DO NOT ALLOW NEO-LIBERAL PUSH TO END ALL CORPORATE AND WEALTH TAXATION TO STARVE GOVERNMENT COFFERS END ALL THAT IS PUBLIC!
SIMPLY RECOVERING FOR -PROFIT EDUCATION FRAUD NOW A TRILLION AND MORE DOLLARS WILL FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION ITSELF.
Regarding Basu's assessment of closing Historically Black Colleges:
If Basu simply shared the goal of Maryland neo-liberal policy then people would see what the individual policies add up to be. Since NO ONE WANTS THE POLICIES OR GOALS.....ALL OF THIS HAS TO BE 'SECRET'. So, Basu gives us a number of reasons that Historically Black Colleges are in decline and none of them are the real reason.......
THEY ARE BEING DEFUNDED SO THEY WILL FAIL. THIS IS THE NEO-LIBERAL APPROACH TO ENDING ALL PUBLIC SERVICES AND PROGRAMS....DEFUND THEM UNTIL THE FAIL.
Let's talk first about the goal of higher education policy for neo-liberals.....ALL MARLAND POLS ARE NEO-LIBERALS.... The goal is to consolidate higher education just as with banks to build a corporate complex and call it a university. They are corporatizing our public universities and building with the same model as a global corporation. This means you close all the state colleges and universities except the designated corporate complex-----and you redirect their operations to that of corporate job training/human resources. UNIVERSITY AS GLOBAL CORPORATION FUNDED WITH PUBLIC MONEY WITH THE INTENT TO CREATE PRODUCTS TO SELL FOR PROFIT.
THIS IS THE NEO-LIBERAL POLICY THAT HAS MADE OUR PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES INTO CORPORATIONS AND IT IS WHAT FUELS THE COSTS OF TUITION AND IMPOVERISHMENT OF STAFF. You have the CEO and executives earning far more than necessary because that is what corporations do.....and you have the impoverished staff as you do with all corporations.
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AND JOHNS HOPKINS ARE CORPORATIONS ABOVE BEING A UNIVERSITY. THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF PRIVATIZATION OF A PUBLIC ASSET TO HAVE TAXPAYERS SUPPORT THE COSTS OF OPERATION WHILE THE CORPORATION MAXIMIZES PROFIT.
Below you see an article that does a good job in stating this goal. I want to emphasize, this is not an issue for an Historically Black College only,......it is an issue for all public universities and students wanting a liberal arts and humanities education. Because neo-liberals are killing all that is public...there are no need for history, civics, literature, psychology, sociology except in Ivy League schools.....public universities are about job training and corporate profit. INNOVATION = PRODUCT TO SELL = PROFIT FOR PARTNERING CORPORATIONS. So, if people are saying-----WE DO NOT NEED BLACK COLLEGES YOU NEED TO THINK THIS ISSUE IS ABOUT DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT OFFERS EQUAL ACCESS AND OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO LEARN. Democratic education is about developing citizens who have a broad exposure to education that allows them to move between occupations. Job training colleges are simply corporate Human Resources that take the place of specific training for a specific job.....A CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY.
So, what neo-liberals as Maryland are doing is ending public funding of education and making schools partner with corporations for financial support. This is because corporations and the rich are no longer paying taxes and massive corporate fraud steals billions from state and local coffers every year. So, they say----public revenue goes to corporate subsidy and there's no money to fund the public services and programs. This is the logic behind making public universities operate as corporations with patented products sold to existing global corporations as subsidized R & D. So, University of Maryland Baltimore has its Biotech research building with its corporate partners and profit off of research as does Johns Hopkins. Both using taxpayer money to do this and both isolating the profit to individual departments run by what used to be department heads who are now simply corporate executives.
The consolidation is necessary because there is a limit to how much a state or city can tax its citizens to fuel these two corporate universities. It is not only Black colleges that are being dismantled....all public community colleges are simply job training centers......there are very few opportunities to move to strong 4 year universities. So, all of our community colleges are now geared to train us for a specific job and not to give us the education needed to move us through different careers throughout life. Even these community colleges are called McDonald's University and MedStar University....THIS IS NOT PUBLIC EDUCATION. We listen as St Mary's College, a public liberal arts college has one of the highest tuition in the country for this kind of school because state funding is not bringing the cost of tuition down. All public funding is going to the two corporate universities. Neo-liberals are deliberately defunding public liberal arts and humanities colleges because they do not earn a profit and there is no needs for the public to learn what Ivy League schools are teaching.
Remember, liberal arts and humanities are a cornerstone to democratic and public as citizens education. It has its origin in the founding of our country. Neo-liberals are trying to make 90% of Americans into peasants with the few attending Ivy League schools taught skills needed for leadership and statesmanship. If you look at University of Maryland College Park an average of 3.9 grade point average for a public university with marketing overseas for wealthy foreign students taking its public budget.....IS NOT A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY.
So, when people like Basu pretend the decline in attendance or standing in public universities comes from simple competition and there is no competition with two corporate universities getting all the public funding for development and marketing......YOU HAVE PROPAGANDA AND NOT COMMENTARY!
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Monday 17 February 2014
Compared to other developed countries, equal education has been a low priority in America, with less spending on poor children than rich ones and with repeated cutbacks in state funding.
How Privatization Perverts Education
Profit-seeking in the banking and health care industries has victimized Americans. Now it's beginning to happen in education, with our children as the products.
There are good reasons—powerful reasons—to stop the privatization efforts before the winner-take-all free market creates a new vehicle for inequality. At the very least, we need the good sense to slow it down while we examine the evidence about charters and vouchers.
1. Charter Schools Have Not Improved Education
The recently updated CREDO study at Stanford revealed that while charters have made progress since 2009, their performance is about the same as that of public schools. The differences are, in the words of the National Education Policy Center, "so small as to be regarded, without hyperbole, as trivial." Furthermore, the four-year improvement demonstrated by charters may have been due to the closing of schools that underperformed in the earlier study, and also by a variety of means to discourage the attendance of lower-performing students.
Ample evidence exists beyond CREDO to question the effectiveness of charter schools (although they continue to have both supporters and detractors). In Ohio, charters were deemed inferior to traditional schools in all grade/subject combinations. Texas charters had a much lower graduation rate in 2012 than traditional schools. In Louisiana, where Governor Bobby Jindal proudly announced that "we're doing something about [failing schools]," about two-thirds of charters received a D or an F from the Louisiana State Department of Education in 2013. Furthermore, charters in New Orleans rely heavily on inexperienced teachers and even its model charter school Sci Academy has experienced a skyrocketing suspension rate, which is the second highest in the city. More trouble looms for the over-chartered city in a lawsuit filed by families of disabled students contending that equal educational access has not been provided for their children.
2. The Profit Motive Perverts the Goals of Education
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Forbes notes: "The charter school movement began as a grassroots attempt to improve public education. It’s quickly becoming a backdoor for corporate profit." A McKinsey report estimates that education can be a $1.1 trillion business in the U.S. Meanwhile, state educational funding continues to be cut and budget imbalances are worsened by the transfer of public tax money to charter schools.
Education funding continues to be cut largely because corporations aren't paying their state taxes.
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So philanthropists like Bill Gates and Eli Broad and Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Bezos and the Walton family, who have little educational experience among them and, who have little accountability to the public, are riding the free-market wave and promoting "education reform" with lots of standardized testing.
Just Like the Fast-Food Industry: Profits for CEOs, Low Wages for the Servers
Our nation's impulsive experiment with privatization is causing our schools to look more like boardrooms than classrooms. Charter administrators make a lot more money than their public school counterparts and their numbers are rapidly increasing. Teachers, on the other hand, are paid less and they have fewer years of experience and a higher turnover rate. The patriotic-sounding "Teach for America" charges public school districts $3,000 to $5,000 per instructor per year. Teachers don't get that money, the business owners do.
Good Business Strategy: Cut Employees, Use Machines to Teach
The profit motive also leads to shortcuts in the educational methods practiced on our children. Like "virtual" instruction. The video-game-named Rocketship Schools have $15/hour instructors monitoring up to 130 kids at a time as they work on computers. In Wisconsin, half the students in virtual settings are attending schools that are not meeting performance expectations. Only one out of twelve "cyber schools" met state standards in Pennsylvania. In Los Angeles public money goes for computers instead of needed infrastructure repair.
