Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The State University Monopoly Problem

Competition is always better than state sanctioned monopolies. However more and more there are government sponsored monopolies.

One area where monopolies run rampant is in state universities where the universities conduct "sponsored" programs. Where sponsored is simply another way of saying that the taxpayer is picking up the bill.

The hypocrisy of these universities is that any economics professor will tell you that monopolies is not good business practice as it harms the consumer, the market and competition, yet these same professors are often employed by a state sanctioned monopoly known as a "State University"

The Universities then take taxpayer money, set up what should be businesses and run these enterprises under their 501(c)(3) status without paying taxes. How many consulting businesses do you know run out of Universities. The Universities have businesses ranging from Dairy Inspections, to Vet services, to agricultural services to foster care and counseling services.

Billions of taxpayer dollars go to fund the University-based businesses each year with all the residual money going towards the University or into State coffers as part of their intergovernment money laundering transfer system.

This is from a blog focusing on Arizona State University.

Why is ASU the only public, 4-year university in a metro area of 4 million? Other cities smaller than Phoenix have more than one public university; I will assert that if Phoenix and Arizona intend to stay competitive with the rest of the country then the system in Arizona must restructure to provide greater accountability and accessibility to residents. Overcrowding at ASU can be reduced, quality can be increased and costs can be lowered when there is access to more public higher education. (I’m not discounting community colleges. Phoenix has many community colleges but they all feed into one and only one state university in the Valley of the Sun.)

To address this problem the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) must discard the idea of “one university in many places.” Disjointed, under-utilized satellite campuses governed by one central authority can not provide a quality education at an affordable price. Even more unfair to students is that a university in “many places” forces students at the satellite campuses to subsidize expensive research programs and parking structures at the “main” campus. But why should they?

For very little money Phoenix can have two new public universities. ASU West could become its own non-research university, with its own budget, own admission standards, and its own tuition rate. It could offer its own programs in business, education, etc and because it would be a non-research university, the cost to attend would be much cheaper. It could be called Phoenix State University or Central Arizona University, highlighting the metro area where it is located. (Think Chicago State University, or San Diego State University.)

The Polytech campus in the east valley could be integrated to become a medium-cost, moderate research university offering degree programs in Math, Humanities, Engineering and Technology. We could call it Arizona Tech University, or Arizona Institute of Technology.

60-65% of the statewide population lives in Greater Phoenix, this means 3 out of 5 Arizonans live in the metro area but we only have 1 public university. If 3 out of 5 people live here, it makes sense to have 3 distinct, autonomous public universities located here (ASU and the hypothetical Phoenix State University and Arizona Tech).

ASU is too big and wields too much power in politics and development. The Empire must be broken to give Arizonans more choices and greater access. Arizona could increase college graduation rates (rather than mere enrollment rates) and Arizona could easily strengthen its university system.

source http://psuandaztech.blogspot.com

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