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Alex Usher and that HESA blog are very good. Funny you blog about his post today, because for the first time ever I left a comment on that particular post. (To say he forgot to mention that students pay rent for residence room, and those rents, AFAIK, cover the full cost of building residences, so that even if students didn't care whether they lived in residence or rented off campus, there would be no net savings for universities from building fewer residences.)

For a faculty member, a higher research profile pays off in terms of getting competing offers from other universities, which your university may match even if you don't take those offers. Teaching? Not so much. But prestige amongst one's peers is also a big motivator.

Yep. In the longer term, the most important measure of a university's success is how many students want to go there, and how good those students are. I've just been looking at our admissions/applications data this morning, as I do every couple of days this time of year (when I'm in my associate dean's job). I'm not sure if regular faculty think about it much. At the aggregate level, there's a very strong link between our students and our pay. At the individual level, little link at all.

I forgot to say: prestige amongst one's peers is largely prestige as a researcher. Teaching not so much.

At my undergrad university, winning the Student Union Teaching Award or being nominated for the same was a big feather for a prof aspiring to tenure. Faculties would always take the more able teaching prof of two candidates who had equivalent research backgrounds.

If they could avoid it being a problem, they would make it so.

The real-estate debacle at UQaM is a nice illustration of the problems of accountability when adminstrators try to be entrepreneurial. Long story short, the adminstration had a private-sector real-estate development deal go sour to tune of over $100M IIRC. (I'm hoping someone will provide a link to the relevant facts of the case.) The hard question is who to hold responsible.

Should the govt let the university go bankrupt?
Should it simply cover the university's capital deficit from general revenues?
Should it cover UQaM's capital deficit with capital funds from other provincial universities?
Should it raise tuition fees to make up the lost funds? (Given the demonstrations we saw here last year, there's no chance of that.)

Simon: all in all, the ilôt Voyageur thingy may have gone up to $ 400G. Nobody knows for sure.
Il you begin to google "ilôt ,, as soon as you get to type "ilôt V the terms "ilôt Voyageur" ilôt Voyageur uquam" and "ilôt Voyageur scandale" pop in at 1st, 2nd and 4th position. I don't know any brief account. It has been running for so long, the file is ten feet deep...
Such as it is for those who either don't have a life or wish to spend the only one they will ever have


Why does the "core teaching" function of universities need to be publicly funded at all? (Basic scientific research maybe, but not transmission of job skills).

Critics like to complain that for-profit universities stink. But at the same time, isn't there a massive crowding out effect from publicly subsidized universities that squeezes the for-profit market?

If govt wants to assist poor young people who want to go to university, I think it would be better to give (means tested) tuition vouchers and then get out of the way.

The current system (at least in the US) encourages lots of young people to waste time studying useless subjects and rack up huge debt. Why not give the private sector more of a crack at it?

Here's a promising online program, Western Governors University (not private, I believe, but no reason why it couldn't be):

"We charge tuition at a flat rate every six months. If you can complete your program in less time, you only pay tuition for the time it takes. Essentially, the faster you progress, the more you save—a big incentive to work hard that you won’t find at other major schools.

TIME Magazine called WGU "the best relatively cheap university you've never heard of."

Oops, link: http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/WGU_different

"Yep. In the longer term, the most important measure of a university's success is how many students want to go there, and how good those students are."

That is rather sad considering how low informed student choices are. I know 2 cases were universities that just changed the name of a program suddenly had 10 times more applicants. Fancy prefixes like international or environment (in English) always work great in Germany.

hix: fair point. I know of a similar case where changing the name of a program suddenly created a massive increase in applications.

A few years ago (3 or 4?), on this website, was an article written by a faculty member at some canadian university - maybe it was even one of the creators of this website.

It dealt with how in their faculty, they moved towards offering extra courses and getting extra revenue to make use of resources being wasted - particularly the lack of courses offered in summer months.

Each faculty essentially has a budget and staff and what is offered was not necessarily what students wanted to take, but was a form of central planning. some courses had demand that exceeded supply, while others were difficult to fill unless epople needed a course and had no other choices left.

Anyone remember this and have a link or copy?

Community colleges result in shorter returns to government in the form of federal tax revenue. Michigan had "Finance Advisor" as a growing career, as advice, just before the recession. But in general. Universities produce longer-term gains. Community colleges can write scientific papers in trade journals. They should strive for penning a 3rd of these. I'd expect the federal government to be more concerned with unemployment and getting tax revenue of low unemployment sector graduates (after entering the workforce). Provincially, longer-term education and health suggests they are more tied to the fate of Universities.

One time-honored technique for reducing stress and focusing one.
Keeps you Hydrated A cup of beneficial Rooibos tea counts towards your body's daily fluid intake. Well, the Sunshine Lemon gives us a classic lemon taste with a little twist: Lemon grass.

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