K12 Inc., the largest online, for-profit Educational Management Organization in the U.S., is a good example of what the Center for Media and Democracy calls "America’s Highest Paid Government Workers" -- that is, the CEOs of corporations that make billions by taking control of public services. While over 86 percent of K12's profits came from taxpayers, and while the salaries of K12's eight executives went from $10 million to over $21 million in one year, only 27.7 percent of K12 Inc. online schools met state standards in 2010-2011, compared to 52 percent of public schools.
It gets worse with the Common Core Standards, an unproven Gates-funded initiative that requires computers many schools don't have. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that "Next year, K-12 schools across the United States will begin implementing Common Core State Standards, an education initiative that will drive schools to adopt technology in the classroom as never before...Apple, Google, Cisco and a swarm of startups are elbowing in to secure market share." States are being hit with unexpected new costs, partly for curriculum changes, but also for technology upgrades, testing, and assessment.
Banker's Ethics in the Principal's Office
Finally, the profit motive leads to questionable ethics among school operators, if not outright fraud. After a Los Angeles charter school manager misused funds, the California Charter Schools Association insisted that charter schools be exempt from criminal laws because they are private. The same argument was used in a Chicago case. Charters employ the privatization defense to justify their generous salaries while demanding instructional space as public entities. States around the country are being attracted to the money, as, for example, in Texas and Ohio, where charter-affiliated campaign contributions have led to increased funding and licenses for charter schools.
3. Advanced Profit-Making: Higher Education
At the college level, for-profit schools eagerly clamor for low-income students and military veterans, who conveniently arrive with public money in the form of federal financial aid. For-profit colleges get up to 90 percent of their revenue from U.S. taxpayers. Less incentive remains for these schools after tuition is received, as evidenced by the fact that more than half of the students enrolled in for-profit colleges in 2008-9 left without a degree or diploma.
As with K-12 education, the driving need for profit directs our students to computer screens rather than to skilled human communicators. A Columbia University study found that "failure and withdrawal rates were significantly higher for online courses than for face-to-face courses." The University of Phoenix has a 60 percent dropout rate.
The newest money-maker is the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course). Thanks to such sweeping high-tech strategies, higher ed is increasingly becoming a network of diploma processors, with up to a 90 percent dropout rate, and with the largest business operations losing the most students. For a 2012 bioelectricity class at Duke, for example, 12,725 students enrolled, 3,658 attempted a quiz, and 313 passed. Yet “schools” like edX are charging universities $250,000 per course, then $50,000 for each re-offering of the course, along with a cut of any revenue generated by the course.
4. Lower-Performing Children Left Behind
The greatest perversion of educational principles is the threat to equal opportunity, a mandate that was eloquently expressed by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the 1954 Supreme Court decision on Brown vs. the Board of Education: "Education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments...Such an opportunity...is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms." But we're turning away from that important message. The National Education Policy Center notes that "Charter schools...can shape their student enrollment in surprising ways," through practices that often exclude "students with special needs, those with low test scores, English learners, or students in poverty."
The Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), perhaps the most acclaimed charter organization, says it doesn't do that. KIPP has its supporters and it proudly displays the results of an independent study by Mathematica Policy Research, which concluded that "The average impact of KIPP on student achievement is positive, statistically significant, and educationally substantial."
But funding for the Mathematica study was provided by Atlantic Philanthropies, the same organization that provided $10-25 million in funding to KIPP.
According to a 2011 study by Western Michigan University, KIPP schools enrolled a lower percentage of students with disabilities (5.9 percent) than their local school districts (12.1 percent), enrolled a lower percentage of students classified as English Language Learners (11.5 percent) than their local school districts (19.2 percent), and experienced substantially higher levels of attrition than their local school districts. For charters in general, the CREDO study found that fewer special education students and fewer English language learners are served than in traditional public schools. And charter schools serve fewer disabled students. According to a Center on Education Policy report, 98 percent of disabled students are educated in public schools, while only 1 percent are educated in private schools.
In New York City, special-needs students and English-language learners are enrolled at a much lower rate in charter schools than in public schools; and Over the Counter students—those not participating in the choice process—are disproportionately assigned to high schools with higher percentages of low-performing students. Special education students also leave charters at a much higher rate than special education students in traditional New York public schools. In Nashville, low-performing students are leaving KIPP Academy and other charters just in time for their test scores to be transferred to the public schools. And Milwaukee's voucher program, which has been praised as a model of privatization success, has had up to a 75 percent attrition rate.
