics to back up some claims, however the majority of his book is filled with personal anecdotes and misinformed media accounts.

He never once blames the professors who are unconcerned about their own integrity. He never once blames parents who actually complain more about grades than their students. Instead he actually mentions the movie Forrest Gump and cartoon character Bart Simpson, stating these characters glorify stupidity and modern students hold them up as icons.

The party lifestyle at college is not a new concept as the Craig Brandon would like you to believe (see “Animal House”). Yes, I do believe some things have worsened in the past dozen years. Yes, unfortunately retention has become a bigger issue than education on some campuses. But in the end, I feel like this book really misses the point and is uninformed about the world of higher education.