Friday, March 22, 2019

Student Loans Warping Society

By Professor Doom

      I’m often asked about the long term effects on our culture from the huge student loan scam. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I have only conjecture, but a recent article from Buzzfeed (bear with me, I’ll be making corrections) tries to address this problem:

Jen’s story is like a lot of people’s stories. She’s 35 years old. She and her sister were the first in their family to go to college. She emerged from undergrad with $12,000 in debt, and even though she was making just $30,000 a year at her first job, she made her standard monthly loan payments on time. In 2008, when she was laid off into the depths of the economic crisis, she decided to do what so many other people did then: go back to school…

      So far so good for Buzzfeed, the above really is the typical story. Bottom line, students pay way too much for college degrees which financially reward far too little, hurting them greatly. A significant proportion of those students don’t quite learn their lesson and go into grad school, utterly devastating their lives in exchange for an overpriced graduate degree which is no more useful than their overpriced undergraduate degree.

      The Buzzfeed piles on with their anecdote by giving Jen a stroke, but that’s entirely unnecessary…simply going to grade school sealed her fate, stroke or not, much as it’s destroyed many of our citizens.

Jen is one of more than 44 million Americans with student loans, and her current balance of $70,000 is just a tiny fraction of our collective $1.5 trillion debt load.

      The 44 million number is mostly correct; it’s the official estimate, and I can forgive Buzzfeed for using it. Trouble is, that estimate comes from a strange accounting method, which doesn’t count many students currently in college taking loan money, as having student loans, because the loans don’t “officially” count until the student leaves college. As around 70% of college graduates (and, presumably, college dropouts) have loans, and there are around 20 million college students, we could be looking at 60,000,000 people with student loans now…that’s close to 20% of the population.

The weight of all that student loan debt is markedly different than the feeling of the weight of mortgage or credit card debt — after all, those borrowers can declare bankruptcy, an option unavailable to student loan borrowers.

      If 20% of the population had AIDS, cancer, or some other lifelong debilitating and inescapable disease, it’d be major news. But somehow these lifelong loans just aren’t very interesting to the mainstream media. Hmm.

That Jen defaulted on her loans isn’t uncommon, either — default rates are projected to hit 38% by 2023. Like Jen, most who default don’t do so because they’re lazy, or not out looking for work, but because the loan payment amounts are just too much. Nevertheless, much of the conversation around student loan debt still puts the onus on the borrower.

      Wow, that’s a huge projection for defaults. Of course, the default won’t save the borrowers, since the loan only gets larger when you default. People with cancer or AIDS are luckier, I guess, since they can at least die—some student loans stay even after death.

      Back when we had the sub-prime housing loan crisis, we eventually had a massive default which destroyed several very large and powerful banks, while other banks got multi-trillion dollar bailouts.

      Soon, we’re going to have a massive student loan default. Maybe it, too, will be solved by bailouts, but I can’t rule out a violent revolt…20% of the population is large enough for a civil war, and seeing as they’d have little to lose, it’s at least a possibility.

“A member of my family once said I deserved student loan debt because I chose the unrealistic field of history,” one borrower told me.

     The above sentiment is quite common, but I feel far more pity than contempt for students trapped like this, and I’m not a sweet person by nature. See, these kids were indoctrinated into going to college, indoctrination which started at around the 2nd grade (if not earlier), and becomes incredibly oppressive by the time they’re leaving high school.

     They’re told about the 23 genders, but never told about the perils of student loans. Heck, 28% of students with student loan debt don’t even know it...if they don’t even know they have the debt, perhaps the government is justified in not counting the debt as debt. I don’t agree, of course, since the microsecond the student steps off campus, degree or not, payments accrue.

     So, no, this isn’t the student’s fault. It’s our higher education system’s fault, especially since every accredited school (i.e., a school which can take student loan money) certifies in writing that they’ll act with integrity…even as they rip off and deceive students into taking on student loans.

      Now, there is a possibility of student loan forgiveness:

The issue came into focus in fall 2018, when the Department of Education released information related to the first round of potential loan forgiveness. Out of 29,000 forgiveness applications that had been processed, more than 98% had been rejected.

