Get Rid of Tenure and Tax Some University Endowment Funds

A couple of really interesting ideas in this podcast that I totally buy into.

The first is to get rid of tenure. This I had already concluded many years ago. It’s generally giving job security to people in the least productive stretch of their careers, then passing that on to students who’d have to pay more. The productivity statement is a generality, of course, meaning it applies to most, but  not everyone. However, it’s the same problem governments face with inefficiencies due to the fact they are challenged to fire staff, especially unionized staff.

A related point is the increase of international students who pay the full tuition, huge increases in numbers in some schools. More and more international students are being let in not mostly for diversity’s sake, but for the cash they bring to the schools’ coffers, especially schools that get government funding that fails to meet their wants. That’s also been obvious to me. Having some international students is definitely good, of course, but we have enough diversity in our culture to keep our campuses diverse, if only we’d also remove some systemic barriers to admitting them. Now, whether those massive increases in international student numbers decrease seats to local or national students, or decrease education quality due to class size, the major benefit to huge numbers of international students is for the endowment funds of the schools, not to the students or campus quality.

The second is to tax post-secondary school endowment funds if seats available at those schools funds don’t grow proportionately to the fund growth. Simple argument is that those schools with endowment funds become a for profit entity rather than a not-for-profit because they are hoarding cash and/or spending it on extravagances rather than essentials.

Some other interesting topics regarding better measures for success are also discussed.