University president as CEO – Takes his act on the road

Here is a letter that I sent on 3/28/08 to the Houston Chronicle, commenting upon one aspect of another colossal bubble that appears close to bursting:  the cost of ‘higher education.’  This letter was published in the Chron’s 3/31/08 edition.

I see Mark Yudof has decided to resign as UT chancellor and become the president of the University of California, where he is to replace an individual who resigned after a disclosure that “top UC administrators were receiving millions of dollars of questionable perks and extra pay.”  Mr. Yudof, whose pay-package suggests that he is not a neophyte in matters relating to administrative compensation, apparently specialized at UT in coming up with creative ways to raise additional money for the university ($2.7 billion in 6 years) while making it look like he was only raising “tuition” modestly and was not tapping into additional state funds.  “Tuition” is in quotes because, following established public-sector practice, his dramatic increases in the charges to students were labeled as “fees” and pretty much everything else other than what they were, which was, tuition increases.  From previous articles in The Chronicle, it appears that UT needs all of that additional cash in order to remain “competitive” with other leading state universities – not that UT’s past efforts have been all that successful in moving it up the ratings scales with the East Coast media.  Given that undergraduate education has, along with our healthcare industry, become a monster that feeds itself better than it feeds those it is supposed to serve, one has to wonder how much longer the public will continue to put up with this stuff.
[Posted on 10 Feb 2012]

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