     Buzzfeed it a bit off here, the rejection rate isn’t 98%, 49 out of 50, it’s more like 279 out of 280…basically nobody qualifies. Eh, Buzzfeed is close enough I guess. The whole forgiveness thing really is a joke:

…just how illogical and intractable the system remains. If you pay even one dollar more than your set income-based repayment, the payment doesn’t count toward forgiveness. If you make the payment a day early, it doesn’t count. If you make a payment on the one-day gap between switching from one public service job to the next, it doesn’t count. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make a payment for one month, your loan will then go into forbearance.

      Now that we’ve established that student loans are crushing a generation of Americans…what’s this going to do to our country?

      Next time around I’ll talk about what Buzzfeed has to say.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Yale: White Boys Should Be Watched As Enemies

By Professor Doom

     As long as it’s in the news, let’s pick on Yale some more.

     One of the big problems on campus today is the lockdown to Progressive/Leftist/Cultural Marxist thinking…many departments, many fiefdoms, are filled exclusively with people who hold one particular set of beliefs and, more importantly, will not allow anyone who thinks differently to exist within those departments and fiefdoms.

     As this set of beliefs gets ever more deranged, we see things happening which should never happen at a university, an institution devoted to the free exchange of ideas. A recent editorial at Yale shows the kind of garbage which is created when not even the very slightest of opposing views is allowed:

     The title is certainly harmless enough, but it doesn’t take long to see pathology here:

Everyone knows a white boy with shiny brown hair and a saccharine smile that conceals his great ambitions. He could be in Grand Strategy or the Yale Political Union. Maybe he’s the editor-in-chief of the News. He takes his classes. He networks. And, when it comes time for graduation, he wins all the awards.

      At first glance, the above is simple envy, but there’s so much here. Imagine instead if the author had said “black boy” and then described such in analogous terms…the outrage would have been incandescent in the media for weeks on end at the RACISM at Harvard. Taking classes and networking, incidentally, are options available to every college student, I’m not sure why “white boys” should be targeted for this activity. As far as “wins all the awards,” I beg to differ, and sure would like an example of this. When I won a national award in mathematics, I barely made the city paper—the local section, right after the kids who made Eagle Scout that month.

When I’m watching the white boy — who is now a white man by this point — on CNN, I’ll remember a racist remark that he said, an unintentional utterance that he made when he had one drink too many at a frat party during sophomore year. I’ll recall a message that he accidentally left open on a computer when he forgot to log out of iMessage, where he likened a woman’s body to a particularly large animal. I’ll kick myself for forgetting to screenshot the evidence.

     Goodness, I’ve heard of people holding a grudge, but this author is demented, holding a grievance against someone who’s done nothing, and regretting not preserving “evidence” of alleged RACIST remarks made when drunk, of unintentional utterances.

      These people need to be pitied, as I see no cure for the madness which has infected them. That said, the gentle reader needs to understand that this didn’t get posted randomly, the staff at the Yale student paper has had every opportunity to take this abomination down…and does not. Not a one of them is rational enough to see the sickness here.

The Kavanaugh trial was months ago, but still has an indelible effect on me.

     Holy cow, still bitter about that witch hunt/trial? Imagine how isolated you need to be not have been told that “all those women” who came forward with their dubious testimony (note: testimony, not evidence) against Kavanaugh have not continued to push their claims, which they would do if they honestly believed the things they were saying. Moreover, several have recanted their claims, admitting that they flat out lied.

     But these people are locked in their own world, so there’s nobody to tell them they’ve been lied to, repeatedly, about Kavanaugh. So they’re still angry that “that rapist” is actually on the Supreme Court.

Whisper networks, which are known as private chains of information which pass along knowledge of sexual assault, are useful, but insufficient in spreading information about indiscretions.

      Whoa, trial by “whisper network”? It took humans millennia to develop a court system, a method by which evidence could be examined and a conclusion about someone’s guilt could be reached. Although wildly imperfect, surely it’s better than whispering campaigns?

