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Are you proud of your alma mater?

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

  1. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    If people want lower tuition at state universities that is what they need to commit to. People want it both ways. Lower tuition but also no taxes.

    The perception that there is all kinds of excess in spending at public universities is way off base. I've worked at public universities for well over 20 years. We've dealt with so many cuts to budgets over that period. There is no efficiency left unturned and that underfunding has impacted quality.


    What is truly amazing in this discussion is the outrage over the cost of education. The cost of education (i.e. the amount of money it costs to educate a single student) has actually decreased over the years with universities focusing on every possible means to keep costs low. That means larger classes, fewer course sections, reductions in offerings for expensive majors, massive cuts to faculty positions, increased reliance on part time instructors, salary freezes, and tons of other approaches. Despite those efficiencies, tuition keeps rising because funding -- particularly state funding of public institutions keeps getting reduced. All of those changes hurt educational quality.

    Society is going to fix that? Not until people can be grown ups and realize that if you want a top notch state funded institutions that you better put on your big boy pants and agree to pay more taxes for them.
  2. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Less so as it is very difficult to simply replace a 70 year old professor without a length job search etc. You might be able to lay off a 70 year old accountant and have a ton of accountants coming out of school to take his/her place but not so much with, say, a 70 year old professor of biochemistry who is one of 40 or 50 people in the world with a particular specialty. So among faculty you aren't going to see the "layoff" hire someone cheaper model at work as there just are not that many qualified "workers" to replace them
  3. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    But that is the question, is it not? If people want........ It's a value proposition. What people want it both ways?

    Perhaps but there is no question that Admin Salaries have gone up and so have Faculty salaries. The question of more funding from State and Federal is a very difficult argument to make when people look at their own personal situations and then look at cost expenditures associated with Salary increases. You are not going to win an argument like that.




    It is fine to make this argument but the fact of the matter is that it costs parents substantially more to send their children to University then it did 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. It's like saying the cost associated with pumping oil out of the ground has gone down substantially but the refining process is much more expensive now but the oil itself is really much cheaper. The average consumer doesn't care about what the oil costs. They care about what it cost at the pump. It's the same situation with Higher Ed.

    Why does "Grown Up" have to contingent upon more taxes? I don't think this is true at all. I think Universities need to start focusing on education and less on things that are not directly related to actual education. You can not tax people more and more simply because you feel that this is the answer. The amount of money people have to spend is finite. This solution is simply not the answer, especially in this economic climate.
  4. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Really? So you think that this is relevant to Higher Ed only? Why would it be any different for the private sector? You don't think that it's hard to find an experienced CEO of a major company or that extremely intelligent Biochemists don't retire from the Private Sector as well? It's no different.
  5. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I've hired people to work under me or alongside me at 3 different companies. It's really the same.

    The problem with using statistics in that sense is that if a person goes to a tough academic school like UVA; they likely got in there because they are smarter. And if it's a pricier school, then they probably have a lot more financial support coming from there family that can give them a lot of opportunities that the regular student can't afford.

    Some of it is job specific. I would say that is particularly for jobs that only allow certain specific degrees to work there. But, something like math, statistics, underwriting, advertising, sales and marketing...all of which I have experience hiring in...generally makes little difference as to what you're going to get paid based on what college you went to.

    I have only had one problem in my experience where I had a somebody who applied for a Marketing Coordinator position at a school that did not have an accredited business program. The HR Director was skeptical about it, but we hired the person anyway because they had the skills and experience I was looking for.

    Now if you got into something like law where you have to have a law degree and pass the bar, but you can do it from so many universities; then I can see where the discrepancy comes into play. But, a lot of that has to do with the politics of alumni trying to keep their schools prestigious.







    YR
  6. Yakuza Rich

    Yakuza Rich Well-Known Member

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    I agree with a lot of what you are saying.

    The problem is that we are in a post-industrial society. And now the jobs basically force people to have a college degree if they want to be successful (for all intents and purposes).

    So the demand to get a college degree is higher and the schools oblige them and more schools get created.

    It used to be somewhat difficult to get accepted to a college. And it used to require some smarts to get a degree. Now if people have the money and the students know how to work the system, they can get into a college and graduate.

    I found this when I lived in Atlanta, which has the highest rate of college graduates of anywhere in the US. A lot of people I worked and a lot of people I interviewed were just unintelligent and could not think for themselves. A real problem with people not taking the initiative and many of them had no problem solving skills whatsoever. I just see a society that has more degrees, but is less intelligent and really less educated.






