Are you proud of your alma mater?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Cowboy Brian, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. muck4doo

    muck4doo Least-Known Member

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    College, not really. I went to a community college. High School? I went to two. We had some good Alumni:

    Forrest Fezler, former PGA Tour golfer
    Melissa Haro, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model
    Thomas A. Heredia, C.E.O. of Ionics Ultrapure Water in East San Jose[citation needed]
    Roger Maltbie, professional golfer and sportscaster
    Jim Plunkett, former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner
    Willy T. Ribbs, first African-American to race in the Indianapolis 500
    Luis Valdez, an American playwright and film director, "father of Chicano theater"
    The Undertaker, American Pro Wrestler, Multitime WWF/WWE Champion. Undefeated at Wrestlemania 20-0

    The second high school:

    Viet Pham, chef, Extreme Chef, Iron Chef America
    Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns[5]
    Sandra McCoy, actress/dancer
    Matt Sanchez, war correspondent/journalist
    Brian Nixon, author, journalist, and broadcaster
    Rex Walters, former National Basketball Association player and currently University of San Francisco men's basketball coach
    Eric Guerrero, three time NCAA wrestling champion and 2004 Olympian
    Mekenna Melvin, actress
    John Tuggle, former National Football League player, member of the 1983 New York Giants, drafted with the final pick (nicknamed Mr. Irrelevant) of the 1983 NFL Draft.
    Phil Johnson, comedian and musician
    Alana Evans, adult film actress
    Vanessa Tran, 2011 World Series of Tetris Champion, Paris By Night Guest Host.
    Al De Guzman, De Anza Bomber

    When I graduated in 1987 Plunkett had won 2 Super Bowls and Jim McMahon 1. Jim played high school football in the same 11 school high school district. I think that was pretty impressive that East Side Union High School District of San Jose quarter backs had won 3 of 20 Super bowls at the time.
  2. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    There are a handful of for profit campuses -- like University of Phoenix and various professional schools.

    The vast majority of state and private universities are non profit. So your idea that folks are just trying to make a buck is off-base.

    Educational costs at private universities have always been high as the infrastructure necessary for education is EXPENSIVE. You need buildings, you need equipment, you need to pay salaries, etc.

    State universities have experienced a huge increase in tuition, not because they are greedy, but because their states keep decreasing funding. That lack of funding has to be made up for with tuition hikes. The state is paying less and shoving the costs to students.

    You are placing blame in the entirely wrong camps.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Right........ that's why tuitions have risen, and not just private, on average 5.4% over inflation the past 10 years.

    This is not even close to true. I have family who work for Universities of the State Variety and I know this is not true. Yeah, you need to pay salaries but the salaries and benefits packages extended to Faculty and Administrators does not need to be what it is. Privately held Universities have also jacked up the costs of education but not nearly as much as public Universities. On average, tuition costs have risen by over 33% in State held Universities as opposed to just over 21% in private Universities.

    Prior to 2007, public Universities did not have a great deal of reliance on public funding. This has come about, more and more, recently because the money is not there in the State Budgets to account for this kind of aid. State income taxes are not going down, nor for that matter, State taxation of any kind. The money is not there because the States are having to direct there money towards several other costly expenditures.

    As far as the States paying less, well, that's a result of budget and what States are being asked to support. Since 2007, an ever increasing amount of funds have been funneled towards Administration and not student Education. Salaries for Professors and Administrators has continually risen but so have the enrollments of students. The States can only give what the States can give and there are less people in the work force who can fund this education. Yet, the Federal Government has made it easier then ever for young people to get loans and credit without much more then filling out an application for student loans and the result is a huge debt responsibility after a student enters the workforce. A workforce that is not very strong at all. In fact, exactly the opposite. This is not the fault of States cutting back on funding for Public Universities.

