25 May 2011

More for those that have the most?

A little more evidence that institutions are not interested in a level playing field.

Larry Faulkner, the former president of UT-Austin... wants more funding for the great universities.

Not all universities. The great ones.

That’s from a report on a panel discussion about research universities in Texas in The Texas Tribune.

Not only are people saying that the institutions with the most money should get even more money, they also want the most promising talent pool funneled into them too:

Rex Tillerson, the chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil... argued that there was a need to “differentiate” in terms of placement of students in universities — i.e., to make sure that the best students go to well-funded, top universities, as opposed to trying to help everyone equally.

... He added: “If we want to take advantage of our great research universities, we cannot burden them with remedial education.”

A reason that teaching is seen as a “burden” is because there are not enough professors. Open up tenure-track positions. Many hands make light work. (I understand this is not a popular option for universities right now, because there is a push to cut instead of invest.)

Ray Bowen, the chairman of the National Science Board and the former president of Texas A&M, said that Texas faced a “unique problem,” because many of our brightest students go out of state as a result of the state’s lack of research universities.

I’d be interested to see the data supporting that statement. I doubt the vast majority of high school students are looking around going, “I dunno, that department didn’t have enough Nature papers over the last five years...”

It is always interesting to watch those with power and money argue that they need even more power and more money.

Related posts
Inclining the playing field
Balkanizing small universities
To have and have not. Mostly not.

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