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Author Topic: Outing myself  (Read 5834 times)

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ahasp

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Outing myself
« on: January 18, 2011, 11:35:47 PM »

I feel that as a former Amplifier, an FTL listener, and sometimes poster on this message board, that I need to come clean....I am a state government employee.  In fact, while I am not an LEO or participate in the war on drugs, I am still probably one of the worst in the eyes of Mark and Ian as I am a college professor.  I have a state pension.  I have really great healthcare. 

Working for the state can be extremely frustrating.  The level of bureaucracy is mind-numbing.  But I love teaching and participating in the campus community, especially the great campus that I work for.  Unfortunately, the state has a near monopoly on higher level education, so I had few options elsewhere. 

I'd like to clear up a few things that I hear on air.  The pensions are a blessing and a curse.  The defined benefit is good, but, as my colleagues like to refer to it, it is a "golden leash".   One of the purposes of the pension is to keep you from looking for opportunities elsewhere.  The value of the pension benefit is practically nil in your first few years, but increases in value the longer you stay. 

As a result of the motivations to not look for opportunities elsewhere (i.e. pensions and the tenure clock), academics face wage compression.  For example, my department has hired three additional faculty  since I was hired, each one receiving a higher salary than I currently receive. 

While the pensions and healthcare are great, the salaries are often not competitive with those in private industry (at least not for business professors).  I was offered a higher paying corporate job before I took the academic job that I have now.  I really wanted to be a professor, so I took a pay cut.   

At best, we receive a 3% cost of living increase each year, even in good times.  Merit pay is virtually nonexistent, which I don't agree with.  For the past 2 years, we've taken a 5% pay cut.  I hear a lot of people saying that we're lucky that we even have jobs, but the unemployment rate for business PhDs is still pretty close to 0%.

The nice thing about my school is that we only receive about 1/3rd of our funding from the state.  The administration and many of the faculty would actually like to receive less because state funding hampers our ability to serve students.  Each in-state student is subsidized by tax dollars.  When the fixed amount of subsidy dollars runs out, we can't take anymore in-state students in and so we focus on bringing in out-of-state and international students, who pay full price.    We turn away good in-state students because they are automatically subsidized. 

I somewhat agree with Mark and Ian when I hear that college is  overrated.  It is certainly overrated for unmotivated students.  For motivated students, it truly is a chance of a lifetime.   At my school, most of your instructors have PhDs, meaning that they likely spent around 10 years in college learning about the subject that they are teaching you.  You really have to love the subject to spend that much time learning about it.  Many of us (including myself) also have private industry experience and we can introduce students to people in the industry to get their careers started. 

There are endless opportunities for motivated students.  I set up a program at my school last year that allows students in my major to get experience working with industry professionals to compete in a competition.  We set up internships to give students industry experience.  I encourage students to complete independent studies to focus on something that they are passionate about.

When we find a motivated student, they are celebrated in our department.  We let good employers know about them.  We push them to apply for scholarships.   We work hard to make sure that they are successful.  Unfortunately, many students aren't very motivated.  Well, at least not beyond hitting the bars on the weekends. 

I get frustrated with unmotivated students.  Students that just want a grade.  It's those students that say that college is a waste of time.  And for them, it is. 

A lot of kids go to college without knowing why they are going to college or what they are going to study when they get there.  I would advise anyone in high school to work for a few years before going to college if they don't know what they want to do.  I have two children and we are homeschooling them.  My plan is to have them finish their schooling at 16 and then work at something for two years.  Ideally, they'll start businesses providing a good or service.  It will give them a chance to earn money for college and get to work in the real world for a while.  I think it also teaches responsibility and time management.

I set this up in the hijack-free zone to answer any questions that you might have about college or the college experience.  If you come to bash, I'll just erase your comment. 
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sillyperson

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 11:42:21 PM »

Funny, I just did a favorable interview with a guy who is a college professor, and frankly a hardcore socialist. That doesn't prevent me from being able to find common ground and work with someone on specific issues.

http://nhcaptv.com/episode/146

anarchir

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 12:13:21 AM »

What you say makes sense. I was one of those unmotivated students, with no end major in mind and throwing away my money on tuition, so after 2 years I dropped out. Now I can study whatever I want :)
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Amazing Richard

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 01:00:51 AM »

Recently, I read an article from the New York Times called "Is Law School a Losing Game?":

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me

There is some kind of blogging subculture going on where law graduates are warning folk not to go to law school, and build up massive debt ($100,000 average in loans), with very little chance of finding a good job as a lawyer.

The market is saturated, and the only people making money are working in these related educational institutions. The article is specific to law, but....I'm sure...many people can recognize that almost all markets appear to be saturated. But in order to make money, the schools present the notion that everything is ok.....and if you give a school the money....you'll get yer fancy job, and will be driving a Porsche ...in no time.

