Saturday, October 20, 2012

3 Schools of Thoughtless

A question running through this blog is : What does a University President have to do to get fired? In the 3 track system that more or less exists today (Public, Private,Profit), which one is the quickest to react?

Call it the Graham Spanier derby.

Having your entire inner circle facing felony charges & the school getting whacked with $50 million in fines & damages is apparently still a deal-breaker. That seems a given, but what sort of lower level screwing up is enough?

Good old Linda Katehi still has her job at  UC Davis. Having dragged her school's name into the mud, and ensured that no sensible teenager will want to go anywhere near there, she has been haded her punishment : Send every kid that was assaulted a personal apology. (21 letters to be taped up over 21 toilets) The school has paid $1 million or so in legal fees, and another million or so in damages so far, but, Linda still has her job. And an award.

I don't like to think or write about for-profit schools, but The U of Phoenix (aka The Apollo Group) was in the news this week. They're closing down 25 "Campuses" & 90 smaller centers. Enrollment has fallen from 475,000 to 328,000 in 2 years. The whole industry, whose current share is 11% of students, will most likely implode once Uncle Sugar cuts off the loan money. It's really hard for a for-profit to compete with a non-profit in general. In most businesses, the for-profits are protected by the IRS Unrelated Business income tax rules, but education is a listed function for 501(c)3 protection. DeVry is not likely to have a Nobel Laureate teaching physics. There was always a hope that having the for-profits around might lead to other schools getting a bit more efficient, a bit more useful to a wider public. There has been a bit of outreach, free & open courses, but efficiency? Can we even dream?

We do salute all the kids working their way through college, even if the degree they eventually get will be worth a letter of apology from Linda Katehi.

Kings College is the little school that was foolish enough to hire Dinesh D'Souza at One Million Dollars a year as president. So, at last a new standard : Bring infamy & ridicule on your school while not bothering to show up for work. Even at a small (about 400 students, although they hide this by using lots of percentages and almost no numbers) religious school, there's going to be somebody who takes the mission seriously, despite the students tendency to bail after one or 2 years & 50% graduation rate.

I'm stockpiling tomatoes for the next college president to go down in flames.


Dan Riley said...

Is that Kathleen Turner to the right of the pillory? I ask because it looks like her, and because a woman who looks NOTHING like her was on Hardball this week calling herself Kathleen Turner, and taking the appropriate political position but speaking in a voice that sounded more Jabba the Hut than Jessica Rabbit.

BTW, I think all women are entitled to grow old...especially actresses...but it seems a spread of hotties before and after, say, 55, would be right in the RUN wheelhouse.

Downpuppy said...

Older wenches - excellent!

I thought she looked a bit like Christina Applegate, actually.