Hubby's Latest....

Welcome to Acting Balanced... if you're visiting for the first time, you're in for a treat... you get to start out your visit to Acting Balanced with a rant from Hubby ...

A rant - Lately, in local papers here, they have been ranting about how the school I teach at should have cut budget rather than raise tuition. They rant that the school is still hiring people and building facilities - that these areas should be cut before raising tuition.

First, let re remind people that buildings take several years of planning before a shovel goes into the ground. The economy was a different story when the planning and approval processes were taking place. To cut the buildings at the point when the economy went south would have cost more than constructing the buildings. I would also like to point out that the buildings being replaced were over 50 years old and built at a time when higher education was a very different entity than it is now. With the economy now going into an information and innovation base, new facilities are needed to allow the students to graduate with skills and abilities required in today's market place.

Second, while I am not sure of every hire being absolutely necessary, I do want to point out that the faculty at my institution has not had a raise in three years. No COLA, no merit, nothing. When I went into higher education, I knew I was giving up salary to do something I love but the gap between what I would make in industry with my experience and qualifications is getting extremely wide. If you want 'those who can't' to teach: pay cheaply - one get what one pays for. I love my job but I love feeding, clothing and supporting my family more. At some point the cost-benefit analysis will have me have to ask the question about other options - why shouldn't I explore them?

Finally, I want to point out that my particular institution as a state school receives only 10% of its budget from the state (and is still going down). Yet as funding is decreasing the cost of maintaining and running infrastructure and the cost of education is rising. We need technology upgrades to keep our students on the cutting edge. We need research money to support an innovation economy. So where should the cutting occur? We are already down to two photocopiers for over 100 faculty? While I do believe there is some waste occurring (what large organization has none?), I honestly believe that there is not enough cuts to be made to support no tuition increases. In total, we have to make choices in life. We have to make choices as a society. Were do our priorities lie? As we move into more of an innovation and information based economy, does under funding higher education really make sense? How are we as a nation going to be more competitive in a global economy that is based on knowledge and invention when our youth are not being given the tools to succeed in that world? Education is the key to sustaining a middle class, without it, we are just headed to a country were corporate feudalism is the rule - not the exception.

By the way, I usually only post this on Couponning 101, but did you know that
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I am participating in the following today:

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop