State Universities

“Nowadays, a state university has come to mean a university that helps the state pay its bills,” a high-ranking administrator of a state university explained. “Those times when a state university was a place that the state supported financially? They are over. Now, we will only be allowed to remain in existence if we manage to scrape up enough money for the state to see us as useful.”

38 thoughts on “State Universities”

  1. In the nrw economies, all human activities have to be ‘monetized’ to justify their existence. I call it the tyrrany of the business model. “Can you hang a business model on that?”

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  2. I am rarely shocked, but this article did it:
    http://mhairi.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/the-honeytrap-of-the-worker-bees/
    Especially the
    In one case an undercover policeman married an activist and had two children with her, suddenly disappearing without explanation, then attempting to involve her in the deception once his secret had been rumbled. The position of the children within this relationship should also be considered, with the deception not only extending to his wife, but also to children who were conceived as part of a deceptive relationship.
    I read the original article and still don’t understand. The talk is about infiltrating environmental and animal rights groups – are they really that dangerous?

    From another article:
    Pete Black, an undercover officer who infiltrated anti-racist groups in the 1990s, has said that sex was widely used as a technique to blend in and gather intelligence.

    He has described an informal code that the spies should not fall in love with the women – or allow the women to fall in love with them.

    In the legal papers, the men are accused of spying on a wide range of anti-capitalist, anti-war and animal rights groups as well as environmental campaigns such as Reclaim the Streets and Earth First.

    Are those groups illegal? What do you think of such info gathering techniques?

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      1. //I feel sick.

        Me too, yes. I was sharing it with everybody, of course.

        Also see how all those are left-inclined groups, which are deemed more dangerous, even if currently in US right-wing fanatics seem more likely to endanger people, like killing Dr Tiller or “Struggling IT engineer with a grudge flies plane into IRS building in Texas after feud with taxman”
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1252040/Austin-plane-crash-Pilot-Joseph-Stack-slams-Echelon-Building-Texas.html

        I don’t even mention “just” harassing women at abortion providing clinics. Who sends agents to sleep wiith those women?

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    1. Guys, let’s just try to be reasonable, OK? We do remember that men can’t get it up by the force of will, do we? While women can, to an extent, fake sexual desire (with either very inexperienced or completely indifferent partners), for men that is very problematic. And faking such a consistent desire that would allow you to have 2 children with a woman, seriously? Just technically, how do you imagine that?

      Some animal rights groups have, indeed, engaged in terrorist activities: “From 1983 onwards, a series of fire bombs exploded in department stores that sold fur, with the intention of triggering the sprinkler systems in order to cause damage, although several stores were partly or completely destroyed.[58] In September 1985, incendiary devices were placed under the cars of Dr. Sharat Gangoli and Dr. Stuart Walker, both animal researchers with the British Industrial Biological Research Association (BIBRA), wrecking both vehicles but with no injuries, and with the ARM claiming responsibility. In January 1986, the ARM said it had placed devices under the cars of four employees of Huntingdon Life Sciences, timed to explode an hour apart from each other. A further device was placed under the car of Dr. Andor Sebesteny, a researcher for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which he spotted before it exploded.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Liberation_Front

      As a result, the investigation of those groups is conducted under Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Enterprise_Terrorism_Act)

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      1. Clarissa, you talked how monstrous it is not to tell who the father is, what about creating 2 children and then them finding *this* out? That they lived a lie? That their father spied on their mother to earn money and couldn’t care less about them (hence the disappearance)? Surely, he didn’t have to marry this woman or have 2 kids with her to spy on the organization?

        Also men do sleep with women they feel “Meh” about. All the time. To gain status in front of their friends, out of boredom, for money, etc. You yourself talked of your 2 co-students at uni joking how they’ll find rich wives and said on this very blog that men sell themselves not less than women.

        And, last but not the least, who cares whether he wanted to F*** her or not? Is it the most important thing here? Do you agree that if government has a *suspicion* that you do something illegal, it has a right to do anything? To let its’ agents impregnate you? To marry? That it’s OK since 1) she may have done something illegal and 2) he wanted to have sex with her for a while?

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      2. Clarissa,

        One of the ways that this whole spy ring was rumbled was because charges had to be dropped against activists as the covert surveillence revealled that they *had not* participated in illegal activity.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/07/mark-kennedy-surveillance-tapes-cps

        “conversations covertly recorded by Kennedy provided evidence likely to exonerate rather than incriminate the six activists.”

        These were ordinary activists, being lied to. Now I’m not suggesting that the officer who married an activist and had children with her did not have some genuine feelings for her, but not revealing that he was being paid by the state to spy on her, while he was at the alter or at the birth of their children is absolutely unconscionable. It is also inconceivable that this was done without knowledge and at least tacit approval from his handlers.

