Via the book of face comes this:
Via the book of face comes this:
Pretty quiet weekend around here, even in terms of “the sport:” both U of M and EMU have bye weeks. So I’ll be enjoying the outdoors and/or getting caught up on work around the house, the day-job, some other writing projects, etc. But I’ll leave you with this from The Daily Beast, ”NYU Professor: Are Student Loans Immoral?” by Andrew Ross. The opening paragraphs:
Straight talk about the crushing burden of student debt is everywhere—except the one place it should be: on college campuses themselves. Students, professors, and college administrators seem to be in denial. For students who have never managed their own finances before—certainly the vast majority of undergraduates—the silence isn’t so surprising. After all, they’re not required to pay a penny on their loans until they graduate, so they coast along, often blind to the consequences of their ballooning debts. And our college presidents and senior administrators have good reason to duck any responsibility for the gathering crisis: all the evidence shows that they’ve gotten steadily richer from the proceeds of the higher-education bubble.
As for professors, I have known for several years that my paycheck depends on my students going deeply into debt, often for decades to come. But like my colleagues, I chose not to dwell on it, a decision that seemed justifiable given that faculty salaries have been stagnant as a whole for some time now. We are hardly to blame for skyrocketing college costs.
Two thoughts for now. First, while I appreciate Ross’ argument, I’m not sure that his solution– getting students to commit to not paying back their student loans– is particularly workable or in itself especially “moral.” At a minimum, I think the rules for how student loans work need to be reformed sooner than later so that it is possible, for example, to either have at least some (if not all) of the debt excused in bankruptcy or to have some of that debt excused for working in certain sectors, getting certain degrees, etc., etc. But just not paying probably won’t work.
Second, I understand the reasons why public higher education expenses have increased so much is because the states have largely stopped supporting their universities. I think this is well-documented. But why have places like NYU, which have always been private and thus not supported by the state, gotten so much more expensive?
From the Chronicle blogosphere comes “Romney’s America Doesn’t Need Public Colleges,” by Christopher Newfield. To quote:
A Romney presidency would pose an obvious hardship for the country’s public colleges and universities. Romney and Ryan, austerity candidates, make no secret of their desire for further cuts in public spending (with no exemption for higher education). But Romney’s now-famous “47-percent comment” highlights the danger ahead for the private revenues that public-college leaders have counted on to replace shrinking public support.
Sure, it’s partisan, but it is also kinda true.
I found out by the Facebooks just now that the “Pure Michigan” sing-a-long video is up and running, and it does indeed feature Ypsilanti:
The Ypsi part is at the climatic 3:20 mark for about four seconds. Well, one of fifty cities, what did you expect? I do think that the Ypsi portion has a pretty solid turn-out though.
There’s also a “making of the video” video, too:
Well done Pure Michigan peoples!
This is a little off-topic, but it is a really useful “info-graphic” worth sharing with anyone who is contemplating an academic career right now:
Now, I would take this with a grain of salt since I don’t know anything about the organization that has put this together and there are some ways in which I don’t think this explains the complexity of the academic job market. That said, there is definitely a lot of this that strikes me as being pretty accurate.
I think you have to take this with a grain of salt because it’s The Daily Beast doing the calculating and not some sort of official number from the Department of Education or something, but it’s an interesting list: “America’s 25 Most Crime-Rattled Colleges, From Yale to Duke.” EMU is not on the list, nor are any other Michigan schools. Oddly on the list are some places like the University of North Dakota and the University of Maine, and also on the list are a lot of prestigious schools in or near major metro areas, places like Duke, Yale, and Harvard.
This was recorded back in January, but I just came across this today: Suze Orman explaining why student loans are kind of a bad deal for students and families– or at a minimum why those borrowing money to go to college had better know what they are getting themselves into. I think she’s exaggerating a bit, but probably not by much.
On the Facebooks, many of my “friends” have pointed to an interesting post on the blog The Homeless Adjunct, “How The American University was Killed, in Five Easy Steps.” Now, I’m not big on conspiracy theories or diatribes, and this post definitely has a whiff of both of those. That said, the analysis here is provocative and it rings largely true from my point of view.
Read the whole piece, but those five steps:
Speaking of contract negotiations: I received an email the other day for a petition being circulated the AAUP (I’m not sure if it’s the national or the Wayne State chapter) about the whole tenure issue at Wayne State. Here’s the link.
I’d urge anyone/everyone to sign it– I did. I still have to wonder though if this is something the WSU would really want to do, and/or if that is what they’re doing. As I posted about a couple weeks ago, the administration claims they aren’t doing away with tenure, just seeking more “accountability” and ”flexibility.”
I also had an interesting conversation with someone the other day who seemed to know a bit more about the WSU issues than I do. What I heard was that part of the problem the faculty have at Wayne State is a bunch of them (I had heard all of the College of Business) more or less got out of the faculty union, which has what’s caused this whole mess in the first place. If that’s true, this is another example of why unions matter now more than ever.
Having just returned from a northern retreat, I missed the “color run” through town, a 5K in which people run (or I presume walk) just over 3 miles while other people throw colored corn starch at them. Here’s an article in annarbor.com about it, and here are some pictures from the freep.
Now, all the people in the pictures look pleased, most of the comments on annarbor.com are enthusiastic, and since I wasn’t there, I don’t have a first hand point of reference.
But indulge me and color me cynical for a moment.
But like I said, I wasn’t there. Any other more rosy-colored takes on this?