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E. Scott Cracraft - The Walmartizaton of higher education

One has to laugh when one reads that "liberal, socialist, anti-American, tenured radicals" have taken over American higher education. Actually, our institutions of higher learning are coming more and more under the control of autocratic and bureaucratic administrators, often with backgrounds in business, who are forcing our colleges to adopt a "corporate" model. Some have called this the "Walmartization of higher education." One would think this "business" model would actually please many conservatives!
A look at the facts shows that "tenured" academic positions have become much less common in the last two decades. Statistics show that up to 75 percent of college professors are adjunct instructors with little hope of achieving full-time status with any benefits, much less "tenure". While adjunct instructors may teach the same load as full-time instructors, they are compensated less and some actually qualify for public assistance!
It is no secret that colleges across the country want to eliminate their full-time faculty and to replace them with poorly-compensated adjuncts. Some colleges try to accomplish this through attrition/retirement. In some cases, administrators permit work environments that drive professors to quit or retire early. In other cases, highly competent, long-serving full-time instructors are simply replaced with adjuncts.
While there is certainly a place for adjuncts and many are certainly highly committed educators, the downgrading of full-time positions has negative effects upon higher education. These include less time spent with students and, since adjuncts are often looking for full-time jobs, there is understandably less commitment to the college.
Many perpetuate the myth that college academics — and educators in general — are "underworked and overpaid". This disrespect for the teaching profession is echoed by many politicians as well as by educational bureaucrats, many of whom have spent little time in a classroom but who earn huge salaries because of their "business expertise". The management style of many administrators is "top down" and even autocratic, with little regard for the input of faculty and staff members who for years have served students and built our colleges. In addition, there is a growing trend where the "bottom line", slick salesmanship and appearances are more important than quality. This can only lead to the further "dumbing down" of higher education.
Meanwhile, students pay outrageously high tuition and take out loans they will spend years paying back while the role of the instructor is degraded and the administrators pay themselves larger salaries. This is part of the so-called "business model" in higher education. Some administrators even call students "customers" and courses "products". As in corporate culture, the CEOs and other top managers of our colleges and universities expect salaries much, much higher than the average employee as well as such "perks" as free housing, annuities, club memberships, and company cars. Of course, in some places, the athletic directors and coaches make even more than the administrators!
Three decades ago, it was possible for a student to finance a college education with high school savings, perhaps some family contribution, and student and summer jobs. There was a time when, in some states, community college courses were free or at very low cost.
Those who support this corporate model are going to blame faculty and collective bargaining for the rising cost of education. Administrators often cite a "lack of funding". While it is true that legislatures are giving less to public education it is equally true that more and more administrative staff is being hired at salaries much higher than any instructor. Instead of investing in good faculty, they invest in more educational bureaucrats, buildings or in highly experimental programs designed to turn colleges into "degree mills". While it is public money being used, there is sometimes a woeful lack of oversight. Perhaps tax dollars are being misspent but who is doing the misspending?
And, why do lawmakers not see education and keeping good, loyal instructors as a sound investment? They claim they value education but actions "speak louder than words".
Public education is not a business. It is a service that should be available to all. Education is already free through the university level in many countries. A fraction of what we have spent on the military in the last decade could pay off all student loans and give several years of free higher education for America's students. Surely, quality education is also part of "national security".

(Scott Cracraft is a U.S. citizen, taxpayer, voter, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)

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How can just this one cop be cop, judge, jury & executioner

To The Daily Sun,

Sometimes things just need to be addressed out loud, based in principle and truth, to hopefully create a proactive dialogue on how to go about de-escalating a growing problem. This is a condensed version of an article which was sent to elected state and federal officials prior to being sent to the press:

Far too often we are hearing about questionable police actions. That one sentence no doubt has already created an emotional reaction. My only request would be to read this as rationally as possible, do research on your own, and discern for yourself what is right. It should also be made clear that all officers are not acting questionably.