        It is perfectly possible that in this case and indeed cases of less long lasting relationships these men did have sexual desire for the activists they slept with – but that is neither here nor there. The question is whether these activists would have had sexual desire for someone if they knew that they were being paid to spy on them, extract information from them and lie to them….and was the consent for the sexual activity truly valid.

        This is awful. It is sexual and emotional abuse encouraged, facilitated, condoned and paid for by the state.

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      3. Also see today’s Guardian

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/22/undercover-police-cleared-sex-activists?fb_action_ids=10150434937177703%2C10150553290541407%2C10150465182944226%2C10150356399742325%2C10150470466266728&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline

        “When you are using the tool of sex to maintain your cover or maybe to glean more intelligence – because they certainly talk a lot more, pillow talk – you would be ready to move on if you felt an attachment growing.

        “The best way of stopping any liaison getting too heavy was to shag somebody else….”

        Undercover officer 93-97

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  3. And given the state of the economy what do people expect? With, every state burdened by increasing financial debt and thus hurting for money, what do people expect? Do they think money falls out of the sky? Where do people think money comes from anyway? And when it comes from the government where and how exactly do they think the government gets money? Most of the states bordering where I live have only seen growth in government jobs, NOT BUSINESS, and most of the small business owners that I’ve known have closed their doors due to the economy.

    Just about everything, including many businesses are subsidized by government. Not that long ago two professors were on a program–a PBS program, and these professors came to the conclusion, based on their analysis (research) that if newspaper’s were to survive that their future existence would need government intervention in the way of funding, because the current business model didn’t work. More government is always the answer for everything or mean, nasty rich people are supposed to bail everyone out. If someone does have an idea or entreprenial spirit then all the oppressive regulations crushes that! You may not agree and my views may even anger you, but as far as I’m concerned the academic environment has helped signficantly to create a lot of the problems we are facing right now.

    I would like to read the entire article that you quote above too.

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    1. I am currently reading the autobiography of Henry Ford (1863-1947) (free on Kindle!). His ideas on how industry should function have been rather surprising and pleasantly so. Perhaps when I finish reading it I shall write an article. It strikes me that, were industry now generally to function in the ways for which he argued, life would be significantly better for all.

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      1. Sounds interesting and I like people with ideas, not just complaints, blame and finger-pointing. I also don’t have anything against state universities, since I graduated from one–a science degree. I think more business skills would have been helpful, and when one doesn’t have those they then have to learn through experience. One can be accomplished with book learning, but lack common sense and practical application. There are also many people who are over-educated and under-employed as well. The problems are not simple and this type of format doesn’t tend to lend itself to in-depth discussions. And then this thread took another turn too.

        The sex stuff is probably more interesting to a lot of people rather than discussions about business, etc.

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  4. Folks, I’m sorry if I caused confusion but there is no article. This is something that the high-level administrator I met said orally. 🙂 It hasn’t been recorded anywhere, at least to my knowledge. So I wrote it down here to avoid forgetting it.

    “And given the state of the economy what do people expect?”

    – Without public education, a country cannot be competitive in terms of science, research, etc. and it will end up costing a lot more. And as for the state of the economy, let’s not believe all the fear-mongering we encounter on television. If there is money for endless, stupid, unwinnable, ruinous wars, I’m sure there is money for education.

    In any case, the meaning of the quote I provided is different. Nowadays, the state governments leech money off universities. How does that make sense?

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    1. “- Without public education, a country cannot be competitive in terms of science, research, etc. and it will end up costing a lot more.”

      I don’t disagree with that sentiment. The problem isn’t current and has been on-going for quite a while.

      “And as for the state of the economy, let’s not believe all the fear-mongering we encounter on television.”

      I don’t and suggesting I do is insulting. The segment on TV was hosted by a well-known, respected journalist. I read from many different sources. Didn’t you at one time provide a link to another article which discussed the high salaries of administrators? One wonders what the break down of costs would be at state universities, including those of the administrators.

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      1. “ne wonders what the break down of costs would be at state universities, including those of the administrators.”

        – There is no need to wonder. As a matter of law, all salaries at every public university are a matter of public record. They can be easily consulted by anybody.

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  5. “That they lived a lie? That their father spied on their mother to earn money and couldn’t care less about them (hence the disappearance)? Surely, he didn’t have to marry this woman or have 2 kids with her to spy on the organization?”

    – El, this is obviously all a silly urban myth. A relationship between two people who were together for a long time and had 2 kids together is a complex thing. Trying to analyze it in these cartoonish James Bondesque terms is useless.

