Saturday, February 7, 2009

Speaking of Higher Education

We have discovered that even more chutzpah has been demonstrated by America’s Colleges and Universities. They have had the gall to request “stimulus” assistance from the congress in the most recent attempt at lading more pork into the package.

These folks have enjoyed some spectacular success over the last few years in the growth of their endowments. During the fiscal year 2005, their total endowments of the (then) 721 colleges and universities reported by the NACUBO (National Association of Colleges and University Business Offices) were a little over $440,000,000,000.00. Read that nearly a half a trillion dollars. Since that citation they enjoyed two years of average double digit growth in the total amount of their endowment.

Led by Harvard ($38 billion) and Yale ($28 billion) we find that 56 institutions enjoyed funds in excess of a billion each. 110 enjoyed a half billion or more and 334 had at least $100 million plus. The balance then diminishes on down until we come to the lowest on the list, Georgia Perimeter College which boasts a mere $440,000. In some cases, these individual endowments exceed the total Gross National Product of many of the world’s countries.

This is not to be confused with the normal operating income for the institutions which comes from tuition, federal state, and local taxes, fees, and other sources to keep the operation running on a daily basis. These are trust funds which are supplied by alumni, private companies, and dedicated estates which are a surplus to be distributed as the boards direct. Since they are invested they have made some spectacular gains. Any one who has roamed beside the ivy covered walls and made it to the stage to receive his sheepskin is all too familiar with the begging of alumni callers asking for funds for the endowment. It never stops and you are assured that any donation of cash, estate, stocks, convertible debentures or used cars will be accepted.

One wonders, since the accumulated funds in the endowments are roughly half of the most historic stimulus in history why they feel the need to ask for more. Possibly, if they truly were concerned about the country they might wish to pony up a few billion themselves rather than come, hat in hand, to join the rest of the supplicants.

It is possible that funds are needed in reserve to preserve the possibility of establishing new programs to finance the “angry” studies programs which have become so vogue on campus. Women’s Studies, African American Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, American Indian Studies, Defame Old White Men Studies, Che, Castro and Pol Pot Studies, Revolutionary Literature, Mexicans as Illegals Studies, Anything Which Diminishes America Studies, each with it’s own department head and biased faculty exists to poison the minds of kids and avoid the “Hard” sciences. You can even sign up for a course on how to make religious sculpture out of feces. Do you remember when “coach” taught biology to the “jocks” so they were assured an easy “A?” To their credit they all also had to take some courses to educate them for a real world.

As usual, we are embarrassed by our so called “educational” institutions and their lack of seriousness in their assigned roll. Please spare me the plea that our Bible colleges have fared much better. Some of them no longer teach the virgin birth or the resurrection. Lacking this, what is the point?

Meanwhile, I shall just placidly sit here and await a rescue from the endowments by the direction of the University Trustees. Pass the popcorn, please!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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