    I have a hard time laying this at the feet of the States when it is our own Educational System that is pushing for more and more free education, our own Government allowing grossly negligent Student Loan Practices and Credit Card Debt, all with the promise that Education will allow you to get a better job upon graduation when, in fact, that is no longer the case in many instances. Throw in the completely unsupervised spending of Student Loan money by the students themselves and you have an environment suited to taking advantage of young people.

    It is criminal IMO and I am sure that I am not placing blame in the wrong area.
  4. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Prior to 2007, public universities did not have a reliance on state funding? Right. Take the University of California system -- perhaps the gold standard for publicly funded universities. In the early 90s, state funds paid about 78% of tuition. In 2009-2010, that percentage was down to 48%. Ya think that is going to mess with tuition?

    Another funding source that is increasingly smaller and smaller are federal research grants. The federal govt's funding of research has not kept up with inflation. This despite expanded regulations that increases cost even more. Institutions rely on these funds. In fact, many faculty at public and private institutions don't earn tenure if they aren't bringing in substantial funding. That pie is smaller, meaning that less of that money is going to fund the university and its students.

    Gee, why do you think tuition is going up dramatically? Because both states and the federal government are directing money away from institutions. Expecting tuition to move with inflation is only reasonable if state funding remains constant.

    What is criminal is that states and the feds are funding education much less than in the past. That is the real story, the rest is silly talk radio garbage.
  5. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Salaries for professors have not "continually risen" -- that's a complete fabrication.

    Data on the professorate - clearly show that inflation adjusted salaries for faculty have dropped in 6 of the last 10 years. Risen in three years and stayed flat one year. That is not a picture of salaries that have continually risen. Admin salaries have risen - but there are so few admin compared to faculty that their salaries have only a very small impact on cost.
  6. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame for California and other strong systems.
    As for state fund reductions, California can only blame themselves; as they are heavily funding non-US citizens in countless ways and have unfunded pension liabilites that would make Greece blush.

    As for what ABQ was saying, there is a bit of an arms race for the top students and professors. At least at the larger state schools, the amenites for students are almost resort-like. And some of the very top profs are now pulling in huge salaries. Many of them deserve it though, as they are a large reason why some schools get any major grants at all.

    Adding all the new expenses up , I assume is not the main reason for tuitions getting out of control, but it's certainly part of it.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The Gold Standard? In what way does the California system qualify as the "Gold Standard" of publically funded Universities? California, IMO, is probably one of the worst examples of how to run Public Universities. Do you have other examples other then California? Also, do you have any statistics on how much enrollment has increased in those State run Universities and how much funding has been diverted to Faculty and Administrative salary increases?

    I don't know that the reduction of funds for research grants are smaller. If they are, it is probably in comparison to inflation but according a a study that was released in Oct. 2012, for Fiscal Year 2008, the Federal Government accounted for about 60% of all Research Funding or just over 31 Billion Dollars, adjusted for inflation, it showed an increase of about 2.5%. Now, lets say, for the sake of argument that the increase was flat. That still is a significant amount of funding that, if put directly back into student education, would seriously help the problem. The problem, of course, is that larger and larger percentages are going into other areas and while I understand that you need facilities and the like, the increases in areas other then education for the actual students are disproportional. I agree that if the Federal Government is going to push higher ed, then they should contribute to it in a way that would help make it successful but, the Colleges are not without blame here. They are cognizant of the issue and they are doing nothing, at this point, to correct the problem. The idea should be to provide the best possible education for the best possible price. It should not be to increase the grant funding in order to funnel the funding into other areas. I find this disingenuous to the argument of decreased funding.

    I have already told you why they are going up. That does not change the fact that there is only so much money to go around. What would you have State and Local Government do, take away from other social programs and/or benefits to support increased funding for education and if so, what would stop the Universities from continuing to increase funding for Faculty and Administrative Salaries, like they are doing now?

