Monday, March 22, 2004

Learning about the Superintendent 

'Tis true, the Superintendent of Cold Spring Shops and I did see each other at a session I spoke at in Chicago this weekend. The Superintendent took good economics back to DeKalb and applies them to academia better than most while laying into several whiners over the "logic of the marketplace" in universities.
A service that has such serious quality control problems as a defect rate in excess of 50 percent, a failure rate among entering employees in excess of 50 percent (including economics, although there is no great mismatch between tenure track positions offered and tenure track applicants in the labor pool), and continued denial by senior administrators (if I keep this up, I will end up with 99 theses to nail to a cathedral door, won't I?) is hardly a paradigm of market-driven thinking. (And it is worth remembering that there is an element of market competition -- school choice -- in the academy that is missing from the primary and secondary schools that provide our students, many of whom the administration is not worthy of serving.)
Or you could have your university president fly to Arizona and Florida for a chance to watch hockey and mix with alumni. I suppose it keeps him out of trouble...