I pass no judgment on the system. As I said, I did it myself. My feeling is that for a college to exist, it has the same need to bring in revenue as a company does, and this is a good source of funding. I dislike the politics, but it’s a “package deal”. A college has different sources of revenue than most companies do, but the funds to pay the bills have to come from somewhere. Colleges are in actuality businesses, even though most are run by administrators who are more politically astute than rich in business acumen.
I remain bothered by a great deal of what I saw being taught in some college courses, and by the out-of-control proliferation of totally useless courses (offered as “free electives”), as well as the proliferation of programs created solely to pander to and attract special interest groups, but that’s a separate issue from the funding… except where these programs are created solely for the purpose of acquiring federal grant funding.
There are the few institutions that are rich in endowments, but that’s a whole 'nother discussion.
But hey, I’m retired now. I shouldn’t care anymore.