Equal Access to Education?
It's been 60 years since Chief Justice Warren declared education "a right which must be made available to all on equal terms." Belief in the American Dream means that anyone can move up the ladder. But today, only 4 percent of those raised in the bottom quintile make it all the way to the top as adults. Two-thirds of those raised in the bottom of the wealth ladder remain on the bottom two rungs.
Compared to other developed countries, equal education has been a low priority in America, with less spending on poor children than rich ones, and with repeated cutbacks in state funding. But there's no market-based reform where children are involved. Education can't be reduced to a lottery, or a testing app, or a business plan. Equal opportunity in education ensures that every child is encouraged and challenged and nurtured from the earliest age, as we expect for our own children.
EDUCATION IS NOT A MARKET.....IS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE AND IS FUNDED BY FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL TAX REVENUE. The problem is that there is no collection of corporate and wealth taxes and massive corporate fraud steals public money so the government coffers are empty.
Now that neo-liberalism is dead and global markets dying on the vine, WE THE PEOPLE are rebuilding our democracy. Strong public sector supported by taxation of all entities using public services with corporations using the most means corporations pay the most. Strong public education is needed to keep WE THE PEOPLE ready to lead and serve in public office.
Public liberal arts colleges seek to exploit niche in turbulent market
View Photo Gallery — At St. Mary’s College, a push to recruit students: Declining enrollment at St. Mary’s College of Maryland has led the school to intensify its outreach to qualified students.
By Nick Anderson, Published: November 22
They occupy a tiny but significant niche in higher education: Public liberal arts colleges.
A Washington Post article on the scramble this fall at St. Mary’s College of Maryland to raise its enrollment underscores the unusual market position of these schools. They aim to be selective and intimate, like private liberal arts colleges, but with enough public funding to make them more affordable. That’s the theory.
Fewer high school graduates and price concerns cause upheaval for Maryland’s St. Mary’s, other schools.
At St. Mary’s, a well-regarded public institution about 70 miles southeast of Washington, tuition and fees have risen significantly in recent years. The list price, not counting room and board, now stands at $14,865 for Maryland residents. That is much higher than the in-state tuition and fees for the University of Maryland at College Park, which total $9,161.
The payoff for St. Mary’s students is lower class sizes and closer relationships with professors. The student-faculty ratio at St. Mary’s was 11 to 1 as of 2011, according to federal data. At College Park it was 18 to 1.
The catch is that St. Mary’s has posted two straight years of dwindling freshman enrollment. Its first-year class of 384 this fall is the lowest at the college since 377 students matriculated in fall 2000, according to federal data.
The college is pushing hard to reverse the slide. One key factor, in an increasingly competitive admissions world, is price.
St. Mary’s belongs to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, which has 26 members in the United States and one from Canada. The Post analyzed information on tuition and fees at the 26 U.S. schools that was included by the nonprofit College Board in its 2013 annual survey of colleges.
The data showed that the in-state list price at St. Mary’s was the highest in the group, followed by $13,388 for Ramapo College of New Jersey and $12,776 for Keene State College of New Hampshire.
The lowest in-state price for the public liberal arts group was $5,790 for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, at $5,790, followed by Southern Utah University ($5,924), and the University of North Carolina at Asheville ($6,241).
Other members include University of Mary Washington ($9,660) and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise ($8,508).
St. Mary’s also had the second-highest list price for out-of-state students among schools in the group: $28,665 in tuition and fees. Only at New College of Florida was the out-of-state price higher: $29,812.
Trustees of St. Mary’s froze in-state tuition this year in an effort to help the college stay competitive. (Fees rose modestly.)
List prices don’t tell the whole story. St. Mary’s, like many other colleges, offers discounts to lure students. It plans to revise its financial aid tactics this year to get more admitted students to enroll.
But it is probably not an accident that UNC-Asheville has a pretty low list price, relative to this group, and has had strong recruiting results lately.
Anne Ponder, the university’s chancellor, said the school has 596 first-year students this fall, its largest incoming class in four years. “Our tuition is a breathtaking bargain whatever your comparison is,” Ponder said of the $6,241 listed price. “Students and their families are looking very discerningly at the value proposition.”