    “Also men do sleep with women they feel “Meh” about. All the time. To gain status in front of their friends, out of boredom, for money, etc. You yourself talked of your 2 co-students at uni joking how they’ll find rich wives and said on this very blog that men sell themselves not less than women.”

    – I think you are missing the point. Which is that men can’t get it up with the sheer force of will. Especially, not for years, they can’t. No matter what a couple of stupid grad students joked about.

    “And, last but not the least, who cares whether he wanted to F*** her or not? Is it the most important thing here? Do you agree that if government has a *suspicion* that you do something illegal, it has a right to do anything? To let its’ agents impregnate you? To marry? That it’s OK since 1) she may have done something illegal and 2) he wanted to have sex with her for a while?”

    – You have got to know me well enough to realize that the idea of somebody impregnating me is alien to my reality. Women nowadays can choose to get pregnant and carry to term. Or choose not to. They also choose who they get pregnant by. If this woman chose to have kids with this man, then let’s recognize that she had a lot more choice in this entire process than he ever did. Unless we are talking about rape, women always decide whether to get pregnant and whether to carry to term. Men don’t. (And rightfully so, of course.)

    ” That it’s OK since 1) she may have done something illegal and 2) he wanted to have sex with her for a while?”

    – What about her? She also must have had some will of her own? Is there any evidence that she was chained, bound and gagged and forced to participate?

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    1. The problem I see with “she chose it” is that when you present a fake identity, you prevent another person from making a choice. Nobody would say “yes, he is a great scam artist and would fool 99% of people, but you had a choice, right? So don’t present yourself as a victim here, lady”.

      The same about cheating on your spouse, who didn’t choose to live with a cheating significant other and open oneself to possibility of disease. When you lie, you don’t let others choose (and you know they wouldn’t choose X, had they known the truth, that’s why liars lie in the 1st place). If one lies about married status, nationality, AIDS status, etc to make another agree to sex, this another doesn’t really choose because very relevant and important info is lied about and had it been known, the “choice” would be opposite.

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      1. “The same about cheating on your spouse, who didn’t choose to live with a cheating significant other and open oneself to possibility of disease.”

        – It is, indeed, always a choice to pretend not to know that the spouse is cheating. Believe me as a person who has been married twice, el, all of this talk about how “This creep was cheating the entire time and I had no idea” is completely dishonest. In a marriage, you always know. Only often you pretend to yourself not to know.

        “If one lies about married status, nationality, AIDS status, etc to make another agree to sex, this another doesn’t really choose because very relevant and important info is lied about and had it been known, the “choice” would be opposite”

        – You can’t be serious. How is your partner supposed to fathom what weird things anybody might consider “relevant” to sex? In my opinion, anybody who finds nationality or married status relevant to whether they want to have sex with this person is a very weird human being. How am I supposed to guess at these strange requirements? Who’s to say that there isn’t a person who has an issue of having sex with left-handed people, for example? To them, it might be super relevant. But other people’s relevancies are not something anybody can expect one to guess.

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  6. bloggerclarissa :
    Nowadays, the state governments leech money off universities. How does that make sense?

    Clarissa, it happens because it’s easier to govern a stupid nation. The forces that are behind the oil wars know that it’s easier to scare and brain wash a bunch of uneducated morons than intelligent and educated people who think for themselves.

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  7. “not revealing that he was being paid by the state to spy on her, while he was at the alter or at the birth of their children is absolutely unconscionable”

    – We can condemn it on the moral grounds but no way can it be a legal issue. If we start penalizing people for the lies they tell to get others to marry them and have their kids, if we start jailing folks for not telling the truth to their future spouses at the altar, we are opening a huge can of worms. If one person chooses to lie, the other one chooses to marry a liar. And that’s between them.

    “The question is whether these activists would have had sexual desire for someone if they knew that they were being paid to spy on them, extract information from them and lie to them….and was the consent for the sexual activity truly valid”

    – Genuine sexual desire cannot be contingent on the extent of information you have about the partner. If we go down this road, we can criminalize every single one-night stand.

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  8. You know what worries me about all this talk about slashing funding for state universities? The first programs on the chopping block are always the ones that promote independent thinking and a wider understanding of the world, languages, humanities, but nobody thinks twice about maybe cutting back on filler like business administration and communications.
    They’re also reaching the point where they’re providing funding to sciences only if the scientific studies done have some “market applications”. A professor at UWinnipeg had his funding cut while studying the mathematical modelling of the spread of infectious diseases, something which is immediately useful to the health and safety of the world, but can’t be churned out into a few fancy new pills, so it didn’t have much in the way of short-term profit. *sigh*

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    1. Exactly! Theoretical sciences get slashed everywhere, so what can we expect to happen to the Humanities??

