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Author Topic: Universities  (Read 12588 times)

George Phillies

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Universities
« on: September 15, 2003, 10:09:12 pm »

Let me begin with an explanation.  A university, however named, is an institution of higher learning that offers the doctorate and in which faculty obligations for teaching and scholarly endeavors are weighted equally.

Junior colleges and the like are not universities.  There are rather few universities in the United States.  If you count those having doctoral programs in physics or in chemistry, there are perhaps 185 or so, and some rarely give a doctorate in anything.  Many states have only one or two.

In most places, commuting crossborder is impracticable. (OK, I did once have a colleague who lived in Indianapolis.)  The edge of New Hampshire or Maine into Cambridge is at best marginally practicable because there is a commuter rail.  One could, of course, live in a Free State, and maintain a pied a terre near one's university, but this is less practicable for people with families.

An alternative for members of the learned professions who wish a university is to start one, on radical lines, namely that the university is organized on somewhat the same lines as a law partnership.  The tenured faculty are the senior partners; the untenured faculty are the junior partners, and the Administrative Support Staff reports to the senior partner's governing committee.  Salaries are based on a division of income, providing a valuable incentive to suppress unneeded staff.  Under modern conditions, faculty are a small and diminishing portion of the university budget :'(  . With more economical organization, a university could offer the same serious academic services at a moderate fraction of the cost.

Summerlin

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Re:Universities
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2003, 11:54:50 pm »

Interesting idea George.  I have a couple of questions, I'm going to throw them out here.

How does a University get certified so the Degrees are the equivallent of State Universities?  What's the cost and requirements for this Certification and is it a federal or state requirement?

  :)
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thistlewind

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Re:Universities
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2003, 08:29:57 am »

Great Subject,  I have actually been considering on how to get the Mises Institute or the Ayn Rand Institute to relocate to the freestate once it is selected.  I think the selection of NH would be more hospitable to this, but you never know.  Do you think that the prospect of these organizations being located in the Free-est State incentive enough, or do we need to provide some sort of tax-break or government funded relocation program?  (Jokin  ;) )
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Universities
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2003, 01:14:22 pm »

Schools offering masters and doctorates in New Hampshire:

University of New Hampshire (Engineering, CS, Education, among others)
Dartmouth College (Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering, as well as many arts & science PhDs, and Dartmouth Medical School)
Plymouth State University (MBA, PhD CED)
Southern New Hampshire University (PhD CED, DBA)
Antioch New England
Franklin Pierce College (MBA, Law, and CS)
Daniel Webster College (MBA)
New England College (MFA, MBA, Education)
Rivier College (MFA, MBA, ME, MAT, MS, MA)

Many colleges offer graduate programs, and curiously, Dartmouth, which offers more doctoral options than most major universities, has shunned the 'university' title.
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George Phillies

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Re:Universities
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2003, 03:15:05 pm »

Interesting idea George.  I have a couple of questions, I'm going to throw them out here.

How does a University get certified so the Degrees are the equivallent of State Universities?  What's the cost and requirements for this Certification and is it a federal or state requirement?

  :)

Universities are unlike, say, automobiles.  There is no requirement for certification ('accreditation') per se.  Accreditation is done by a series of private groups, not by the state or federal governments.  Accreditation largely functions to filter out fly by night groups, and only really matters if you want students to qualify for student loan guarantees.  

Some states do charter universities or control which degrees they may offer, but to my knowledge this is done as regulation of nonprofit institutions.  I do not have a full list of those requirements.

Some employers view accreditation, which is largely in practice a financial survey, as of interest.  Accrediting agencies have not previously had to deal with faculty-owned operations and might not know what to do with them.  The value of a degree, at the university level, is the esteem placed upon it by other academicians, and that's really based on the known merit of the faculty.

Here are the PhD granting Chemistry Departments in the 10 candidate states.  No state has more than two.  The only private university in the lot is Dartmouth, in New Hampshire.

Alaska, Fairbanks
Delaware- University of
Idaho, University of Moscow
Maine, U of (Orono)
Montana State (Bozeman)
Montana, U of (Missoula)
NH-Dartmouth
NH, University of (Durham)
ND, U of (Grand Forks)
ND State (Fargo)
SD State (Brookings)
VT U of (Burlington)
WY U of (Laramie)

SethA

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Re:Universities
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2003, 06:17:17 pm »

I really like this idea. Another aspect is that it is now feasible to offer many university level classes online. The Univ. of  Phoenix is probably the best known, although Regis Univ. in Denver and others have large online offerings. There are some online MBA programs, very expensive as I recall, but probably not many other advanced degrees.

Obviously you can't do a PhD in Chemistry this way. By the way, why do you focus on that degree, is it some academic standard of measuring universities? Just curious. I should think that is a fairly small degree program at most universities.

In any event, having some online classes might reduce the cost of the physical plant to some extent and increase income. In this case, it would also offer people who can't move to the free state an opportunity to take some classes at FSU.
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Universities
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2003, 08:58:06 pm »


Here are the PhD granting Chemistry Departments in the 10 candidate states.  No state has more than two.  The only private university in the lot is Dartmouth, in New Hampshire.

Dartmouth, actually, goes by the name Dartmouth College, not Dartmouth University, while its doctoral programs are more diverse than most that claim the 'university' title. Can you explain this?

Oh, and The University of Vermont is not UV, or UVT it is UVM: i.e. Universidad Vered Montes
« Last Edit: September 17, 2003, 09:00:27 pm by Mike Lorrey »
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Patrick

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Re:Universities
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2003, 10:33:41 pm »

I thought that it might be fun to do a search using Peterson's online graduate program search (www.petersons.com) for areas of study that might be interested in the FSP. I searched for Ph.D. programs in Economics, History, Political Science, and Public Policy. I also added J.D. programs. Here are the somewhat (to me) surprising results.

Ph.D. Economics (161 programs in the U.S.)
There are 5 Ph.D. granting programs in the FSP final 10.

University of Delaware
University of Idaho
Southern New Hampshire University
University of New Hampshire
University of Wyoming

Ph.D History (154 programs in the U.S.)
There are 5 Ph.D. granting programs in the FSP final 10.

University of Delaware
University of Idaho
University of Maine
University of New Hampshire
University of North Dakota

Ph.D. Philosophy (115 programs in the U.S.)

None in any of the states.

Ph.D. Political Science (134 programs in the U.S.)
3 programs

University of Delaware
Idaho State University
University of Idaho

Ph.D. Public Policy and Administration (103 programs in the U.S.)
4 programs

University of Delaware
University of Idaho
University of Southern Maine
University of Vermont

J.D. (196 programs in the U.S.)
9 programs

DE has Widener University
University of Idaho
University of Southern Maine
The University of Montana–Missoula
NH has Franklin Pierce Law Center
University of North Dakota
The University of South Dakota
Vermont Law School
University of Wyoming
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George Phillies

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Re:Universities
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2003, 10:49:56 am »

I did Chemistry because I had a copy of the American Chemical Society Directory of Graduate Research close at hand.  Physics is almost the same within a few schools.  If you worked through engineering ABET-accredited you would get a similar list.  If you did AACSB for Management you would find a list about 15 times as long.

There are indeed proprietary institutions that offer degrees, but as job opportunities they are really minimal.  They provide certification, but do not generate research--that's not their objective.   However, for someone with a good internet link and appropriated competencies they do provide _a job_, and (given that they tried to recruit everyone here for moonlighting) they are not picky about who else you work for. One of them may pay its President close to a million dollars a year, but working down the latter matters are less favorable.  The reason I proposed the partnership organization is that it provides a way for academicians moving to a state to find a university affiliation fairly quickly.

Note that what places call themselves is much more scattered.  One has schools, colleges, polytechnics, institutes,...  Also, economic strength arises in significant part from academic strength, so you either have it or have it close if you want it.  A place with few mediocre universities is going long-term to have economic challenges.  Wyoming has the complex of schools in Denver-Golden-Boulder.  The New England states have the Cambridge-Worcester-Amherst group.  Delaware has the Maryland-VA-PA-DC schools.

George

DadELK68

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Re:Universities
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2003, 12:06:36 pm »

Part of my concern is based on the impression that a degree from a 'traditional' campus-based college/university (even if much or all of the work is online or by correspondence) is still much more highly regarded than one from 'nontraditional' institutions such as the U of Phoenix or a 'high-school extension' college such as Hesser (with multiple campuses in NH). You'd have to decide up-front if you want to create an institution which would be competing for prestige (and the quality faculty and top students ) with Dartmouth, the U of WY, or the U of I, or one which is more focused on profitability without as much concern with prestige. Personally, I believe that you can have profitability and prestige if it's done correctly, but that's the key - the plan from the start would have to focus on how to make sure it is done correctly.

