You ignorant capitalist prick - comment from one of our biggest fans.

"Wow. What an ignorant bastard you are. Enjoy your 8-hours-a-day of television you ignorant capitalist prick." Anonymous
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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Staff Jobs on Campus Outpace Enrollment

By Tamar Lewin The New York Times 4/20/09

This article points out some of the causes of rising college tuition. The author points out:

“Over the last two decades, colleges and universities doubled their full-time support staff while enrollment increased only 40 percent, according to a new analysis of government data by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a nonprofit research center.”

“A lot of it is definitely trying to keep up with the Joneses,” said Daniel Bennett, a labor economist and the author of the center’s report. “Universities and colleges are catering more to students, trying to make college a lifestyle, not just people getting an education. There’s more social programs, more athletics, more trainers, more sustainable environmental programs.”

Our response:
She points out some of the reasons that college costs keep going up but the fundamental reason is that there is so little push back. The widely-held assumption is that any dollar spent on college is a dollar well spent. And since many students and their parents are borrowing to foot the bill they have less concern about the costs and more about the hours of the gym. It is only when they start paying the bill years later that they wish they had shopped a little harder.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I love college!

This video is fairly representative of kids perspective on college. Why go
to work or start a new business when you can enjoy college parties like this?

Jamie Lee Curtis interview on the Tonight Show May 8, 2009

Jamie – “My daughter is away at college – she has just finished her last day of college. My daughter Anne is graduating in a week. Thank you.”

Jay - “What will she have a degree in?”

Jamie – “She will have a degree in American Studies and a degree in Dance – she double majored Jay.”

Jay – “So she’s going to live with you when she gets done.”

Jay – “There’s so many job openings”

Jay – “What was it – American Studies?”

Jamie – “American Studies”

Jay – “What is that? What is that? What is American Studies?”

Jamie – “Don’t you ridicule my daughter on national television?”

Jay – “Have you helped her with her homework?”

Jamie – “Have I helped her with her homework? Stop this! Now! Stop! I am proud of her. I am not going to let you ridicule her on this television. She’s a fabulous woman.”

Jay – “A fabulous girl.”

Jamie – “She’s a woman.”

Jay – “A Woman. She’s a woman now. ”

Jamie – “A fabulous woman – a woman.”

Jay – “A woman now. This girl is a woman now. Who studies America and can dance. ”

Jame – “Let me ask you. Can I ask you about the dance?”

Jamie – “No!”

Jay – “Is it lap or pole?”

Thursday, May 7, 2009

UC chief touts progress

To: Jim Doyle

Thanks for your article “UC chief touts progress, outlines marketing plan” about the UC financial struggles

Our colleges and universities have been built around a premise that society would always need more colleges, more college students and that any dollar spent on college was a dollar well spent. This led to a predictable inflexibility in ability to downsize and reduce costs when such circumstances require it. Staff (both professors and support staff) were given well above average benefits packages (especially health care, vacation time and pension programs). And since their customers (students) were given lucrative loans with which to pay for this education combined with substantial state and federal subsidies for the universities there was little if any push back for lower prices. In fact the normal premise is that the higher the tuition the better the education.

The typical government approach for lower costs is to give all employees a few days off without pay. But their fixed benefits continue to accrue and therefore little actual savings are realized.

Our public colleges and universities should turn to the mavericks like the University of Phoenix that have created a far more flexible cost structure. They rely far less on the traditional professor lectures and are making money despite far fewer subsidies from government.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Not all college education is created equal

Our politicians keep pouring more money into college education via grants, subsidized loans, and tax deduction subsidies for donations to colleges.

But look no further than Saudia Arabia to demonstrate the fallacy of “any college education is money well spent.”

According to Wikipedia:

“Today, Saudi Arabia's nationwide public educational system comprises twenty universities, more than 24,000 schools, and a large number of colleges and other educational and training institutions. The system provides students with free education, books and health services and is open to every Saudi. Over 25 percent of the annual State budget is for education including vocational training.“

“The study of Islam remains at the core of the Saudi educational system. The Islamic aspect of the Saudi national curriculum is examined in a 2006 report by Freedom House. The report found that in religious education classes (in any religious school), children are taught to deprecate other religions, in addition to other branches of Islam.”

Try to convince me that this college education is any less relevant than “Sexual Studies” or “Medieval German” at US institutions. At least our universities tend to discount classes centered around hate.

College can be of value but it makes a difference what is studied and society really only benefits when the education leads to job creation and economic growth.