Tuesday, August 22, 2006

ISU on road to glorified trade-school status

Earlier this month Blog for Iowa.com posted a story by Jeff Cox concerning DLC strongman, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack's plan to privatize the state's three board of regents' univerities. Wrote Cox:
Governor Vilsack and the Vilsack Faction on the Regents are busily reducing state aid to the university, with or without debate. During his first term in office Vilsack cut roughly one hundred million dollars out of the University of Iowa operating budget in order to fund his economic development schemes and buy off the Republicans with tax cuts.

Those are the elements of the privatization of higher education being put into place by Vilsack and the Vilsack faction. First comes (1) the Vilsack Cuts, then (2) a faculty hiring freeze, then (3) the diversion of research and teaching money into the Battelle Report, then (4) the tuition surcharge, then (5) a building moratorium. Most Iowans would be shocked to hear that the University of Iowa is being transformed into a private university by a faction of the Iowa Democratic Party. The Governor has given his marching orders, though, and the Regents are marching. When a new President comes to the University of Iowa, he will take charge of a corporate-based privatization program that is well under way.
This story was confirmed by erstwhile gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon in an e-mail to me the next day.

Now The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa State University is bowing to pressure from the Michael Gartner-led board of regents to restructure its budgetary policy to aline with Vilsack's privtization scheme.
Ames, Ia. — Iowa State University is poised to break from tradition by overhauling its budget process to reward colleges that generate income and attract students.

The new process, if approved by the ISU president and the Iowa Board of Regents, would be put into place by 2008. ISU's budget for fiscal 2007 will be $994.8 million.

The approach would help the university increase its enrollment and money made from research, according to a report released by the budget committee in June. If successful, it would also help ISU offer better quality academic programs, have enough money to pay for new programs or course offerings, and reward quality.

Crum said the idea to tie enrollments more closely to budgets could help the business college, where enrollment has increased by 31 percent over the last decade and which, as a result, has the highest student credit hour to full-time staff ratio on campus.
Lisa Rossi
"[H]elp the business college," indeed. Business colleges are nothing but breeding grounds for right wing functionaries. Reactionary blogs are just full of these white collar weasels, ensconced in office cubicles whiling away time repeating right wing banalities as gospel and proclaiming to anyone who doesn't care how hard they work for everything. But enough of these worthless drones.

Gartner, part-time triple-A baseball team owner and full-time asshole, being a great liberal in the mold of Bill Clinton, Al From and Tom Vilsack will O.K. this plan with alacrity. And like all good DLC "liberals" a Gartner whines about how tax cuts for wealthy Republicans' hurt Iowa's poor, in the full knowledge those same tax cuts likewise benefit wealthy Democrats such as himself. If these "liberal" bastard would just fight to pick up their fair share of the tax burden state universities wouldn't have to beg on street corners like Salvation Army bell-ringers.

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