Scots Prof to Students: Sell A Kidney To Pay Your Fees
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  • WigWag

    Professor Mead is right about this but instead of kvetching about it, why doesn’t he do something about it. After all as a well compensated faculty member (or is it adjunct faculty member?) of first Yale and now Bard, isn’t he part of the problem?

    Instead, Professor Mead could invite Professor Berger, Professor Bhagwati and numerous other academic friends to join him in creating a virtual university in cyberspace. Students could take courses from some of the smartest people on the planet, the tuition would only be a fraction of what students typically pay now, and faculty members like Professor Mead could still earn dramatically more than they are earning now.

    The trick in this case is first disintermediation followed by value added mediation. First Professor Mead and colleagues would cut out all the middle men. Enormous salaries for people like Richard Levin and Leon Botstein would disappear; after all, mostly they spend their time fundraising and in Mead’s virtual university that skill would be extraneous.

    All the other expenses associated with a bricks and mortar institution would also be unnecessary; no deans, no campus police, no heating and air-conditioning for dorms or classrooms, etc.

    This is obviously the wave of the future. Instead of talking about it, why doesn’t Professor Mead go out and get started already?

  • Thrasymachus

    I particularly love that she tried to *fix the price*!

  • Jim.

    @WigWag — the problem here is, for-profit universities are yet more expensive than private colleges, and the value of the information gained at such institutions has been called into question. Certainly, it’s not a better value for the price than ocw.mit.edu.

    I suspect what’s hurting the country and industry is the fact that the “get a degree ==> get hired for a good-paying job” system is getting gamed to the point that it simply doesn’t work anymore.

    The important part — the knowledge, the skills — are not adequately reflected by the certification. But it is the certification that confers the material benefits. And it’s so tough to fire someone these days (and it’s impossible to revoke someone’s degree) that the system is not self-correcting.

    I’d like to hear WRM discuss this as another failure of the Blue Social Model, which it certainly is.

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