       Really, Yale, nobody there can think this through? Guess I’ll just start a whispering campaign about the regular human sacrifice going on at Yale then…

      The hate-filled essay ends with her solution:

But I can’t do that anymore — I can’t let things slip by. I’m watching you, white boy. And this time, I’m taking the screenshot.

      Yes, watch the “white boy,” take screenshots of his alleged transgressions so that, 30 years down the road, you can destroy him if he gets in the way of your political power. I guess the author will keep massive files on every “white boy,” much like Communist bloc countries did.

     Lest the gentle reader think Yale is an aberration, allow me to also quote from a recent editorial from a Pennsylvania college paper:

      I again point out the editorial is still up. I’m all for freedom of speech, but it’s queer how alternative media gets utterly de-platformed for daring to say Trump might win the presidential election, while this stuff stays up forever:

American society tells men, but especially white men, that their opinions have merit and that their voice is valuable, but after four years of listening to white boys in college, I am not so convinced. In my time at Dickinson I have listened to probably hundreds of white boys talk. It feels incessant. From classes and lectures, to the news and politics, there is an endless line of white boys waiting to share their opinions on the state of feminism in America, whether the LGBTQ+ population finally has enough rights, the merits of capitalism, etc. The list of what white boys think they are qualified to talk about is endless. Something very few of them seem to understand is that their (ill-informed, uncritical) opinions do not constitute truth. In fact, most often their opinions aren’t even original. White boys spout the narrative of dominant ideologies and pretend they’re hot takes instead of the same misleading garbage shoved down our throats by American institutions from birth. 

I am so g****mned tired of listening to white boys.

      Yeah, try substituting “black” for “white” in the above and see how easily you can get published in a college paper. Racist rants like the above are allowed because of the lockdown of Cultural Marxists in the papers (and elsewhere)…there are no sane people to stop this stuff being published.

So, should white boys still be allowed to share their “opinions”? Should we be forced to listen? In honor of Black History Month, I’m gonna go with a hell no. Go find someone whose perspective has been buried…

      While I’m against racism in all its forms, and particularly pieces like the above, I do encourage the reader to heed the author’s final line: seek out the people who’ve been buried, listen to the likes of Alex Jones, David Seaman, Greg Hunter, and many others who have been silenced for daring to provide information opposing the mainstream narrative.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Building A Successful Higher Ed Business…So Corrupt Anyone Can Do It.

By Professor Doom

     As I may be going into early/brief retirement, allow me to share some insights on building a successful business in an industry I know a bit about: higher education. Also, the recent revelation of wildly unqualified students getting into Ivy League schools brought this to mind, as I bet many of you are wondering how these kids manage to do the work in these elite college courses. Read on to learn how!

     There are three main ways to go for a higher education business.

      The first way is to build a full school. This is worth nothing unless you can get accredited; this can take a few years, but will open the floodgates of student loan money. It’s ridiculous just how much money is involved here, but unless you have the political connections to get degree-granting status, the money to keep the school open for a few years when you don’t have the revenue coming in, and the money to either build a campus (not recommended) or set up a fully online system, this isn’t an option for a typical reader. You could probably set it up for under three million dollars, though, making it all back twice over within a decade.

       The second way doesn’t require much money, but requires more knowledge: tutoring. I’m ambivalent about even recommending this as a business. Yes, I’ve made good money tutoring, but not so much these last few years. The problem seems to be people don’t need to know much anymore. As coursework gets watered down, as grading becomes easier, as colleges mandate 80% of the class passes no matter what, knowing test material just doesn’t matter so much. That said, if you do know a subject, and it’s something in demand (math mostly, and Education never), then tutoring is a great way to make a little money on the side.

       But now comes my slam dunk business. I know it’s a great idea because not once have I seen my business idea fail (it’s not an original idea). Rarely, an accredited school may close, and tutors come and go…but not this one.

       The great idea?  A paper writing website. There are only a few dozen sites operating right now, as near as I can tell, so there’s room for more. It’s a great deal--you still get to take advantage of that sweet student loan money! There’s a weird balance to student loan money paying tuition, and also paying the student to hire someone to do the work so the student passes the class, thereby not “wasting” the tuition money. So let’s talk about what you need for this business.