    As I said earlier, there is only so much to go around. As every sector of the country has been forced to do, so must Higher Ed. You have to cut back and make choices on what is important. Higher Administrative and Faculty Salaries are not as important as quality education and lower costs for that education IMO.
  8. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Educationally the UC system is among the strongest in the nation. Look at any "best university" rankings and you'll find 6 or 7 UC schools in the top 50 every year. Eight or nine are consistently in the top 100. The only campus not ranked there is a relatively new one. That's educational excellence.

    But hey - you want it? UT Austin -perhaps the gem of the Texas state colleges -- 47% State funded 84-85. 13% 2012-2013.

    Where is your evidence that those funds are not going to education?

    Providing the best possible education for the best possible price is a vague statement. What are these mythical "other areas" you keep talking about?

    Faculty salaries aren't important. You really think you can just decide you aren't going to pay people as much and still be able to recruit quality faculty. You think you can do that and get quality faculty who are capable of bringing in grant funding to more than pay for their salaries? You think you can do that without losing the best people to industry? You think there is some limitless stream of Ph.D.s who can both teach and perform high quality research?

    For someone who bemoaned earlier how higher ed had become a "business," you sure are throwing out some "run it like a business" solutions that ignore the realities of higher education.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    A study presented by the AAUP or the American Association of University Professors suggest that salaries have not gone up for Professors. Interesting.

    In fact, Salaries for Faculty have been rising steadily since 2007, with the exception of 2010-11 where they were basically flat but that is also misleading in that Tenured Professors did see increases. It was only those who did not have Tenure who did not see increases.

    Don't even get me started on Administrators. The Administration is increasing in size and the Salaries are increasing as well.

    It is very hard for me to understand why Higher Ed deserves Salary increases when the Median Average Take Home of an American family is down 7.8% from December of 2007 and that does not account for inflation. That's just the simple take home pay index, nor does it take into consideration the tax increases that have taken effect most recently.

    A study reported by the Huffington Post:

    So, as I said earlier, it is very difficult for me to understand why the Federal Government and State and Local Government (The Tax Payer Basically) should be responsible for more funding for Higher Education when clearly, the priorities are misplaced. The rest of the Country is suffering a much deeper pain then Higher Ed is and yet, we should embrace the idea that more money is needed for Higher Ed?

    I just don't see it.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I see, so the Gold Standard is based on test scores rather then financial stability? Is that correct?

    If the report indicates that the funding is still there but the cost of Education is increasing while the Administrative Costs and the Faculty costs are increasing, it is logical to assume that it is not the amount of money that is being provide through Research Grants as much as it is the other cost increases.

    More money on actual education for the students and less for the other, increasing costs associated would seem to make a lot of sense.

    So am I to understand that the concept of best possible education for the least possible price is a concept you can not understand? Surely this is not accurate. Surely, you can understand that this is what should be provided our young people. Am I wrong here?

    I think that the concept you are describing is happening in the rest of our economy to varying degrees. I think that if you want to provide our young people with the best possible start and continue to have them attend higher educational institutions, you had better get right with the concept of decreasing costs on higher education. The idea of having the best people in the industry affiliated with your University is to attract more funding. It is not to provide a better, more affordable brand of education. As I said earlier, it's a business. So yes, in Business you better learn how to compete more effectively and that means providing a product that is worth paying for. The talent pool is finite in any walk of life. If you want to afford to keep paying these people what you are paying them, then accept the fact that the Higher Educational System will do it on the backs of our young people. If you want to fix the problem, then consider cutting those costs as well, in order to make education more affordable.

    Yeah, I suppose I am because I know how a business runs and I understand how to make money but lets not kid ourselves here. I am not the one who jumped into that arena with Higher Ed. They did that to themselves and as a result, they are going to have to learn that profits only occur when there is a perceived value attached to them. Right now, people are starting to question the value of a higher education. Higher Ed can either fix the problem themselves or the problem will be fixed by it's target consumers. Either way, it will correct itself.

