30.1.06

SPECIAL PLEADING? Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Education interviews two Kates from Wisconsin, retired president Katharine C. Lyall and senior lecturer Kathleen R. Sell, who are shopping their new book, The True Genius of America at Risk: Are We Losing Our Public Universities to De Facto Privatization? (Maybe for the summer reading. There's a little problem in optimal intermodal competition I want to solve first. Stay tuned.)

Read the interview and make your own judgements.

One wishes, however, that university administrators would choose their analogies carefully. Here's a defense of the corporate-style salaries and golden parachutes senior administrators receive.
This means we need to recalibrate both faculty and administrative compensation against the markets in which they must compete for talent. We cannot expect public institutions to succeed in a competitive environment while continuing to treat them like wholly owned state agencies. States that cling to this outmoded state-agency model, will soon find their world-class public universities becoming as distinctive as their state departments of transportation.
Is this comparing Colorado's Betsy Hoffman to Amtrak's David Gunn?

On the other hand, Wisconsin's department of transportation provides money for the Hiawatha. Last time I checked, you can expect to complete your trip in 89 minutes or less about 90% of the time. Are there any degree programs in the Wisconsin system as reliable?

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