Universities as A Collection of Profit Centers


Why do universities fail to crack down on fraternity behavior? Why do they handle violations of every extant system of ethics so delicately?  A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher  Education presents a convincing answer to that question.  The question is not simple, but the core answer is the same as the answer to these questions:

1. Why has a university education become increasingly the domain of low-paid gypsy adjuncts who must scurry about to cobble together a livable wage by teaching at multiple institutions?  In other words, where did the tenured professors go?

2. Why are university bookstores mandated to become a profit center with the predictable decline in their inventories of challenging books and the cornucopia of sweatshirts and backpacks as the replacement?

3. Why are departments and graduate programs told they must “pay their way” or be excised?

4. Why are football and basketball coaches paid salaries that dwarf the salaries of those allegedly delivering the main university function, a higher form of learning?

The answer:  Universities are now managed by those who see little difference in the operating principle of the institution from that of a cereal company or a nail design salon.  A simple look at revenue generated and costs incurred will tell the tale of whether any particular university activity is  encouraged. That a university education and a firm providing pet cemetery regalia just might not be commensurable escapes their so called “rationality.

So look below.  What do the universities see?


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