The road to a degree is anything but smooth, this story says. The structural problem with public college systems is the extreme fragmentation, compounded by the autonomy so central to the faculty culture that dominates in academe’. The fragmentation arises mainly from all but inevitable public policy choices over the years — politicians of all stripes benefited from the creation and expansion of local campuses. Faculty autonomy, which rests upon individual professors “academic freedom” to pursue truth, has morphed into a collective privilege, where the faculty of Department X deems itself the final word on X education, which includes deeming as unworthy courses in the discipline from other colleges. So students have to go around the bush again.