Friday, May 13, 2011

The Problem With Defunding Higher Ed

This story involves the Koch brothers, so you've been warned that by the end you will want to kick someone, hard.

In exchange for a 1.5 million dollar grant to Florida State's Economics department, Charles Koch gets to screen and sign off on any new hires.

You want to know why economists are such doouchenoodles (both in theory and in real life)? This is why. No one who has a different opinion from the standard "give rich people everything and suffer the small folks" can get hired. But because we've massively defunded education publicly, universities gotta make up the difference somehow. And people are catching on that maybe needing to take out 50k worth of loans to get an basic bachelor's degree and still not get a job is a bad idea, so schools can't wring any more cash out of their students. So corporate shitbags get to set the agenda from the very beginning by making sure that the only theories out there are theories that benefit them. They pay off the theory makers and educators. Students never see another side.

This story gets a h/t to Ruth, who didn't know until she went to college that people had died for the right to organize their labor. She didn't get that info in the very good public schools she attended as a kid, even though she was a geek like me and read all of the assigned history books. She got a different view of how the world could be from a community college prof. If the Koch brothers, or even Miscrosoft, was funding that school, she might never have learned about it.

In other higher ed news, the other day 50 University of Washington students stormed the president's office to protest the fact that the school contracts with Sodexo, known for their human rights abuses. 25 of them got arrested.

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