Comments about ‘Tuition is rising because colleges are shoveling money to programs like water polo’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 14 2013 10:10 a.m. MST

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procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Ginsberg . . . mocks proliferating 'deanlets' and 'deanlings' . . . . ASU’s president . . . was 'quite nasty' and 'shockingly unscholarly' in response."

What refreshing candor from someone whose rice bowl is filled by the excesses he documents!

Hidebound, top-tier, "higher-ed" institutions have, indeed, deteriorated into posh playgrounds for an indolent, leftist elite -- administrative, academic and student.

Business models evolved into competitive catering to callow, uncurious, parent and government-funded partiers, love of learning institutionally subordinated to coming-of-age bacchanaliae.

Serious students are left to fend for themselves in learning skills necessary for success in the workplace, rendering real education more a by-product than a goal of these institutions.

Hearing my alma mater's president cry "misconduct" when the whistle is blown on such behavior just ices the cake.

The 11-fold tuition increase since I was a student in one of his colleges is clearly the product of a five-fold increase in staff and faculty, a 400% increase in physical plant, and the deranged proliferation of deans and their touchy-feely phony degree programs.

Pete1215
Lafayette, IN

Bloated universities parallel our bloated federal government. We have developed a sense of entitlement, both as university students and as citizens. Both the university and our federal government have become unaffordable. I expect both realities will invoke deafening protests when the math asserts itself.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Man oh man, is this ever the truth. Administration should be present to make things easier for faculty to deliver their teaching load. Instead, adminstration (with their gigantic salaries) find nonuseful work for faculty to do. This is true for both public and private schools, including Utah State Higher Ed.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

What drives me crazy is when they spend taxpayer dollars on television advertising at a time when Higher Education is turning students away because of lack of funds. I'm told that the purpose is "branding" and to create a "positive image" of the school. We used to have one person handling public relations and now we have an ever-growing Institutional Marketing Department that consumes precious resources and wastes it on things like this. If you want to create a positive image try spending that money opening up more sections of classes so students can get an education.

aunt lucy
Looneyville, UT

This article has nothing to do with increasing salaries of administration and any efforts to link it to administration is just flat wrong and dishonest. What it is about is our society and where we have gone with entitlement. A university experience today must be much more than the classroom and no administrator can change that until society no longer expects it. The scary thing is college expectations are no different than any other area of society. We are spoiled and selfish wanting more and more and going broke trying to pay for it. The easy answer is to raise the debt ceiling.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

One example does not a trend make. Certainly the out-of-control cost of health care is what drives the cost of education in our area. As a result, salaries stagnate, nationwide

The constant drumbeat against education in this country does not bode well for our future.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I highly recommend a book by Murray Sperber called "Beer and Circus". It correctly points out the emphasis of big-time sports as a way to attract students. Once there they are thrown in huge undergrad classes where teaching is subpar. This lack of quality education is put up with and tolerated by all without much thought especially if the students can be kept drunk at frat parties and the football team wins games or makes big runs in the basketball tournament. Students pay sky high and ever increasing tuition not only to feed this beast but also to feed these administrative salaries. Professors focus solely on research often doing a lousy job teaching their classes if they aren't left to the graduate assistant to run things. This is the education most can expect at our colleges and universities, even the so-called better ones.

aghast
SYRACUSE, UT

My father was a college professor and used to say to me, "watch where that person ends up working for a living" and he was usually correct - the most successful are managers at Wal-Mart, way outside their degree (usually in the arts). It was also interesting to note those in administration that made far more than any professor outnumbered the professors that taught those who where at the university that are now Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians, Engineers and the like.

My four oldest children have also had an experience with academia locally, they have found that classes at the "University" are bogged down in administrative garble gook and treatment of students, and they get far more out of the (sometime exact same) professors at the "Community College". One professor even pointed out to one of my students, that it was best to stay at the college and when the prerequisites and lower division classes were taken care of, she would arrange the scholarship and assistanceship for study at the University. "The cost and administrative problems simply are not worth it", she was told.

