Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

“Higher” Education and McDonalds

In Opinion on November 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I have been critical of the college students who, some with the Occupy Wall Street crowds and others on their campuses, are complaining about high tuition and having to pay back those student loans.

Then I listened to a professor at UC Davis in an interview this morning on MSNBC.

First, he made it clear that the police brutality (uh, what word will he use when he actually sees something that is brutal?) was unnecessary, unreasonable and cause for the immediate dismissal of his boss, the chancellor of the university.  He must have tenure, huh?  And, I guess he did not listen to the chancellor’s apology speech in which she said she was ashamed to be associated with UC Davis.  QUERY:  If you were a member of the Board of Regents, wouldn’t you want to relieve her of that shame as soon as possible after such a comment?

Second, he stated emphatically that he empathized with the students and that their demands for lower tuition and relief from the burden of their mounting student loans should be met.  (Yeah, the guy who is paid by them said that!)

That second recommendation of his triggered two questions:

1.  Why doesn’t he form a committee of faculty members and get together with the students?  They could negotiate an $X dollar reduction in tuition accompanied by a corresponding $X dollar reduction in the faculty salary line-item in the university’s budget.  End of protest, peace on earth, no pepper spray wasted!


2.  How long before he realizes that he said, in essence, “Ya know, I agree with them – this so-called ‘education’ we’re feeding them isn’t worth what they’re paying for it.”

As I pondered those questions, I imagined walking into McDonald’s and demanding a Big Mac for, say, $1.50 less than the the price on the big menu board over the counter.  I pictured the manager coming from behind the counter saying “Yeah, Jeff (they know me) our burgers are not worth sh^#, but the boss says I can’t give them away.  Says we’d be out of business before long if we did.”

Then the big one hit me – – The professor is right, though what he doesn’t realize is that he admitted that he’s too expensive or expendable, or both.  You and I will pay for the Big Mac, because it’s an even trade, or we won’t because we like Five Guys better, or we’ll go home and cook a nice burger on the grill, right?  Competition.

When you think about their competition, what do universities offer?   I doubt that U.C. Davis (or Harvard or Stanford) has very many books in its library that (a) I want my sons to read and (b) I can’t find on Amazon or elsewhere on the ‘net.  Furthermore, I know that professor doesn’t know one damn thing I want him to teach my sons.

All the universities better figure out how to add value in exchange for the tuition they charge, or they’re going out of business.  They are no longer institutions of higher learning, they are a collection of buildings and intellectuals that give some window dressing to their athletic departments.

Now that I have pondered it, I’d be pissed, too, if I were $100,000 in debt for something I can get for free on the internet.


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