Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Harvard preparing for reduced income

I rarely post College information, mainly because I'm suspicious of the notion that they are selfless keepers of the knowledge who graciously share the information. In my experience so far, all they do is re-enforce the box the students have already been taught to think within. Original thought from a college campus seems to be rather short in supply, to my admittedly limited experience.

However, I may have to reconsider that notion. Harvard University may be facing a similar situation to the University of California fund shortage I already blogged about. I blogged on that one because the answer the UC system came up with was original, they cut students. Obviously this struck me as rather funny. The very idea of a school with no students is at the very least, oxymoronic. 

Harvard University as I said is facing budget shortages, and is considering it's options regarding spending cuts. 

The story linked above highlights a number of universities, none of which has thus far gone with the plan from the University of California system, reducing students. Most have gone with hiring freezes, postponement of construction or other large projects, and reviews to determine where additional savings could be located. 

The reason I may have to reconsider my view towards Universities, is that only one has gone with the blatantly stupid, removing students, while the others are taking a more mature and obviously a more serious look at the issue. Perhaps the knee jerk asinine response from the University of California was less about saving money, and more about throwing a tantrum. It would be hard to say one way or the other, however I'd like to think that even the least educated among us are well aware of one simple sobering fact. The purpose of a school is to teach students. If you have no students, why have a school? 

I'd like to congratulate Harvard University for not following the example of the University of California system. Perhaps this trend of reducing expense by getting rid of students won't continue in our schools after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easier to be mature when you have a multi-billion-dollar endowment and no tax burden than it is when you are a tax-funded institution.

But if I was Harvard, I wouldn't change anything. There is no way they could ever spend their endowment down to a dangerous level. And they have no need to save it for anything.

I remember a story from the old Soviet Union about a shoe factory that only made shoes in size 6, because it was more efficient than making a wide range of sizes. I don't know why, but it strikes me as not dissimilar to the case of the UC system.

5:13 PM  

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