Saturday, April 13, 2013

Are Universities Subject to Corporate Shenanigans?

If we think about the news of the last five or ten years, the varieties of corporate shenanigans is wondrous and pervasive. Perhaps we are more aware of the issues, or perhaps there is more gaming of the system. In any case, universities are large corporate entities, and so I wonder about their potential for shenanigans. I need to work this out more clearly, but here are first rough thoughts. Keep in mind that these suggestions may not be actual and not be true. But you could imagine this list as a guideline for accrediting agencies.

1. Money laundering in development and fund-raising.
2. Pedophilia by faculty, although most colleage students and graduate students are over 18, and it would seem some are seeking out older paramours (although the issues of asymmetric power are still there). Do universities act like the Catholic Church in terms of moving people around?
3. Insider information--legacies or other such greased admissions, searches for faculty that are in fact set before the search.
4. Misleading unsophisticated investors, securitization of mortgages. Selling people goods you know are not valuable, packaging stuff so it looks better than it really is--perhaps in distance education, perhaps in very large courses, perhaps ...
5. Making policy with poor intelligence or with politicized intelligence--do we have enough teachers (troops) who are qualified for the programs we offer. Are MOOCS like Rumsfeld sending too few troops to Iraq, under the philosophy of Revolution in Military Affairs or what was called Transformation.
6. Preemptive war--Is U of Phoenix the real enemy, is it your enemy?