Jan 212003
 
Authors: Ken Hamner

Those who followed The Tick cartoon series will instantly recognize these words: “And isn’t sanity really just a one trick pony anyway? I mean all you get is one trick, rational thinking, but when you’re good and crazy, oooh oooh oooh, the sky is the limit.” The sky is certainly the limit for one man – the venerable, honorable, Gov. Bill Owens.

What’s Bill up to lately? How about the destruction of CSU, or at least the de-accreditation? Accreditation of universities normally is a good thing. According to the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation helps verify to students and employers alike that a university adheres to strict educational and financial requirements.

The North Central Association of Schools accredits Colorado State. They are concerned about CSU right now because we are in the process of selecting a suitable successor to Dr. Al Yates, one that embodies the strongest sense of coolness and righteousness that a school of CSU’s long history and tradition truly deserves.

The NCAS would prefer to see a leader with tremendous drive and dedication, committed to seeing that CSU remains true to its primary purpose of releasing thousands of highly educated and skilled people into the nation each year.

Bill Owens, however, has other ideas, and it could severely jeopardize our school’s reputation.

The Board of Governors (a body of humans selected by the governor of Colorado) selects CSU’s leader based upon 5 to 7 recommendations put forth by a CSU search committee. At least one of these people must be “nontraditional,” someone who comes from outside the sphere of traditional higher education. In other words, they are businessmen and politicians, not professors, scientists or scholars.

Currently up to 15 percent of national accredited schools and universities have presidents of this nature. Bill Owens is trying his best to add one more name to that list. He has been quoted as saying that an academic background is no longer a requirement to run an educational institution, and that university faculties have too few Republicans. In other words, “Education, smeducation, let’s make us some money, HEEHAW!”

Who is Owens’ choice to make this happen? Millionaire Marc Holtzman, Technology Secretary for Bill Owens, whose mountainous academic achievements include a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Let’s face it, folks. In a fairy-tale world, universities exist for one reason – higher education for qualified and talented individuals destined to lead our nation in every possible arena. In reality, however, the purpose of a university is to make lots of money. Owens’ very publicly announced choice for president fully embraces this sentiment. Additionally, by voicing such an endorsement, he has tainted the selection process to the point of raising more than a few eyebrows belonging to national educational leaders.

According to Steven Crow of the NCAS, CSU has nationally advertised for a presidential position open to candidates demonstrating strong personal, academic and intellectual achievements, as well as an understanding of faculty relations.

Should the college board (hand picked by Owens, by the way), fail to follow its own rules in favor of selecting a president due to undue political influence, it would lead to the scrutinization of the university and may endanger its accreditation.

This is a bad thing, repercussions of which could lead to sanctions against the university (endangering faculty retention and student/faculty recruitment) or possibly a loss of accreditation.

This means that when you graduate with, say, a doctorate in Computational Fluid Dynamic Engineering from CSU and provide this information to a potential employer, that employer is likely to say, “That’s great, kid, but we’re going to choose to hire someone from an accredited school.”

But who cares, really? Bill Owens, our “Education Governor,” is ensuring the financial security of CSU for generations to come. That is all that is truly important.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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