I saw a tweet today that says something I've been thinking for quite some time in that distilled pith that twitter encourages:
The modern neoliberal university cares nothing for truth. Only income. Whether directly or indirectly through esteem / flawed metrics etc
— Peter Tennant (@PWGTennant) December 13, 2016
This is also true of hospitals, which do not care for health or relieving suffering but only income. The modern non-profit institution is non-profit in legalese only. Make no mistake, they are there to accumulate wealth and little else. Universities are banks with the patina of education.
Thus, here I set out a few rules I would require before considering any institution of higher education to be one dedicated to truth, knowledge, and education rather than profits and incomes.
- At least 80% of faculty are tenure-track.
- At least 80% of faculty teach at least one class every semester.
- The faculty to administration ratio is at least 3:2.
- The highest paid full-time employee makes no more than 10 times the lowest paid full-time employee.
- All facilities and administration costs charged to grants are publicly accounted and transparent.
- No more than 25% of student class-hours are taught by adjunct professors*.
- The ratio of total salary committed to faculty to administration is no lower than 1:1.
- No person who does not teach at least one course a year, or directly mentor students, shall be considered "faculty".
- Administrative service by faculty shall be paid, protected time.
- All revenue minus expenses are reinvested in an endowment, scholarships, or provided as research and dissemination funds to faculty.
Universities - to be considered non-profit institutions of learning - should have to be non-profit institutions of learning. Rather than pyramidal funnels of money to an elite administrative class.
*A class that is worth 3 credit hours and has 100 students represents 300 student class-hours