In general, Ponder said, public liberal arts colleges are “very well positioned to respond and to flourish in an environment which is pretty turbulent and difficult in terms of enrollment planning.”
As I said with the status of University of Maryland as a quasi-governmental organization or with the lack of transparency with patented research that was funded with public money because this research is now proprietary........WHEN UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS ARE WORKING FOR PROFIT AND PRODUCT....there is no academic freedom and academic freedom is yet another cornerstone of democracy.
Johns Hopkins has a small university with a large corporate complex. It is a corporation. Hopkins receives a trillion dollars over a few decades in public money to grow its presence into a global corporation while Morgan State University....A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY.... is defunded and left not even getting the public funding due.
PRIVATE UNIVERSITY USES PUBLIC MONEY TO BECOME GLOBAL CORPORATION WHILE MARYLAND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES DIE ON THE VINE FROM LACK OF FUNDING.
The neo-liberals in Congress and Obama sent hundreds of billions of dollars to build research facilities for these corporate universities and these funds were then used to expand global reach with development and marketing. THEY DID IT BECAUSE THEY ARE MAKING CORPORATIONS OF OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.
Tuitions are high because public universities are now corporate R and D......Human Resources.....and send tons in administration in doing this along with marketing and expansion. WE DO NOT NEED MARYLAND PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES FIGHTING FOR FOREIGN MARKET OF STUDENTS WHEN WE HAVE A WHOLE STATE FULL OF CITIZENS. The concept of needing the Best of the Best in the World or that we need to BE PREPARED TO COMPETE GLOBALLY IS TOTAL BULL!
Academic Freedom and the Corporatization of Universities
University of Toronto, Scarborough, April 6, 2011
[NB: This is a partial transcript. For video of the lecture, click here: http://www.youtube.com/user/uoftscarborough#p/c/0/Q97tFyqHVLs]
A couple of months ago, I went to Mexico to give talks at the National University in Mexico, UNAM. It's quite an impressive university -- hundreds of thousands of students, high-quality and engaged students, excellent faculty. It's free. Actually, the government ten years ago did try to add a little tuition, but there was a national student strike, and the government backed off. And, in fact, there's still an administrative building on campus that is still occupied by students and used as a center for activism throughout the city. There's also, in the city itself, another university, which is not only free but has open admissions. It has compensatory options for those who need them. I was there, too; it's also quite an impressive level, students, faculty, and so on. That's Mexico, a poor country.
Right after that I happened to go to California, maybe the richest place in the world. I was giving talks at the universities there. In California, the main universities -- Berkeley and UCLA -- they're essentially Ivy League private universities -- colossal tuition, tens of thousands of dollars, huge endowment. General assumption is they are pretty soon going to be privatized, and the rest of the system will be, which was a very good system -- best public system in the world -- that's probably going to be reduced to technical training or something like that. The privatization, of course, means privatization for the rich [and a] lower level of mostly technical training for the rest. And that is happening across the country. Next year, for the first time ever, the California system, which was a really great system, best anywhere, is getting more funding from tuition than from the state of California. And that is happening across the country. In most states, tuition covers more than half of the college budget. It's also most of the public research universities. Pretty soon only the community colleges -- you know, the lowest level of the system -- will be state-financed in any serious sense. And even they're under attack. And analysts generally agree, I'm quoting, "The era of affordable four-year public universities heavily subsidized by the state may be over."
Now that's one important way to implement the policy of indoctrination of the young. People who are in a debt trap have very few options. Now that is true of social control generally; that is also a regular feature of international policy -- those of you who study the IMF and the World Bank and others are well aware. As the Mexico-California example illustrates, the reasons for conscious destruction of the greatest public education system in the world are not economic. Economist Doug Henwood points out that it would be quite easy to make higher education completely free. In the U.S., it accounts for less than 2 percent of gross domestic product. The personal share, about 1 percent of gross domestic product, is a third of the income of the richest 10,000 households. That's the same as three months of Pentagon spending. It's less than four months of wasted administrative costs of the privatized healthcare system, which is an international scandal.
It's about twice the per capita cost of comparable countries, has some of the worst outcomes, and in fact it's the basis for the famous deficit. If the U.S. had the same kind of healthcare system as other industrial countries, not only would there be no deficit, but there would be a surplus. However, to introduce these facts into an electoral campaign would be suicidally insane, Henwood points out. Now he's correct. In a democracy where elections are essentially bought by concentrations of private capital, it doesn't matter what the public wants. The public has actually been in favor of that for a long of time, but they are irrelevant in a properly run democracy.
