College Most Certainly Is A Business

I found this article on CNN today about how college presidents are reluctant to be a part of U.S. News & World Report’s yearly top college survey. Here’s what made me laugh: “A letter was sent out last May by Lloyd Thacker, executive director of The Education Conservancy, and 12 college presidents to hundreds of their colleagues asking them to "refuse to fill out the U.S. News and World Report reputation survey and refuse to use the rankings in any promotional efforts on behalf of their college or university." Thacker told CNN that "rankings have reduced students to consumers, education to product, and gaining admission into college a high-priced game that has to be played."

Did Mr. Thacker just crawl out from under a rock? College students ARE consumers, and they’d better be damn good ones for the price of education these days; education IS a product – you pay for an education that will benefit your life, sort of like toilet paper and pantyhose; and admissions IS a game that must be played. Everyone knows it’s not what you know that gets you into college, but how well you score on the SATs or how “underprivileged” you are.

Where is this man’s head? Academics isn’t some wonderland in which people walk around awed by and grateful for the knowledge bestowed upon them. Sometimes colleges suck and students will switch if they can. You’d better damn well think your college is some kind of “industry” if you want your college to succeed.

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One thought on “College Most Certainly Is A Business

  1. I’ve certainly come to understand this issue so much more this year at GCC, especially coming from the president’s mouth: “retention” – it’s not about the greater good for the students per se, but it is about keeping that money at the school; when they drop, there goes the money. College is certainly a business, just like pretty much everything else in our capitalist society.

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