Some would say that it is irresponsible for the educational institutions to be cranking out so many graduates when the jobs are just not there, while leaving graduates in a tremendous amount of debt.

For the most part....."education" is a hustle.

Young people need to understand what "market saturation" means....cuz the "educational institutions" sure as hell will not stress these types of things....cuz that would not make for a very good hustle.
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FTL_Mark

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:33:55 AM »

I feel that as a former Amplifier, an FTL listener, and sometimes poster on this message board, that I need to come clean....I am a state government employee.  In fact, while I am not an LEO or participate in the war on drugs, I am still probably one of the worst in the eyes of Mark and Ian as I am a college professor.  I have a state pension.  I have really great healthcare. 


Easy on the flagellation, Doc :). I have no problem with a liberty minded individual working at a state funded university. In fact I want you there. My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.

You also sound like a man who has found his life's work and that is always inspiring. I will put this into show prep, as I think people should hear it.
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Pod99966

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 10:19:37 AM »


 My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.


Come on Mark, where could a person get a quality higher education at the cost of public universities. As a graduate of the largest private university in America I can tell you the price difference is astronomical. I paid 5x what tuition would have cost me if I had went to Florida State.

Without state funding, who would fund these schools, and keep them at a pricepoint to make it worth going. I know Ian disdains higher education, but in the real world, it does have it's advantages when looking for work.
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blackie

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 10:34:53 AM »


 My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.


Come on Mark, where could a person get a quality higher education at the cost of public universities.
Internet.
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Pod99966

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »


 My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.


Come on Mark, where could a person get a quality higher education at the cost of public universities.
Internet.

I didn't know the internet was issuing bachelor's degrees. Is the internet accredited?

I'm being sarcastic. And I do agree that there is a world of education available on the internet. But unless it's something that you can put on a resume, it doesn't help much.
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blackie

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 11:21:15 AM »

But unless it's something that you can put on a resume, it doesn't help much.
You can list your skills and knowledge on a resume.

There is also the military. They pay you to learn stuff, instead of having to pay for the education. You also get on the job training, and a first job to put on the resume. People love to see military experience on a resume. Most people are patriotic and shit.
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Evil Muppet

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 11:54:16 AM »

What do you teach?
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Pod99966

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 12:04:12 PM »

But unless it's something that you can put on a resume, it doesn't help much.
You can list your skills and knowledge on a resume.

There is also the military. They pay you to learn stuff, instead of having to pay for the education. You also get on the job training, and a first job to put on the resume. People love to see military experience on a resume. Most people are patriotic and shit.

I'm ex-Navy, so I am fully aware oh how  well military service looks on a resume. But it's still funded by tax dollars, so it's not much better than a public university. :)
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 12:52:28 PM »

I think you can make up for it by jacking as many sensitive documents as you can get your hands on, and release them onto the internet.
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davann

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 01:03:45 PM »

If I were you I'd double check the strength of that golden leash. From what I understand many State pensions were tied into the housing stuff and took an enormous hit which I don't think they have recovered from yet. Yours might be different or it might not be. Check it out, remember you are dealing with government promises here which we all know never end the way people expect.
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ahasp

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 03:40:31 PM »

I feel that as a former Amplifier, an FTL listener, and sometimes poster on this message board, that I need to come clean....I am a state government employee.  In fact, while I am not an LEO or participate in the war on drugs, I am still probably one of the worst in the eyes of Mark and Ian as I am a college professor.  I have a state pension.  I have really great healthcare. 


Easy on the flagellation, Doc :). I have no problem with a liberty minded individual working at a state funded university. In fact I want you there. My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.

You also sound like a man who has found his life's work and that is always inspiring. I will put this into show prep, as I think people should hear it.

Hi Mark,

I was trying to be a little sarcastic there.  I think that funding really is the problem.  Many public universities (mine included) could easily self-fund if we could get away from government mandates and the idea that everyone, regardless of motivation or the ability to pay, should go to college. 
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ahasp

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Re: Outing myself
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 03:47:26 PM »


 My problem (likely yours too) is the funding, not the institution.


Come on Mark, where could a person get a quality higher education at the cost of public universities. As a graduate of the largest private university in America I can tell you the price difference is astronomical. I paid 5x what tuition would have cost me if I had went to Florida State.

Without state funding, who would fund these schools, and keep them at a pricepoint to make it worth going. I know Ian disdains higher education, but in the real world, it does have it's advantages when looking for work.

About two-thirds of the funding of my school comes from tuition and outside grants (primarily tuition).  We could go to 0% of funding if we could raise tuition.  We have a weird tuition schedule with the same tuition for between 12 and 18 credits.  Maxing out the amount of classes you can take, an in-state student would pay about $5 per hour of instruction and and out of state student would pay about $10 per hour of instruction.  This includes books (we have a book rental program) and fees.    We could easily increase the tuition to cover the subsidized portion and still make school affordable. 
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