Some years ago, the price of tuition at Bucknell University was a mere fraction of what it is today. Over the past two decades, Bucknell has become the 7th most expensive University in the United States. The University has become fiscally irresponsible and simply pushes as much money through the balance sheet as possible, without regard for the student population.
One such example is the campaign that Bucknell has recently commenced. The University is spending a lot- a million dollars? – to flatter folks into giving back tens of millions. This 1000%+ return on investment, while it may be suitable, or even incredible, for business, is simply unacceptable for higher education. Bucknell must be better. Bucknell must be more economically efficient.
First, let’s compare world-class higher education to a car. Bucknell used to cost the same as a mid-range Ford. Now, with more qualified faculty, more extra curricular programs, and simply better academics, it costs the same as two Ford Tauruses. Is a year of our education, our struggles, our discoveries, our community and our successes, really worth two cars? That is certainly debatable. It is a moot point that the cost of higher education across the country has far outpaced the inflation rate for the past two decades. Bucknell must do better.
Our reliance on privileged, white, metropolitan, entitled students is a good start. While the birth-rate of upper-class northeastern families is dropping, not all is lost. It is these students who tend to be the drunkards of campus. Drunken nights are statistically shown to lead to unprotected sex, which leads to children. Therefore they are a self-sustaining bunch. We will always have more economically viable Bucknellians.
However, we will never be sustainable as long as we continue programs that simply do not have as much economic merit. Let’s take the Environmental Studies department as an example. You need the Benjamins to protect the Marshes. Will saving marshes and other equally useless facets of nature help Bucknell in the long run? No, it won’t. Programs such as this, and others like Classics, Philosophy, Dance and East Asian Studies, are economic drains on our institution.
In addition, we have become slaves to our own financial needs. Pitching a huge tent on campus for the wealthiest members of our community do to what? Give money to the unsustainable, uneconomical programs like environmental studies? Preposterous! That is simply an ethical dilemma that has induced us into a slave like state. How could we call ourselves a non-profit and compare ourselves to the Salvation Army, whose mission it is to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ?” Bucknell, in its current ways, will never reach the economical ways of Jesus Christ and ordained members of the Catholic Church.
Luckily, there is a solution. Keeping those wealthy white students around is a good economical start. Let’s take away the freebirth control (that will also get us closer to the church, won’t it?) and increase our sots’ alcoholic consumption. This will ensure the sustainability of students. Secondly, we should get rid of minority students altogether. Having over half the students on financial aid is certainly not an economical practice. As the great Rudyard Kipling once wrote, they are the white man’s burden, and thus are simply holding us back as a lean institution. Lastly, Bucknell should become a trade school. I propose we keep only the School of Management and the College of Engineering, as those students are more likely to have higher paying jobs, and thus can support our cycle. Only accepting students who can pay and only offering courses that will lead to jobs is certainly the solution to creating a renowned university.
I believe you will find that most Bucknellians would agree with me. Why would we do things like recognize the social benefits of diversity and sportsmanship that is derived from athletics? Those are simply superfluous costs. As we strive to be the best we can be, we must choose between efficiency and effectiveness. Who cares about effectiveness in an educational institution?
I do admit, I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote these initiatives, having no other interest than that of the well-being of my University. As a white, northeastern, upper-middle class, female, management student, I believe it is the best option for the economic improvement of Bucknell.