More Fake Publications Rock Academia

If you need another reason to question why we pour so much money into the academic idea machine, look at this piece by Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company about a smart researcher at Harvard who decided to punk all of the new journals who kept asking him for submissions. The professor named Mark Shrimes ,sent them a piece called, “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” and 17 of the journals quickly accepted it. Why? Well, they asked for $500 for “processing”. Who cares if the article is any good. The academic industrial complex just sails on, oblivious to the trouble it leaves in its wake.

Miriam Weeks is not alone

I guess we have grown far too jaded now, either that we now believe that submitting to the College Industrial Complex is the highest morality and any measures to do it are justified. Perhaps I am the only father in the country who is disquieted by the fact that more and more of our daughters are working their way through College on their backs.

“Where the Sugar Babies Are” by Terrance F. Ross at TheAtlantic.Com on Jan 15 2015

In recent years the rising cost of student debt has given birth to an odd phenomenon: a population of ostensibly generous older men who appear poised to solve the higher-education crisis, one student at a time. Once a relatively underground subculture, this benevolent group of men is coming to the rescue across the country, essentially volunteering to subsidize the students’ tuition costs. But that description could be, shall I say, sugarcoating it.

Yes, these men are ponying up their money—plus more—for financially struggling students. However, it’s not free money, and it’s not all students. In other words, these benefactors typically expect some compensation from their beneficiaries—students who generally tend to be women willing to accept the help from the men in exchange for providing some tender loving care. And, at least, flaunting their good looks.

“Sugar daddies”—the official moniker granted to these wealthy men—and the microcosm they occupy aren’t anything new, but they’ve become more mainstream in recent years. That they’ve emerged as a noteworthy group during America’s student-debt crisis is indicative of their growing prevalence—as well as that of “sugar babies,” the ones entrenched in that crisis. And the subculture—”daddies” and “babies” alike—appears to be expanding rapidly. 2014 saw a huge spike in sugar babies nationwide, especially in the southern states, according to new data from SeekingArrangement, a site where “babies” and “daddies” sign up and connect.

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Still, in terms of sheer numbers, it was a private school—New York University, which this year charges $46,170 a student for tuition and fees—that this year became the first college ever to cross the “1000 sugar babies” threshold. After all, the cost of living in New York City is arguably higher than it is in any other U.S. city—an even-harder reality for a financially strapped college student.

Uber’s driver-partners are highly educated. Very educated.

“Uber’s driver-partners are highly educated. Nearly half of Uber’s driver-partners (48 percent)
have a college degree or higher, considerably higher than the corresponding percentage for taxi
drivers and chauffeurs (18 percent), and above that for the workforce as a whole as well (41
percent). Only 12 percent of Uber’s driver-partners have a high school degree or less, whereas
over half (52 percent) of taxi drivers and chauffeurs have a high school degree or less. Seven
percent of Uber’s driver-partners are currently enrolled in school, mostly taking classes toward a
four-year college degree or higher. ”

From a paper by Jonathan Hall and Alan Krueger.

Million Dollar Babies

Do you want to know why tuition continues to soar? Do you want know why the Colleges are always bleating “feed me” like the carnivorous plants in the Little Shop of Horrors?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three dozen college presidents at private colleges and universities made more than $1 million in 2012 … according to a survey of the 500 private schools with the largest endowments.  [by the Chronicle of Higher Education]

The Chronicle finds the median compensation for private college presidents was a little less than $400,000. That’s an increase of 2.5 percent from a year earlier. …

Many presidents who are members of religious orders earned no compensation at Roman Catholic institutions.

‘Nuff said. OK?

See some reporting by Sandhya Kambhampati at the Chronice of Higher Edumacation. 

Another Drop-Out, Another Captain of Industry

Who is called “Mr. Television” because everyone in Hollywood wants his approval? Cecila Kang at the Washington Post dubs Ted Sarados of Netflix with the title because he’s the big decision maker in Hollywood, the one who decides what Netflix will buy. Why do I mention it? Kang writes:

He enrolled in the local community college and worked at the school newspaper. But he spent more of his time writing about movies and TV than studying and eventually dropped out because of poor grades.

A community college drop out. Take that Ivy League grads with your screenplays in search of a home. Take that Harvard Lampoon leaders. Your life will be decided by a community college drop out.

Uber Wants to Hire College Grads

Good news for everyone mired in college debt. Uber wants to help. They’re different from a traditional cab company. They have a special program to help you “manage” your college debt. I haven’t taken the time to read it, but I guess it’s just another way to keep you driving that cab as long as you can. They make money and you scurry on the hamster wheel to get out of debt. Whoo hoo! Win-win, baby. You wrote all of those term papers just so you could— drive a cab!

For more, read Kevin Montgomery at ValleyWag. 

A new year a new depradation

Chinese Undergrads Help Set New Record:  Growing Number of International Students Remains a Bright Spot in Higher Education By Douglas Belkin in the Wall Street Journal on Nov. 17, 2014

Another wave of Chinese undergraduates pushed the number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities up 8% last year to a new all-time high of nearly 900,000, according to a new report.

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U.S. schools aggressively recruit students from other countries, particularly in China where the rising middle class has fueled dramatic growth. … Last year, 274,439 Chinese students came to the U.S. to study, a 16.5% increase over the year before and nearly one third of the total international population. …

There are now four schools with more than 10,000 non-U.S. students. Leading the pack is New York University* with 11,164. …

The schools with the highest total of international students behind NYU are the University of Southern California, University of Illinois—Urbana Champagne, Columbia University and Purdue University.

I will repeat last years rant about this trend, because I think it is the single most import fact that lays bare the tower of bu11$#;+ that the CIC feeds the American public to scrounge more money from their bleeding wallets:

What does the record number of foreign students [see above] tell us about the College Industrial Complex?

First it tells us that it really is all about the Benjamins. Glories of the liberal arts? Not the foreigners. They can’t read English well enough to deconstruct the heteronormative violence inherent in Shakespeare. They are over in the engineering quad studying computer programming.

Second, I have heard many college presidents tell students and parents that their tuition dollars, even if paid in cash at retail, do not begin to cover the cost of their four years at Old Siwash. If that were true, they wouldn’t be rooting around the farthest corners of Shendong province looking for cash customers. They would be reducing their losses by cutting the number of students.

Third, the whole thing makes the colleges complaints that governments are shorting them look very shabby. Why should the government pump money into the CIC either by direct grant, student loans and grants, or tax exemptions? The answer as I understand it is that the future of our country depends on a citizenry that has college degrees. If that is so, why do the the colleges, who are selling it to foreigners, deserve subsidies from the taxpayers?

Those of you who believe that spending their bright college years in the ivy covered walls, will cause foreign students to become friends of the United States would do well to contemplate the example of an Egyptian school teacher named Sayyid Qtub, who spent a year at an American college and was so appalled by what he saw there, that he went back to Egypt and became one of the founders of radical Islamism.

A note about the grad students. Many of them are mere lab servants spending a few years watching test tubes go drip, drip, drip in the labs of the Principal Investigators. If they were making tennis shoes you would cry for them. If the PIs had to hire Americans and pay them a decent wage, it would restrict the conference budget.

* I am not surprised to see NYU here. By all accounts they are most over-leveraged college in the US. Indeed they seem to be little but a real estate scam on the verge of collapse.