Stories of police coercion, deception, outright lying, intimidation, harassment and overstepping their "authority" are becoming so commonplace that it can be described as cancer: "If you haven't dealt with it yourself, you know someone who has." It's become a semi-silent epidemic.

Some claim cops are arrogant, racist, "trigger happy" or prone to bullying. Others say society has gone nuts and a cop takes his life in his hands when they depart for work each day.

Becoming a police officer is a choice. Like teachers, most go into the field with good intentions (hopefully) yet soon find out that they are just order followers, and their particular principles are not relevant. They are there to follow orders, moral or immoral, just or unjust, logical or not, and soon become jaded. "I don't make the laws, just enforce them" is a common response when a legitimate question is raised.

The driving force behind finally writing this article is an ongoing situation regarding a 28-year-old young man that I know well. In mid-April he was driving home on his motorcycle at 9 p.m. and was pulled over. According to the young man, he was informed it was because the corporal couldn't read his stock license plate from 50 feet away. The police report stated he was pulled over for not signaling while passing a van taking a right turn. The officer smelled alcohol and started the sequence of events for that.

Both parties agree that the officer was informed that this person had sustained a head injury, has a weak right side, speech impediment, etc. The young man was asked to take a breath test, after four separate times blowing into the machine, the highest result was 0.045 which was the only one documented in the report. After being placed in cuffs and while inside the cruiser, the cop suggested taking a blood test. The young man stated that up to this point he had politely done everything that he was asked and would prefer to get along with the night. Four hours later he was allowed to call for a ride. Thirty days later his license was suspended.

After the questionable stop, I can understand the officer's initial suspicion after smelling alcohol. Once being advised of the limitations of a head injury and the breath machine reading a high of 0.045 after four attempts, why continue? More disturbing is the prosecutor continuing on with it.

Possibly it's time for a display of integrity by the department by simply stating: "A mistake was made and has gotten out of hand, please accept our reimbursement for your expenses and your license back."

This has affected members of his family, friends and his job is in jeopardy. The financial expenses incurred to date are in the thousands. It has impacted every area of his life. Liberty to get around doing everyday things has been taken, not to mention the psychological damage to one whom already suffers from brain trauma. This all occurred just for driving home at a decent hour, legally sober on a Friday night through Ossipee.

People hearing of this are in disbelief, although many have a similar story to counter with. My initial statement after hearing this story was, "It's a good thing he is good-natured. Imagine what could have happened if the cop pulled over someone who had just got in a fight with their wife." Had that happened and an altercation resulted, would we have heard the true story? My guess is probably not, and not at all unless it happened between folks of different skin types, the cop lost, or a death.

Should you disagree or think "that would never happen here in New Hampshire", a quick search of the names: Bruce Mckay, Jeremy Charron, Les Lord, and Scott Phillips may help you believe.

The concern is how this cop is able to be cop, judge, jury and executioner; revoking a license based on suspicion. The claim will inevitably arise that he "was just doing his job and the DMV is responsible for taking the license." To both I respond untrue. When one sets motions into action, well aware of the results, that person is responsible. This young man will be without a license for 45 days (assuming the court date isn't postponed) before going in front of a judge. This "sentence" prior to entering a court, was based on opinion and disregard of the only objective assessor, the breath machine. Guilty and sentenced until proven innocent, for real. It's not right or moral, nor is it an isolated incident occurring in the "live free or die" state.

With this system and mentality why do people ask why things are happening the way they are? Until there is a change, incidents like Ferguson and Freddie Gray unfortunately will continue. I believe it is time to start treating all people as though they are people, with dignity, respect and a return to reciprocity and civility. The "us vs. them" mentality is breeding discontent and distrust, making our society a sketchy place to be. ALL officers aren't bad, nor are all people.

The time has passed for ignoring this issue and accepting "that's just the way it is." It's wrong, unjust and immoral.

The full article can be read at: www.inquiringone.com/article Those with similar stories, please send a brief note to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dave Lutkus

Moultonborough

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