[-empyre-] Fwd: Debt Culture--types of debt

Susan E Ryan faryan at lsu.edu
Sat Nov 24 12:28:36 EST 2012

As a member of a faculty this idea that I'm paid with student debt appalls me.  However, I think it was not always that way.
Also I know that in the long term (going back to when that wasn't the case so much) faculty salaries haven't risen in an exponential
way.  I haven't had a raise in 4 years, and our raises before that were about 2% every 2 to 3 years. However, I have witnessed the
escalation of university administration, both in the number of administrative positions and in the rather breathtaking salaries that I have heard
quoted to me.  These are elite corporate executives. I assume this is part of the corporatization of the university, and that that is the real culprit. I wonder how many university
presidents, provosts, and chancellors and their associates, assistants, and deans, have signed the pledge. Certainly, collectively
they have the real agency.

Perhaps there are other faculty that have different experiences from mine, but I found out recently that as a tenured professor,
at an accredited, research-level public university, I make on average the same $ as a dental hygienist. Also, the growth of adjunct teaching has skyrocketed.
 We have lost tenured salary lines to adjunct professors, in our university's "cost cutting" efforts, efforts that seem like part of some ruse, as the cost of education never recedes.
I'm not sure the salaries of our actual educators are responsible for the costs that demand ever mounting student debt.

Susan Ryan

Begin forwarded message:

From: Deena Larsen <deenalarsen at yahoo.com<mailto:deenalarsen at yahoo.com>>
Date: November 23, 2012 9:21:20 AM CST
To: "bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com<mailto:bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com>" <bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com<mailto:bhcontinentaldrift at gmail.com>>, "empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>" <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>>, soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>>
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Debt Culture--types of debt
Reply-To: Deena Larsen <deenalarsen at yahoo.com<mailto:deenalarsen at yahoo.com>>, soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>>

I agree with Brian's discourse, and it is a complicated problem:

>How can crippling debt become an issue on campus, given that the students have yet to be affected by it, while the faculty are actually paid with student debt? How to break the status quo of isolation and corruption? What can we do to transform the basis of social solidarity that Annie talks about in her post?

Thanks to the "truth in lending" credit cards now calculate the amount of interest paid and the amount of time if you pay the minimum payment. The difficulty is that this does not translate well to student loans. Putting a price on an education as a "cost" and showing the only "benefit" as a potentially higher salary is a lousy way of doing a cost /benefit analysis--kind of like saying the only "benefit" worth mentioning in the Grand Canyon is the ability to channel water (fish, beauty, etc. don't count).

So...either you find a way to calculate non-use values, and the risks of not having an educated populace or individual, or you completley revamp the school system.

I wonder how students/faculty/society would react to a proposal along the lines of:

The state provides 4 years worth of academic credit tuition for each student. Students would still have to pay for books, living expenses, etc.  Then, in return, students' future wages are garnished at 10 percent for their lifetime...
Some would manage to repay that "loan" a hundred fold, while others would never repay it at all.

There are other educational-fudning methods out there.

Deena Larsen
empyre forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto:empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>

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