Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Northwestern publishes defense of US Bank deal

In a strange article, the Northwestern published the responses by Chancellor Wells and Tom Sonnleitner to the Journal-Sentinel article from yesterday (in post below).

The article is strange in that it is attributed only to "staff." No one wanted to actually do any research for the story, I would guess.

It also presents the weak defense from the two administrators that this was a process that was open to bidding. Because US Bank was the only one who bid, it is okay to choose a bank that profits by exploiting students.

Wells also argues, as Lammers does in the comments, that this policy is not our fault. If we had more money from the state, we wouldn't have to cheat students. I guess no one ever wants to take responsibility for their own ethical behavior.


lammers said...

>>Wells also argues, as Lammers does in the comments, that this policy is not our fault. If we had more money from the state, we wouldn't<<

You utterly misconstrue my point. I said nothing about "fault." OF COURSE our administration is responsible for this decision; they MADE it. That's not the point. I'm really not interested in fault and blame. I'm interested in the lesson this brings.

What I am saying is that no one should be surprised that they did it. When you starve System and tell them to "be creative" and "partner with business" in addressing the shortfall, it is hypocritical to then act shocked that something unseemly came of it.

If UWO were a private business, instead of a state university, would anyone find anything the least bit immoral, unethical, or shady about this? Of course not. But there are big differences between a private business and a state university, a key fact which seems to elude an awful lot of otherwise intelligent people.

This episode is the clear-cut answer to every tight-fisted know-it-all who yammers on about Why isn't the Ivory Tower run on a Business Model? This is why you don't! Because much of Business involves convincing people to part with money they really don't really want to part with, through persuasion or other means. Doing that in the world at large is one thing; doing that to a captive audience like college students is another matter.

I say it again to every parsimonious skinflint out there: if you are going to complain about these kinds of deals, then loosen the purse-strings and fund System the way it should be! You can't have it both ways.

Bill Wresch said...

I am not sure I am with you all the way on this one, Tom. Wells taking money from a bank that gets access to our students does not help this campus or these students. I don't think we can fully blame this one on skinflints in the legislature. This thing smacks of greed and bad judgement.

lammers said...

Bill Wresch: "I don't think we can fully blame this one on skinflints in the legislature."

Arggh! Again with the blame! How many times do I have to say I am not interested in blame? Creating the unwholesome conditions in which another acts does not make the former *responsible* for something the latter chooses to do. Nonetheless, it is only logical that if the proper conditions did not exist, the latter person would not or could not have acted.

If I am arrested for driving 110 mph in a 25-zone, it is not General Motors' FAULT; nonetheless, had they not built a car capable of reaching 110, I wouldn't have been able to make that choice.

>>This thing smacks of greed and bad judgement.<<

Until someone can show me that Chancellor Wells or someone else put money in his own pocket as a result of all this, I will not accept greed as a motive. I think it's clear from all I've said that I agree with you on bad judgement.

Working To Make A Living said...

college education should be free!!!
health care should be free!!
anything less is barbaric.

Anonymous said...

"college education should be free!!!
health care should be free!!
anything less is barbaric."

I know a troll when I smell one ...

Hell, let's just make EVERYTHING free! Food! Clothing! Shelter! A life of leisure for everyone! Yeah, wouldn't THAT be wonderful!

Why don't you just get lost? You haven't said anything intelligent since you came here.

Anonymous said...

So health care and a college education should be restricted to people who can afford it?

That seems fair. I guess. Fair to those who can afford it. Those who can't should just get a job, right? Oh - need a college education to get a job, and need a job to get health care.

On the other hand, I hear Wal-Mart is now offering health care plans to its slaves.

Anonymous said...

"So health care and a college education should be restricted to people who can afford it?"

Why not? Food clothing & shelter are. They seem even more essential. Why shouldn't the government feed everyuopne and buy them a house and put clothes on there backs?

Everytime someone says he wants something to be free, its a huge red flag that he's just too damn lazy to get off his ass and work for a living, that's all. If you want that kind of life, move to Sweden --- if they'll let you.

At least you aren't a troll.

Anonymous said...

The idea of a "community" involves not letting members of the community freeze to death or starve to death. Most people really do want to work and contribute to society. Some people are quite incapable - either mentally, physically, or emotionally - from contributing very much. And some can't contribute at all.

Shall they be left to die?

In America, the answer is often YES.

In other countries, the answer is often NO.

There are three levels here:

1. There are those like you and me who work (I assume you do) and have houses, cars maybe, televisions, computers, dishes, sofas, beds, etc. and all the things that come with working.

2. There are those who can't work - and need either government assistance, charity assistance, community assistance, whatever. The elderly, the disabled, the extremely mentally ill. Most would agree that these folks shouldn't be left out to freeze, starve and die - they are our charity.

3. The third group is the one that you seem to dislike - those who CHOOSE not to work. Should the government or community pamper them, put them in a nice appartment with a wireless network, whirlpool, and cable TV? No - I don't think so. BUT could the government maybe provide just the barest of necessities? A blanket? A winter coat? Boots?

That's not asking too much, is it?

Oh, sorry - I got way off on a tangent.

Janine said...

I have to agree with you, up until point 3. Those who CHOOSE not to work have also CHOSEN not to have a nice apartment, wireless network, whirlpool, cable TV, good food, etc.

One of the ways a society works is to make everyone accountable to what they can or cannot do. If a person can work then they should work. If their work does not provide them the necessary income to meet their basic needs, then the government should get involved. No one should have a free ride, unless they absolutely cannot work. Period.