Friday, November 29, 2013

Free-less education

The rise in freelance lecturers in US educational institutions is concerning from many perspectives. The first question is why this is happening. If this is emanating from cost reduction (and profit enhancement), it is akin to short-sighted companies focused on next quarter’s EPS instead of better products and strategies. A related question is whether the decline in full-time tenure track faculty is a conscious effort to contain R&D (and perhaps costs).
The US business schools have been educating bean counters for many decades now. They equip them with the “latest tools,” fully capable of demonstrating maximum earnings in their companys’ income statements. Now, there are indications that the administrators of these venerable “not for profit” institutions are practicing what they have been teaching. Sure, reducing costs are important but if it adversely affects the products they make, in this case the graduates of these schools, it is going to come back and bite them later.

It is time that the universities in the country rise to the accountability of creating the best educated generation, yet. If they regress to the gimmicks of failing companies, they have only themselves to blame for the results.