    I'd just like to see it happen in a way that doesn't screw our kids for the rest of their lives. Not only is that the moral thing to do IMO, it's the smart business move.
  11. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    One thing I will say about the high high end of private college education (say, Harvard or Yale level): The connections can be extremely useful. Lots easier to get a business plan off the ground when your dormmate was the son or daughter of a major CEO, or a billionaire's kid, or heir apparant to some (preferably stable) foreign dynasty. But that's a combination of luck of the draw and your ability to shmooze and network.

    Whether that chance is worth the investment of many hundreds of thousands of dollars is a perfectly valid question.
  12. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Gee -- funny that the report you cite. 1. Does not present inflation adjusted values and 2. QUALIFIES ITS FINDINGS BY NOTING THE FOLLOWING "...the median salary increase was 1.9%. However this percentage is somewhat misleading(their emphasis, not mine) .... the median salary increase this year for faculty was less than inflation..."

    This also doesn't take into account rising costs that are paid by faculty -- e.g., paying a much larger chunk of insurance costs, less retirement contribution from institutions. So you cite one statistics that doesn't account for the reduced take home and compare it to another that does and claim there is an imbalance.

    Oh yeah -- the average American family also doesn't have a Ph.D., so there is that as well.
  13. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Test scores? You really have no idea what makes a quality institution do you? Most rankings focus on numerous indicators of the quality of the college experience and outcomes for the students. I have no idea what sort of "test" score you are talking about -- that sure isn't what goes into determining quality.

    Those campuses also routinely are ranked as "Best Value" institutions -- in nearly every case the average tuition is smaller than the average Financial Aid (Grants, not loans) package

    Science and engineering only first. Second - even the information you cite shows federal funding has not kept pace with expenditures. Read table 2 and get back to me. A big piece of this is that States have had their expenditures in these areas rise to fill the hole the feds are not. That's one of many reasons why state funding of tuition is down.

    Honestly, I think it is one that you do not understand. That is a pie in the sky idea that ignores the realities of what makes a good education. You remind me of the armchair fan on this board who thinks he knows better than pro scouts -- you clearly don't understand the academic landscape but have a ton of "ideas" about how to fix it.

    Only the ignorant question the value of a college education. Even in a terrible recession, a college degree proves to be a buffer against unemployment and provides increased salaries over not having the degrees. and

    But hey -- keep up with the anti-intellectual tripe you let talk radio feed you
  14. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member

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    Certainly for B-School, the connections can be priceless. Politics too.

    I beta at least 80-90% of the highest earners on Wall Street, for example, came from elite B-Schools. The brains helped, but it was the connections that often opened the doors.

    My best freind in Dallas has a cousin who went to Wharton (B-School at Penn). He was a solid student there, but nothing more. His contacts got him into the fats lane fairly quickly. 15 years later, the amjority of his classmates make waymore than a million a year. This guy owns his 22 million dollar home in Connecticut outright.

    Anyway, the tuition was a drop in the bucket over the long haul.
    And like Abe said earlier, many (or most) don't pay the full price of tuition anyway.

    So, it all depends on the circumstance.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    The median salary increase was 1.9% for all professors, not just tenured professors, as I pointed out earlier. If you were not tenured, you saw no increase in that one year. However, if you were tenured, then you saw much more then 1.9 as it is an averaged number. As for the inflation values, I'm sorry it doesn't present those values to you but it does say that it was adjusted for inflation so it is accounted for.

    Well, I'm not sure how much larger the junk or rising costs might be but I'm certain they are not any larger then the average family is paying.

    There absolutely is an imbalance here. The average family is taking home significantly less, while teaching salaries, on the whole, for the same period of time have risen. That's not in question here so yes, you can try to dance around that but in the simplest terms, that's the truth of the matter. I'm sorry you do not like that but it's a true statement.
  16. 03EBZ06

    03EBZ06 Need2Speed

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    I went to three diffent universities for degrees.

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical U (for BS in AE) - extremely proud of this school, has long and very strong history of producing Astronauts and Aviators.