While in terms of physical facilities this could be done anywhere (even out of a strip mall or office complex - examples in NH include multiple-campus colleges like Hesser and Daniel Webster), if you want to have a respected institution with some sort of in-house cohesion with the possibility of in-residence enrollment it would make the most sense to move toward developing a 'campus'. This could be done from scratch after purchasing land, or by purchasing/leasing existing facilities.

An interesting possibility in NH/New England is that there are many small, private colleges which tend to function just on the cusp of financial solvency. In the last few years I recall reading about one in Haverhill MA which was closed, and a few others which have been bought and sold by different parties.

An 'investors group', consisting primarily of faculty and perhaps being open to other Porcupines (perhaps including some who would do well as part-time faculty, Regents, etc.), could probably find a small college in NH with an actual campus which could be purchased. In states with fewer of these small private colleges, it would be more likely that you'd have to start from scratch.
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:Universities
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2003, 12:44:42 am »

Not just marginal colleges. There are a number of communities around NE that once were home to private prep schools that fell by the wayside in the 70's. Canaan, NH  for example, once had a private prep school in its 'downtown'.

Furthermore, there are some NH communities that were once mill towns but never recovered totally from the collapse of the mill economy: they were too far from the interstate highway, not on any major state highway, so these communities have mill buildings still sitting vacant or mostly so. Building a college campus around a mill building makes a lot of economic sense and is probably the best real estate you can get close to or in downtown areas.
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DadELK68

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Re:Universities
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2003, 09:35:12 am »

Those are excellent ideas. If NH is selected, do I smell another corporation in the works, investing in the creation of a Free State University?
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George Phillies

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Re:Universities
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2003, 11:59:21 am »

Those are excellent ideas. If NH is selected, do I smell another corporation in the works, investing in the creation of a Free State University?

The issues are prestige, actual quality, and profitability for stockholders.  The for-profits as a group are there to provide a very different sort of education than are traditional universities.  They also devote a larger amount of money to salaries for top executives.  The issue I was focusing on is that there is a competition between actual academic activity (faculty, their research, their teaching) and resources that are grabbed up by the administrative staff, and the faculty side of things is being pushed out of the picture, ever so slowly.  

There might very well be one or more Free Universities launched, depending on the target state.  The precedent is Harvard which was founded when Massachusetts had a higher % of its population with doctorates than at any time since (around 1650 A.D.), because Massachusetts was founed by the highly educated, in significant part.

Top Dollar

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Re:Universities
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2003, 01:03:55 pm »

An alternative higher education program to the traditional degree system is a variation of apprenticeships.  Students learn by doing by having a portion of their credit come from working in their chosen field.  The goal of the program is for the students to graduate as owners of their own businesses.

As an example, a mechanical engineer would begin with coursework and work experience in auto mechanics, drafting, machine shop, progress to design and engineering, and finish with business and management with his own firm as a consultant or manufacturing company.  Incoming students provide a steady stream of workers for previous students' businesses.

Also, entry into the program can start at the junior high level.  The requirements for a GED can be met much faster than the 13 year cycle of K-12 schooling.  Much of what goes on in a high school, such as team sports, cheerleading, socialist revisionist history, etc. is not conducive to libertarian thought anyway.
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DadELK68

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Re:Universities
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2003, 02:00:08 pm »

As a physician with backgrounds in education and business, I've thought that reforming medical education with a different didactic and apprenticeship model would likely solve many problems in healthcare today. By this I mean a combination of working and continuing education such that one might start at an entry-level health/science/social services job and continue studying and taking classes to eventually become something like a nurse or tech, continue to the level of PA/NP, and with completion of additional coursework and experiential education eventually become an MD. Along with many other likely benefits, it would allow participants to defray the cost of their education by minimizing the tuition demands at any one time and earning an income to help with other expenses.

I won't go into the specifics of medical education here, because I doubt anyone else will care. However, I can imagine a Free State U which includes a combination of different faculty types including full-time (teaching and research), part-time (teaching and also working outside of the university) and adjunct (working outside and taking on students in an experiental clerkship and/or apprenticeship role).

The prestige factor comes from many variables, but two of the most important are 1) quality and prestige of faculty, and 2) quality of students. If these two are addressed as two of the highest priorities, then it follows that exceptional programs can be created and outstanding graduates will be produced, which in the long run is probably the most important factor in establishing prestige and continuing to attract the best faculty and students.

Eric
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