Dr. J. was astounded with the President’s speech, the timing of which dovetailed nicely with his most recent faculty meeting on Wednesday.
Let’s go to the funny pages for the President’s speech:
Our first priority is aimed at providing better value for students — making sure that families and taxpayers are getting what we pay for. Today, I’m directing Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, to lead an effort to develop a new rating system for America’s colleges before the 2015 college year. Right now, private rankings like U.S. News and World Report puts out each year their rankings, and it encourages a lot of colleges to focus on ways to — how do we game the numbers, and it actually rewards them, in some cases, for raising costs. I think we should rate colleges based on opportunity. Are they helping students from all kinds of backgrounds succeed — (applause) — and on outcomes, on their value to students and parents.
|This is not the value Mr. Duncan is looking for…|
Dr. J. is wary of the the President’s discussion of ranking based on some notion of ‘value.’ Different universities provide different deliverables. For example Harvard, Yale and Princeton the elite universities that they are provide, in addition to a tremendous education, connections and opportunities that are difficult to put a price on. Would President Obama be the president without previously holding office as the president of the Harvard Law Review? I think not. By way of contrast, would Senator Ted Cruz be senator were he not a national champion debater from Princeton University which catapulted him to Harvard Law? Would Ben Affleck be Batman if he didn’t spend his time at Harvard? Yeah it was making a movie that mostly took place at MIT, but it was the same fucking pixie dust. Indeed Dr. J. has colleagues at NAITMC* who are star-bellied sneeches who got that star at Harvard. Even Dr. Rarity spent a year killing time in the Harvard system while her hubs was finishing his training and they gave her a star for her belly as well. In other words how do you calculate that value added by attending one of the nation’s flagship institutions.
Now lets say President Obama grants a ‘value waiver’ for Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and because he went there, Columbia. What happens to the Washington Universities and the Vanderbilts? Let’s knock it down another tier, what about Williams, Bucknell and Sewanee? And what about Kenyon? Well Kenyon will probably remain the college of choice for the daft headed children of the elite? Their parents will still be writing checks so that the precious snowflake won’t have to attend Second Tier For Undergrad Campus of State University (STFUCSU).
In other words unless you are Harvard, Yale, Princeton or maybe, MAYBE, a handful of other uber-elite private university, the sheer cost of the institution reduces its value in the eye of Guvmint’ Student Loan Rankings. So mom and pop better be paying cash or you aren’t going to Oberlin boys and girls. So where will everyone be going? The state universities.
This is yet another salvo in Obama’s war against private institutions (especially of higher learning) creating a competitive advantage above the extant advantages of state subsidized tuition. These state schools will doubly win because not only is tuition already subsidized, that subsidization increases value in state and therefore helps them in the student loan rankings.
This reminds Dr. J. of another thing. During our faculty meeting, the bosses discussed how NAITMC and other academic medical centers are tightening their belts to stay in the black over the next two years. The examples of other institutions taking severe and serious measures in addition to NAIMTC all happened to be private. While yes, UVa is cutting their health insurance benefit to save money they’re not in the same boat as the private institutions.
So to all of Dr. J.’s progressive colleagues sitting in their posh faculty lounges, get thee to Ohio State, otherwise you are in for a world of hurt at your private university!