Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

November 21, 2009

College Stories Continued

"Family" discussion last night started with the tuition craziness out in Cali, and in its meandering way touched on my last post. I was decrying the huge raise in tuition. Their revenue, as far as I know, is not down. Expenses do go up its true, but inflation is quite low. How can they need so much new money? Is there no where else they could cut, without effecting their core mission of education? Some building left half done, some research project that sadly doesn't have full funding?

Focus on the education. At U of MN they haven't raised rates. They have had to let some people go, which is always terrible. But universities are for education, not job creation. However, I was reminded that a lot of the job cuts are amongst educators, including teaching assistants and others who actually can teach (as opposed to researchers who are sham teachers).

I was also reminded that one doesn't (or shouldn't) go to a big research university because of the classroom education or because one wants/needs individual attention. You go for the access to resources -- the very resources that Cali is trying not to cut, I suppose. And for the two of us at least, that has worked out. Yeah, we had to scrape and claw our way through the system, but that made us the people we are today. We had to be self-sufficient, self-motivated.

It would have been good to learn to work and rely on the team a bit more, but in the end we've both well where we've been, with limited support, and that is definitely thanks in part to the quality and type of educational experience we received at UT. So I should add that to my grad school story, although it is more a story about being an undergrad at Texas. Plus, I just can't leave with that last post being the last word, because I just love UT too much.