We should recall that the great growth period in the economy -- the U.S. economy -- was in the several decades after WWII, commonly called the "Golden Age" by economists. It was substantially fueled by affordable public education and by university research. Affordable public education includes the GI Bill, which provided free education for veterans -- and remember, that was a much poorer country than today. Extremely low tuition was found even at private colleges. Actually, I went to an Ivy League college, and it cost $100 a year; that's more now, but it's not that high, it's not 30 or 40,000, you know.
What about university-based research? Well, as I mentioned, that is the core of the modern high-tech economy. That includes computers, the Internet -- in fact, the whole IT revolution -- and a whole lot more.
The dismantling of this system since the 1970s is among the many moves toward a very sharply two-tiered society, a very narrow concentration of wealth and stagnation for most everyone else. It also has direct economic consequences. Take, say, California. What they are doing to the public education system is going to undermine the economy that relies on a skilled work force and creative innovation, Silicon Valley and so on. Well, apart from the enormous human cost of depriving most people of decent educational opportunities, these policies undermine U.S. competitive capacity. That's very harmful to the mass of the population, but it doesn't matter to the tiny percent of concentrated wealth and power. In fact, in the years since the Powell Memorandum, we've entered into a new stage in state capitalism in which the future just doesn't amount to much. Profit comes increasingly from financial manipulations. The corporate policies are geared toward short-term profit, and that reduces the concern for loyalty to a firm over a longer stretch. We'll talk about this more tomorrow, but right now let me talk about the consequences for education, which are quite significant.
Suppose, as is increasingly happening -- not only in the United States, incidentally -- that universities are not funded by the state, meaning the general community. So how are the universities going to survive? Universities are parasitic institutions; they don't produce commodities for profit, thankfully. They may one of these days. The funding issue raises many troubling questions, which would not arise if fostering independent thought and inquiry were regarded as a public good, having intrinsic value. That's the traditional ideal of the universities, although there are major efforts to change that. Take Britain. According to the British press, the Arts and Humanities Research Council was just ordered to spend a significant amount of funding on the prime minister's vision for the country. His so-called "Big Society," which means big corporate profits, and the rest look out for themselves. The government produced what they call a clarification of the famous Haldane Principle. That's the century-old principle that barred such government intrusion into academic research. If this stands, which I think is kind of hard to believe, but if it stands, the hand of Big Brother will rest quite heavily on inquiry and innovation in the arts and humanities as the "masters of mankind" follow the advice of the Powell Memorandum -- of course, defending academic freedom in ways that would receive nods of approval from Those-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, borrowing my grandchildren's rhetoric. Cameron's Britain is seeking to take the lead on the assault on public education. The rest of the Western world is not very far behind. In some ways the U.S. is ahead.
More generally, in a corporate-run culture, the traditional ideal of free and independent thought may be given lip service, but other values tend to rank higher. Defending authentic institutional freedom is no small task. However, it is not hopeless by any means. I'll talk about the case I know best, at my own university. It is a very striking case, because of the nature of its funding. Technically, it's a private university, but it has vast state funding, overwhelming, particularly since the Second World War. When joined the faculty over 55 years ago, there were military labs. Since then, they've been technically severed. The academic programs, too, at that time, the 1950s, were almost entirely funded by the Pentagon. Under student pressure in the "time of troubles," the 1960s, there were protests about this and calls for investigation. A faculty-student commission was formed in 1969 to investigate the matter. I was a member, thanks in part to student pressure. The commission was interesting. It found that despite the funding source, the Pentagon, almost the entire academic program, there was no military-related work on campus, except in the sense that virtually anything can have some military application. Actually, there was an exception to this. The political science department was deeply engaged in the Vietnam War under the guise of peace research. Since that time, Pentagon funding has been declining, and funding from health-related state institutions -- National Institute of Health and so on -- that's been increasing. There's a reason for that. It's reflecting changes in the economy.
