< HOME  Monday, January 23, 2006

American Universities thrown to the SHARKS

[A] new economics [is] driving public colleges nationwide into uncharted, potentially troublesome, waters.
Shark infested waters - along with their students and the rest of the nation's economy.

After all, why should the government bother funding public education? Our population is intelligent enough to consume. Isn't that what 'drives' the economy?

Besides, how else can the government stay current on interest payments if it doesn't trim the budget?
Over the last two decades, public financing for higher education has waned at the same time that education costs . . . have continued to rise. This has forced public colleges nationwide into a competitive marketplace that is threatening public education.
To make up for the shortfalls in public funds, state universities offer increasingly extravagant compensation packages to "administrators" who know how to attract "operating funds" from private donors.
Former Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl of UC Berkeley, for instance, got a 13 1/2 -month paid leave, at $315,600 a year.
Holy cow! What on earth does he do "at the office" to warrant that kind of "paid leave?"
"If private donors and corporations are providing much of a university's budget," said a former president of the University of Wisconsin, "then they will set the agenda."
I see. He's busy selling the school to the highest bidder. That would make a university administrator the equivalent of a pimp. And I don't mean to derogate from the position. I'm sure administrators accomplish some important objectives for their patrons - corporations and private foundations.

But, what about the nation's students - specifically, the working class ones whose parents bleed to make the aforementioned interest payments on Treasury bonds?
[Because] national rankings, published by U.S. News & World Report among others, have a huge bearing on a school's reputation and its ability to attract federal and private money. . . both public and private colleges now use financial aid as a competitive tool to attract the highest-performing students, at the expense of those with the greatest financial needs.

According to a recent study, the amount of student financial aid that states awarded not on the basis of need grew from 10% to more than 25% from 1998 to 2002.

[Moreover, in] the hopes of luring the best and brightest students (who often also are the most affluent ones), colleges are also splurging on luxury dormitories, lavish new gymnasiums and other country-club-like amenities. (Duke University gave iPods to all its first-year students.)
All of which makes it increasingly necessary for children of modest means to bury themselves in debt to afford such ridiculous and wasteful amenities.

And, what do students get in return for a lifetime of indentured servitude to pay interest on student loans?
The undergraduates are taught largely, if not exclusively, by part-time adjuncts and graduate students [who are paid much less than] star professors — who can bring in research revenue and prestige [and who] are offered six-figure salaries and promises that they will rarely, if ever, have to see an undergraduate.

[Meanwhile, a] Chronicle of Higher Education survey found that 23 public university presidents now earn more than $500,000.
Amazing. After burying themselves in debt to become teachers, part-time adjuncts and graduate students do all the work and don't get paid enough to cover their utilities bill, nor do they get any respect.

Meanwhile, administrators (who take 13 1/2 month handsomely paid vacations) get six figures to pimp a few dozen prize students and handful of nutty professors.

That's the state of higher education in America - brought to you by our corrupt, interest-based, fractional reserve monetary system.


At Wednesday, January 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This educational system is obsolete. If I could, I would recommend to any young person to get some actual vocational skills and not even bother with an academic degree unless they knew exactly what they wanted, and wanted it bad. Why torture yourself for anything less?

Unfortunately, so many students just go to college because it's the next thing to do. Many students have nebulous reasons for attending classes that they have no interest in. And schools don't do a very good job in giving such students a reason to learn such things as Equations with Rational Expressions.

I've come to the conclusion that the "higher" educational system is a holding tank for young people because there's no jobs for them. Rather than have millions of people wandering the streets, getting into trouble (i.e. activist roles), place them in the Wait Here State University system and distract and dull the mind a while.

I guess that sounds a bit conspiratorial. But even if we've fallen into this system by being asleep at the wheel, one has to have some justification to keep a failing system going on.

At Wednesday, January 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

Ruby, your analysis is right on target. In fact, there is a visitor who made a similar comment to 6 EASY Steps to burying American students in Debt.

It's a completely logical explanation for this wasteful madness. Not only keep young people occupied (distracted), bury them in debt while you're at it, destroying the remainder of their lives, too.


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