Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Friday, October 19, 2007 :::

Academia is a really weird industry.

It's dominated by non-profits. Most charities are required to spend 5% of their endowments each year, and I'm surprised to learn that universities aren't. It's not clear to me whether this is an explicit exemption or something that just happens to cover most universities.

The price for the services provided is lower than the cost of providing them and usually lower than the financial benefits to the customers, but people complain about how much the prices have been rising.

The main direct service providers - professors - are chosen for their ability to do research, which I think most people still consider the secondary purpose of a university (third, if the university has Division I sports).

And - the kicker - our country is widely considered to have a lot of the best universities in the world. We complain about how our primary and secondary schools perform compared to, say, South Korea. But the South Koreans are coming here for college.

::: posted by Steven at 12:30 AM

Academia, weird? Naaah. . . .
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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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