Look, I know that tuition hikes are inherent within our system of higher education. I don’t agree with it, but I’d be morally remiss to hate the player as opposed to the game that perpetuates such wild inflation.
I also know that the inner workings of a university the size of Temple are complex, requiring a work ethic and capability not possessed by many, thus creating a highly demanding job market. At least this was what we were told when The Temple News reported last week on how our increased tuition dollars are poured into sharply rising administrative salaries.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that University administrators, whose combined raises amount to $175,000, even deserve their raises while we pretend that such recent developments as minority admission quotas and the ejection of upper classmen to off-campus housing were positive. Let’s further assume that their defense of these raises, that they were necessary in order to compete with administrative pay in comparable universities, was genuine in appeal. Where my problem lies is in the belief of a mystical equation directly relating administrators with academic success.
I suppose the theory goes that top administrators have a ripple effect on the university at large, as it’s transformed into a well-oiled machine of bureaucratic brilliance in establishing a beautiful campus filled with ingenious young minds.
Jerry Krause, a former GM of the Chicago Bulls, once infamously remarked that it was organizations that won championships, not players. As if in effort to prove his point, he oversaw the dismantling of one of the great dynasties in NBA history and attempted to build it up again, as if anybody with his keen intellect could do so regardless of the players.
Needless to say, he failed miserably. His failure can be attributed to his lack of foresight concerning human nature that one will make when regarding people as mere chess pieces and not free-thinking individuals.
Similarly, President Adamany has taken his eye off the ball yet again in appearing to believe that his mere presence, along with the rest of the administrations’, will be more than sufficient enough for Temple to develop into a top draw university. His feel for the university has always been questionable and he has done little to dispel that perception now. If he were locked into Temple’s pulse, he’d be able to focus on the real issues at hand and not on his flat-screen TV.
The principal building for the College of Music is Presser Hall, an old, out-of- date building that was constructed without windows so as to be riot-proof. Its decrepitude is rivaled only by that of Curtis Hall, which is scheduled to be replaced anyway. You’re telling me some of that $175,000 in raises couldn’t be invested in a new building?
The sorry state of the computer lab in Paley Library is one of the most overlooked problems. We may be one of the most connected universities in the nation, but the machines that are connected are an embarrassment, both in use and presentation to prospective students.
You want to improve the quality of education at Temple? Forget financing your Mercedes, how about supplying students with a few computer monitors with clear, focused pictures so that we can read the type displayed on them, not to mention printers that provide printouts suitable enough to hand in for a grade. By one rough estimate supplied by computer technician Lewis Rosenthal, a system including cords, sundries and set-up labor valued at $575 and HP 4300 series printers valued at $1800, a new lab of 100 computers and 15 printers would cost around $84,500. My math may be a little fuzzy, but isn’t that sizably less than $175,000?
I think I want my money back.
Noah Potvin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.