"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Columbia University Con Feeds the U.S. News Con

The Columbia University Con Feeds the U.S. News Con

James Horn, PhD

Every year U.S. News publishes its historically dubious rankings of America's private and public colleges and universities, rankings that are based upon unverified data provided by the institutions that are being ranked. While the rankings should be considered worthless by the parents, kids, and counselors who use them to make education decisions based on faked numbers rather than real human needs and wants, the rankings are worth lots and lots to the institutions that use massaged stats in order to jack up tuition costs that bring in millions of very real dollars. 

Colleges and universities, whether ivy league of bush league, then use the free money obtained from unsuspecting parents and students to fund the insatiable management bureaucracies that dwarf the full-time faculties at Columbia University, for instance, which last year deceived its way to a #2 U.S. News ranking. 

Today a Columbia undergrad pays over $65,000 for tuition and fees and another $20,000 for room and board.

In a rare example of education justice, last year the Dean of Temple University’s Richard J. Fox School of Business and Management was apprehended after years of using fake data to run up U.S. News rankings for Temple's virtual MBA program to #1.  Temple's cash cow was growing very fat until last November, when Dean M. Moshe Parat was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy, and in May of this year sentenced to sent to serve 18 face-to-face months in a brick and mortar federal prison for his actions.

The recent exposure of Columbia University's fakery has upended its steady slither up the U.S. News rankings from #18 to #2, and today the Guardian has an updated story featuring Columbia math professor, Dr. Michael Thaddeus, who exposed the charade.  It's well worth your read.

Professor Thaddeus says he had been radicalized by his three years (2017-2020) as Chair of the Math Department at Columbia, where he learned the extent of the bloated management fiefdom at Columbia and the strategies of subterfuge and secrecy that the Administration uses to keep faculty and students in the dark. The results over the past 20 years of ginning the rankings have had real impacts:

“It’s clear that the growth of university bureaucracies and administration has been a major driver of the cost of higher education growing much, much faster than inflation. We now have about 4,500 administrators on the main campus, about three times the number of faculty, and that’s a new development over the past 20 years,” he [Thaddeus] said.

Wouldn't it be interesting to do some research on these kinds of real numbers for other colleges and universities?

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