Ironmomo
Ogden, Utah

Of course public colleges are money hogs. Why do you think we've seen an unprecedented proliferation of "for profit" colleges and universities around the nation in the last decade? The private sector could see this gravy train running and they've jumped right up to the public trough to feast with the other pigs. The Fed is more than happy to provide student loans and grants to continue to subsidize this circus.

DN Subscriber 2
SLC, UT

Not everyone should go to college, and not every college course is worth keeping, nor is every professor worth keeping (tenure or not).

Compare the organization, course offerings, and administration policies and costs of any public college or university and most private ones. Then compare all of those with a very conservative and traditional college, Hillsdale.

Eliminate the worthless fluff course (feminist studies, African literature, most environmental courses, anything that has the word "diversty" in it, etc); 50% of all administrative positions (including any job with "assistant" in the title) and then you can get costs down.

Then, test all incoming students, and reject all those needing "remedial" stuff to make up for the failure of the public K-12 system to educate people to acceptable levels. Tell them to come back when they are prepared for college.

Higher ed has indeed become a citadel of entitlement, as well as a cesspool of liberal indoctrination instead of true education.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . the out-of-control cost of health care is what drives the cost of education in our area."

Huh? Seems unlikely.

But, I'll bet if you did a quick canvass of your local higher-ed institution[s], you'd find the same administrative, personnel, academic program, and physical-plant bloat that has occurred everywhere else. You'd find double-the-rate-of-inflation pay raises, particularly for administrators and deans, as well as an out-of-control inflation in the number and salaries of new deanlets and deanlings.

An example -- my law faculty's former placement director did a fine job, by herself, for 110 graduates a year. Out of a single office. Her former position, now designated a deanship, performs similar functions for 125 yearly graduates. But, in addition to the new deanling, 6 other full-time staff, and a couple student assistants now divvy up a 5-room office suite, and whatever duties may be available.

Great work, if you can get it. But necessary? Worth the extra tax, tuition, and endowment funds?

Not.

Cincinnatus
Kearns, UT

Unfortunately, most large universities and colleges are, in reality, just football or basketball teams with schools attached. The amount of money being spent on athletics in some schools could fund the salaries of professors for six months, or pay the tuitions of half the student body in a given semester. But, hey, who cares about education when we've got a football team to cheer.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

If universities can't properly regulate themselves, then they shouldn't complain if outside forces do it for them. If this article is correct, thats exactly what should happen.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

It would appear that just like the secondary schools, the universities have lost their way. The prophesy of Isaiah has come to realization.

"And a little child (one with little qualifications or wisdom) shall lead them"

Albert Maslar CPA (Retired)
Absecon, NJ

Administrators might be the new hanger-on-class that sees where the money is and drifts toward it much like bees attracted to honey. Money is not the root of all evil but it comes close. According to the Bible, "LOVE of money is the root of all evil." That is particularly applicable to today's stock market antics where every day on the stock market floor is as exciting as a Super Bowl, World Series, Masters golf tournament and its coveted Green Jacket. Is money something the bulging stands should be cheering for, or should they be cheering for the good money can do? Too many educators as are professional stock market investors in it for the glory of the money.

Madden
Herriman, UT

If you really want to focus "on the preparation of students for their lives after college," then cut the excess admin. In life after college, you don't have life coaches and guidance counselors surrounding you all the time, you learn to make decisions for yourself and you seek help when you really need it. Our society is becoming one of micro-managing to be helpful, and it usually has the opposite effect. Students at these universities should be given freedom to make decisions (yes, even bad ones) - now is the time they need to learn consequences and rewards.

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

Universities are accountable to few people. A recent article in the NYT outlines the reckless abandon with which universities spend their money. Money is the key and those who contribute to their alma mater should do so with caution. Health care costs are but one factor, but not the entire picture. Society has changed and higher education needs to keep pace. Many are still functioning on the medieval university model.

buckbeaver
Lake Forest, CA

Why is this so surprising. We can look no further than the local elementary/high school systems to see schools top heavy in adminisration while teachers struggle with large class sizes. Individuals know they need to follow the money and right now the money is in schools and government.

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