Walk with me through the vapid pages of her 20,000-word piece of litter-box lining.
Jill Biden’s embarrassing 2006 dissertation, which I mocked here and extensively quoted here, is essentially a weakly argued 20,000-word op-ed that offers zero hard evidence for her policy proposals, which are that Delaware Tech (her employer at the time) should beef up its Wellness Center, add a student center, and offer lots of counseling and mentorship to students in order to increase retention rates, which she says were about two-thirds at her institution, about par for community colleges.
Everything is based on anecdotes or soft data, such as the results of insipid surveys she sent out asking Delaware Tech students whether they agreed with her ideas. Surprise! Students would like a student center to be built. But so what? Wouldn’t students say yes to any proposed amenity? Students would likely say yes to a new screening room, tennis court, or fro-yo lounge, but that doesn’t mean these would be wise uses of the institution’s money. How much would a student center cost? Biden doesn’t say. Would the benefit be worth the cost? Biden is silent on the question. Even if a student center were worth the cost, would some other potential use of that money be even more worthwhile? The question never crosses Biden’s mind. Biden simply proceeds from the assumption that the world is a place of unlimited resources for things she wants. Whatever additional time, money, and effort are required will magically appear. This is not a scholarly approach.
Biden’s paper doesn’t even compare her meager findings about her own community college to what happens at other community colleges, because that would have meant more effort than she was willing to make, which was questioning a few people in her immediate vicinity, leafing through a few secondary sources, and typing out long strings of nugatory prose. Her paper is dressed-up barstool chitchat, not academic work. She is certainly entitled, as insecure people in possession of doctorates tend to do, to ask to be addressed as “doctor,” but the polite response should be: Sorry, I reserve that honorific for medical doctors. A somewhat less polite response would be: You’re not even an academic, you teach remedial English to community-college students, and your dissertation is kindling.