Monday, June 08, 2015

Here's a good example of how public universities waste taxpayer dollars

by Leigh Pomeroy

On my desk I'm looking at a Howard Miller 645-574 Imperial table clock given to my wife upon her retirement from a large Midwestern state university. It sells for about $57 online. The engraved brass plate costs $58 or so, for a grand total of $115 for a clock my wife neither wants nor needs, now that she's retired.

I rescued the clock from a box of items she's planning to give to a local thrift store and the packaging from the garbage where she had thrown it.

Had the university asked her, she would much rather have received something more practical or perhaps something she wanted. Better still, maybe she would have preferred that the money to go to a scholarship for a needy history student, since that was her field of academia.

I know what she really would have wanted instead of a clock because she told me many times:
  • Fewer administrators telling her what to do and creating useless busywork that sucked time from teaching, researching, improving curriculum and helping students.
  • The university to get rid of faculty members who game the system and don't do their jobs.
  • The university to enforce academic integrity rules so she wouldn't have had to spend so much time policing students who cheat and then having to defend herself for doing so.
  • The university to focus more on academics and less on sports.
Instead, for twenty-nine years of service she got a "brass-tone" clock.

I guess the clock is worth something to someone if they take the engraved plate off.

Anybody want a clock?

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