      It’ s exactly as Maria says: this is a push to create a mass of stupid voters who can be bamboozled into anything. With high schools teaching evolution as one possibility among many and higher education being eroded, what chance does this society stand for a rule of reason?

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    2. Learning for its own sake is specifically under attack. Beware of anyone bringing the word “practical” into the education debate. People concerned about real education should milk for all it’s worth the revelation in recent years that for-profit postsecondary institutions have largely turned out to be boiler-room operations that don’t deliver on education or jobs and charge higher tuition than even private accredited schools. They seem to be mainly about gaming the financial aid system (by now reduced to mostly student loans, of course). The market fundamentalists will call it rent seeking, but I call it a business model.

      In the K-12 game, charter private schools (please propagate that meme–the PR machine cooked up “charter public schools”) have so far produced what could be called mixed results.

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  9. “There is no need to wonder. As a matter of law, all salaries at every public university are a matter of public record. They can be easily consulted by anybody.”

    They may be public record, but accessing the information is not always easy to obtain. This is an on-going problem for watchdog organizations and journalists, who routinely experience lack of cooperation and stall tactics by schools and other organizations.

    The public has the right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, especially by organizations who routinely snivel and whine that they don’t have enough money to operate. They need to be held accountable and responsible, and this is especially so given the current situation and there isn’t enough money to go around. I’m certain they can find ways to operate lean and mean to get through difficult times. The problem is no one wants too and they want everyone else to suffer, but accomodate them. They always want to reduce spending elsewhere but not them and their special needs, projects, etc.

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    1. Actually for many public universities including those in the UC system, the salaries are available on a public website. It only really takes a couple of minutes.

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  10. Why can’t stockholders find out more about the actual expenses of the companies issuing those stocks?

    To all those who think that unfettered capitalism automatically provides cheaper and better goods and pays its workers of all levels (janitor to CEO) the market wage – I give you………
    Enron. To all those who believe that regulations are useless, and that fraud is OK under the “caveat emptor” philosophy, I give you ……….. the herd-like promotion of the real estate bubble, the subprime mortgages**, the failure to back speculation with a reasonable amount of capital, the simplistic yet mathematically fancy investment algorithms (all of which are very similar), in other words, the 2008 to present F’ed world economy.

    Smartest guys in the room – NOT!

    Public institutions are a hell of a lot more transparent than corporations and groups of similar corporations (collusion to fix prices, collusion to suppress evidence and to suppress the media, and other oligopoly practices).

    ** Kindly do not maunder on about Fannie and Freddie – the CEOs of these entities followed the trend of the private investment banks, and speculated like crazy with their reserve. Furthermore, those Fannie and Freddie loans made through ordinary local (regulated) banks (not unregulated mortgage brokers) tended to be made using standard criteria re: job security, percent of income used to pay mortgage, degree of existing indebtedness, etc.

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  11. Private Miss :

    There are also many people who are over-educated and under-employed as well.

    Dog forbid we should have that. As far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as over-educated. Unless you actually think stunting the intellectual growth of part of the population is a good thing. Underemployment is a huge problem, thanks to over-utilization of (or over-relegation to) the contingent workforce.

    The sex stuff is probably more interesting to a lot of people rather than discussions about business, etc.

    What sex stuff?

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  12. I meant over-qualified…exhaustion doesn’t always mix well with writing. It’s difficult hearing one is over-qualified when seeking employment, especially when you are tasked with paying off debt for an education. Why would anyone think stunting intellectual growth is something to aspire too.

    There are plenty of educated people who don’t vote and don’t keep up with the issues–apathy is a serious problem when it comes to voting.

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    1. Discrimination against the over-qualified is another driver of the under-employment problem. As long as the slogan “any job is better than no job” is popular, there will be over-qualified applicants for jobs. If you punch below your weight, they’ll stone you for being over-qualified, or if they really want to be insulting, for slacking, whereas if you don’t they’ll stone you for being “entitled,” a word that is not in my active vocabulary because it’s become so insulting in its usual usage. And they’ll really stone you when you are not able…

      It’s like they want the process of establishing oneself to be a catch 22…

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  13. Discrimination against the over-qualified is another driver of the under-employment problem. As long as the slogan “any job is better than no job” is popular, there will be over-qualified applicants for jobs. If you punch below your weight, they’ll stone you for being over-qualified, or if they really want to be insulting, for slacking, whereas if you don’t they’ll stone you for being “entitled,” a word that is not in my active vocabulary because it’s become so insulting in its usual usage. And they’ll really stone you when you are not able…

    It’s like they want the process of establishing oneself to be a catch 22…

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