I couldn’t help but feel a wave of dismay and frustration wash over me this past Tuesday when I perused news headlines. Between The Hoya’s article on the exorbitant salaries of Georgetown administrators (The Hoya, Sept. 19, 2011, A1) and the announcements regarding the flurry of athletic conference realignment (The Hoya, Sept. 19, 2011, A1), the apparent degeneration of institutions of higher learning into greedy, self-serving businesses could not have been more clearly articulated.

While students on the Hilltop have pled, begged and (thankfully) started to demand better funding for student programming and repairs of their deteriorating dormitories, the university’s administration has been kicking back with salary checks normally reserved for fat cats on K Street. Georgetown has slipped in rankings, its endowment is smaller than most of its peer institutions and students and faculty are in constant struggle to keep academic programs off the chopping block. Yet administrators are accepting salaries double and sometimes quadruple the national average. Since when did the greedy entitlement of bureaucrats take precedence over tuition-paying students’ quality of educational experience?

In a similar vein, the administrations of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and other brand-name athletic power-houses across the country have proven themselves more interested in profits from the increasingly lucrative college athletics industry than the integrity they preach to students. Even if their neglect of sentimentalities like loyalty, tradition and institutional history don’t get one riled up, the more practical considerations of conference and program stability may suffice. Moreover, the Panthers’ and Orange’s decision to slip out of the Big East under the cover of night in search of higher TV revenue blatantly contradicts the ideals they espoused just a few years ago when they chastised Boston College for a similarly unscrupulous move from the Big East.

Ultimately, my understanding of what American universities’ priorities should be and where they should exercise moral consistency may be idealistically unreasonable. This letter is just to say that I hope I wasn’t the only one who shook my head in disapproval on Tuesday, when greed reared its head in the educational world.


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