In the 1950s and 1960s the cutting edge of the economy was electronics-based. The Pentagon was a natural way to steal money from the taxpayers, making them think they're being protected from the Russians or somebody, and to direct it to eventual corporate profits. That was done very effectively. It includes computers, the Internet, the IT revolution. In fact most of the modern high-tech economy comes from that. In more recent years, the economy is becoming more biology-based. Therefore state funding is shifting. Fifty years ago, if you looked around MIT, you found small electronics startups from the faculty. They were drawing on Pentagon funding for research, and if they were successful, they were bought up by major corporations. Those of you who know something about the high-tech economy will know that that's the famous Route 128. That was 50 years ago. Now, if you go around the campus, the startups are biology-based, and the same process continues -- genetic engineering, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals. A the big buildings going up are Novartis and so on. That's the way the so-called free enterprise economy works. There's also been a shift to more short-term applied work. The Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health are concerned with the long-term future of the advanced economy. In contrast, a business firm typically wants something that it can use -- it can use and not its competitors, and tomorrow. I don't actually know of a careful study, but it seems pretty clear that the shift toward corporate funding is leading towards more short-term applied research and less exploration of what might turn out to be interesting and important down the road.
Another consequence of corporate funding is more secrecy. This surprises a lot of people, but during the period of Pentagon funding, there was no secrecy. There was also no security on campus. You may remember this. You could walk into the Pentagon-funded labs 24 hours a day, and no cards to stick into things and so on. No secrecy; it was all entirely open. There is secrecy today. A corporation can't compel secrecy, but they can make it very clear that you're not going to get your contract renewed if your work leaks to others. That has happened. In fact, it's lead to some scandals, some big enough to appear on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Outside funding has other effects on the university, unless it's free and unconstrained, observing the Haldane Principle. Indeed, it has been true to a significant degree of funding from the Pentagon and the other national institutions. However, any kind of outside funding [has effects], even keeping to the Haldane Principle. Suppose it establishes a teaching or research facility. That automatically shifts the balance of academic activity, and that can threaten the independence and integrity of the institution. And in the case of corporate funding, quite severely.
Corporatization can have considerable influence in other ways. Corporate managers have a duty. They have to focus on profit making and seeking to convert as much of life as possible into commodities. It's not because they're bad people; it's their task. Under Anglo-American law, it's their legal obligation as well. There's a lot to say about this topic, but one element of it concerns the universities and much else. One particular consequence is the focus on what's called efficiency. It's an interesting concept. It's not strictly an economic concept. It has crucial ideological dimensions. If a business reduces personnel, it might become more efficient by standard measures with lower costs. Typically, that shifts the burden to the public, a very familiar phenomenon we see all the time. Costs to the public are not counted, and they're colossal. That's a choice that's not based on economic theory. That's based on an ideological decision, which applies directly to the "business models," as they're called, of the universities. Increasing class-size or employing cheap temporary labor, say graduate students instead of full-time faculty, may look good on a university budget, but there are significant costs. They're transferred and not measured. They're transferred to students and to the society generally as the quality of education, the quality of instruction is lowered.
There's, furthermore, no way to measure the human and social costs of converting schools and universities into facilities that produce commodities for the job market, abandoning the traditional ideal of the universities: fostering creative and independent thought and inquiry, challenging perceived beliefs, exploring new horizons and forgetting external constraints. That's an ideal that's no doubt been flawed in practice, but to the extent that it's realized is a good measure of the level of civilization achieved.
That idea is being challenged very openly by Adam Smith's "principal architects of policy" in the state-corporate complex, the direct attack on the Haldane Principle in Britain. That's an extreme case; in fact so extreme I assume it may be beaten back. There are less blatant examples. Many of them are just inherent in the reliance on outside funding, state or private. These are two sources that are not easy to distinguish given the control of the state by private interest. So what's the right reaction to outside funding that threatens the ideal of a free university? Well one choice is just to reject it in principle, in which case the university would go down the tubes. It's a parasitic institution. Another choice is just to recognize it as a fact of life that when I'm at work, I have to walk past the Lockheed Martin Lecture Hall, and I have to look out my office window at the Koch building, which is named after the multibillionaires who are the major funders of the Tea Party and a leading force in ongoing campaigns to wipe out the remnants of the labor movement and to institute a kind of corporate tyranny.
Now, if that outside funding seeks to [influence] teaching, research and other activities, then there's a strong argument that it should simply be resisted or rejected outright no matter what the costs. Such influences are not inevitable, and that's worth bearing in mind.