    University of Missouri Rolla (for MS in Systems E) - It is one of the world's leading technological research universities

    Webster U (for BS in CS & BA in Business Management)

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I do have some knowledge of this and while I see that you are trying to demean me, with regards to this discussion by trying to suggest that I am clueless as to what makes up a quality institution, I will not take the bait but simply say to you that what we are talking about here is not the best or foremost education or Universities. What we are talking about here is the best, most affordable education on the whole. Those are two very different things.

    However, since you apparently consider yourself to be something of an expert on the subject, perhaps you can provide numbers on the "Golden Standard" Universities you are referring to. Educate me if you will? You refer to Grants and not loans. Where is the Grant money coming from? Where is it going to?

    There is no need to get back to you. I have already read the table. I never said that the federal funding was keeping pace. I also never said that I even believed it should. I asked you a very simple question. If the funding is not being decreased significantly but the spending on Faculty and Administration is increasing, doesn't it make sense to cut spending in those areas in order to focus more funding on students and their educations? Basically, why should tax payers pay more to Universities so that more funding can go towards increases in Faculty and Administrative costs?

    On the contrary, I'm actually interested in hearing how you believe it should be fixed. You said that Federal and State funding is decreasing and this is why costs are rising. Well, lets say we agree with that. Is your idea to have tax payers pay more taxes so that they can continue to also pay more to send their children to University? Is your idea that Students should just continue to take out loans and be saddled with the expense of those loans once they leave school? Is your solution to have Government redirect funds to account for educational shortfalls and if this is the case, where do you suggest the cuts come from? Hey, I acknowledge the fact that you feel as if you are more knowledgeable in this area. I'm happy to understand how you intend to solve this problem. I've pretty much already told you how I think it will be solved. You don't think I'm right so I'm OK with listening to your ideas.

    Why am I not surprised? Your solution is to tag me as ignorant or somebody who does not value education or is Anti-Intellectual when all I have really done is to suggest that the cost of a College Education is much too high and should be lowered for the sake of all the young people who would like to be able to afford and education without going into serious debt. Yet somehow, you come away with the idea that I am anti, what? Anti everything because I do not agree with your opinion. Whatever but that still does not solve the problem. Hey, you may choose to believe that we are all of those things but at the end of the day, if people do not believe they are getting value from the education they are receiving then they are not going to pay for it. It's as simple as that and no amount poor assumptions on your part or superior self image garble is going to change that.

    If Higher Ed doesn't fix the problem, society will fix it for them. That's a true statement.
  18. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Those #s include faculty moving from Assistant to Associate Professor ranks as well as those moving from Associate to Professor ranks. This would likely be around 10% or so of the faculty. So those data include faculty who are promoted. Promotions come with salary increases often hovering around 10%. So a huge chunk of that increase you see comes from people moving into the tenured ranks (Associate) or up to the highest level of the tenured ranks (Professor). So a good chunk of the increases that you "cite" are the product of promotions that follow what is on most campuses an extraordinarily rigorous review process.

    Add into that the fact that during a recession, people in any profession are less likely to retire. That means the older and generally better compensated faculty (b/c they've earned performance based increases over the years) aren't retiring as young and therefore aren't being replaced by people at the lower end of the salary scale. Those people are staying longer, so the only people leaving are those who didn't earn tenure. People at higher ranks staying in the workforce ... people at lower ranks/salaries falling out of it. Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with the "increases" in average salary that you cite?
  19. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    If you don't go to the school you want to go to, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. You'll only regret the cost for a portion your life. Think of that way. I say go to the school that you want to the most in the end. Get your degree from anywhere, but make sure you like the school. And don't be a bit afraid to pay for a better school. In the end, I think it says something about you--at least about the way you think. It may not get you the job, but it says something about you.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    A fair point but a point that can also be applied to the entire working force at large. The one who has endured 7.8% reduction is earnings since 2007, yet even so, the numbers for the general work force still decline. Do you also wonder if that also has anything to do with the decreases in wage for the regular folks as well?

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