    YR
  7. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Rich, I can honestly say that I pretty much agree with everything you say here. I hope that in this conversation, I do not appear as if I am anti Higher Ed. I am not. I simply believe that the dynamics of the entire thing are geared way too much towards an almost usury state of affairs for young people. They do not understand the debt to income ramifications they will be facing and they do not have the skills to manage the money they receive to go to school in many cases. Not to put too harsh a point on it but the old saying, "A fool and his money" comes to mind. This is not meant to be a slide towards young people but the simple fact of the matter is that in way too many cases, kids do not have the life experience needed to manage that situation and they end up with nothing more then an overly expsensive bill to show for what should be an education.

    I will not be convinced that this process is designed to aid in the betterment of the young people trying to get an education. It's sad to watch this happen.
  8. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    BS. Faculty salaries have not gone up. Not enough to keep with inflation. You present data that shows a tiny increase. I present inflation adjusted that data shows a decrease. They are the same data presented in different manners.

    One, inflation adjusted as any economist would address it, the other ignoring inflation.


    And it costs more because of a) inflation and b) a fundamental a dramatic shift away from state support of public institutions. The states that see the biggest shifts in tuition are the ones that fund universities less. You can respond to the cost at the pump -- but what you don't understand is that the cost at the pump isn't going to fat cats -- it is rising to fill that gap in what states used to contribute.


    Being a grown up entails paying your fair share. Not pissing and moaning about costs and casting blame on the service providers when the reason you are paying more is almost entirely due to factors (like state support) that are outside their control. Taxes and other state revenues used to pay far more for public education.

    One way or another you have to PAY for the education. You aren't paying for it in taxes (either income or property) at the rate you did in the past. Now you gotta pay as you go. There is a cost to being anti-taxation, anti-"spread the wealth" etc. Rising tuition costs are part of it.
  9. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    You totally miss the point. An organization will have a single CEO. A quality university of a reasonable size will likely have 100 of the sort of people I just described. All in unique fields with unique qualifications and specializations.

    The other point you missed is that I was talking about ability to layoff older, higher paid folks from the general workforce and replacing them with new college graduates. That is far easier than replacing people with unique specializations. You don't have those 70 year old "mid management" types who are a dime a dozen at the upper reaches of the university faculty pay structure as they likely would have never made it through the rigorous tenure and promotion process.
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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  11. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not missing the point. I'm simply not allowing you to shape this discussion in such a way as to present an inaccurate depiction. I'm sorry, it's no different.
  12. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Instead, you're shaping it towards your preferred inaccurate depiction. ;)

    Most folks I know with steady jobs are making more now than they did in 2007. Just not enough to make up for the steadily rising prices.

    However, on the student loan scams, I must agree. There's a lot going on there that's pure crookedness.
  13. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    My god. $280k is amazing.

    Unless your'e getting an engineering degree, don't think of college as something that will teach you anything or train you in any way. You'll get out of college whatever you want to take out of college, and that is true regardless of the college.

    What you're doing in this decision is buying a resume. That's it. Not an education (because you can get that anywhere), but a resume.

    Is that resume worth $280k? That's a lot of damn money. If you're deciding on Harvard, Princeton or Yale -- and it sounds like you are -- you have a very tough decision on your hands.

    I don't have nearly as nice a pedigree and I make crap tons of money and do work pretty much at the pinnacle of my profession. And my profession values pedigree, moreso than any other I think.

    What you have to ask yourself is, are you willing to work hard for a long, long time? You can't get a job to pay off that kind of debt, plus have a comfortable living, without working hard.
  14. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, but you have already said that you have worked in Higher Ed for the last 20 years so it comes as no shock to me that most folks you might know are making more now than they did in 2007. In fact, I've already said as much.

    However, if you are referring to the average working American, can you support that statement with proof of same?

    It is easy to say that I am trying to shape the argument but what I said is true.
  15. Texan_Eph89

    Texan_Eph89 Well-Known Member

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    Don't be so quick to get into so much debt. If the private school gives you financial aid, then that may be a good call.

    I went to an elite undergraduate institution which would have had that 250k+ price-tag. It was a great 4 years, had great professors, and got a great education in the process. I studied abroad and they paid for it. It was a great opportunity. However, I attended with financial aid (paid about 2-5k a year instead of 54k or so).

    However, for grad school, I chose to go to a state school. With the economy as it is, the last thing you want to do is get into debt you can't pay off.

    Ultimately, I'm sure there are several factors that may sway your decision one way or another, just make sure it's affordable.

    If you want to PM me, feel free

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