     First, you need to set up a website. It’s not that tough, here are a bunch of great option:

     The days where you need to know HTML to set up a web page, much less a business, are long over, and the above gives you plenty of easy options. As far as what, exactly, to put on your site, start small: just do college paper writing. Some sites give options to take the whole college course, but let’s just focus on the easy part.

About 466,000,000 results

       Now, what to put on your site, what to charge, etc.? Well, just type in “college paper writing service” into Google and click on one or two, or all 466,000,000 options to get some ideas. In fact, spend some money on “research” and buy some custom-written papers from one of those sites, to get a feel for what’s going on here.

     Now, you’re probably thinking, “But Professor Doom, I can’t write college papers, I don’t know much about anything, and don’t write well anyway. This isn’t a business for me!”

      Au contraire. You have two options.

     First, you can hire writers cheaply. When I first started writing professionally (for magazines, not college papers), I’d get around 10 cents a word, with articles ranging from 500 to 1500 words, for the most part. Nowadays pay runs around a penny a word. Because we’ve slammed most everyone into college, we’ve massively overproduced people who can write college papers. Supply and demand means pay for writers is very low.

      Finding the writers is easy enough, too. You can place cheap ads on education-related websites and such. We have such a massive glut of marginally employed (at best) academics that you’ll get many applicants in no time at all, many of them grossly underpaid college professors looking to make ends meet.

     But there’s an easier way: subcontract it all.

     If you’ve done your homework (thereby putting you way ahead of your customers), you’ve gone to several of the sites Google showed you, you know their prices, you know their turnaround times, and you’ve done a little business with them to see which are reliable enough.

       So, make the prices on your site slightly higher, and turnaround times slightly longer. Most of the customers coming to your site are lazy (there’s a reason why they’re hiring you to do their work for them, after all…), they’re not going to shop around. They’ll pay your price, and tell you what they want.

     Then you go and place the order with another site, get the paper written from them, and pass it right on to your customer! This is a business idea so easy quite literally anyone can do this.

      Now, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t this fraud? I mean, if I set up a hamburger business right behind a McDonald’s, then sold McDonald’s food to my customers after ordering and carrying it from that other restaurant, wouldn’t that be a problem?”

     It sure would. Thing is, McDonald’s is a legitimate (bear with me) business…they’d have a legitimate beef (pun intended) with you selling their food and passing it off as your own, and the courts would see it their way.

     But the college paper writing businesses are not legit. They completely operate off the fraudulent largesse of the student loan scam, which has brought a great number of “students” uninterested in academic work onto campus, and loaned them the money to do it. Unlike McDonald’s, their papers aren’t branded, in fact, their whole business is based on creating product which is untraceable (and thus won’t be discovered via plagiarism-detecting software).

     Besides, you’re actually a more legitimate customer than usual for such sites, sites, since you’re not actually buying papers which you’ll misrepresent as your work in a college course. If anything, you’ve got a case for being one of the very few (if any) people using these college paper writing “services” for legit-ish purposes.

     As long as the student loan scam exists, my business model of leeching off the college paper writing industry leeching off the student loan scam would be successful.

Admin: “You need to put more writing assignments in your math courses.”

--I received such directives many times when teaching at a fake CC.

      Allow me to take a few moments to summarize the level of fraud the student loan scam has reached. While any chucklehead knows full well that these “college paper writing services” exist only to defraud higher education, our administrators have done nothing, for years, to stop any of it, and a case could easily be made that they’ve encouraged the fraud to a considerable extent.

        Well, of course they have, our administrative class is paid for by the student loan scam, as is the students’ tuition, as are the papers purchased by these services. All I’m proposing is to simply add one more level of crap to the fraud…would it really make this cesspool more foul?


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Admission To Top Universities Worth $6 Million…What Do They Know?

By Professor Doom

     I went to a large public school—over 3,000 students, the better to increase the odds of having the talent for a good football team. It wasn’t particularly notable academically, so it was a big deal despite its size when a student in my class actually got accepted into the Ivy League. That was well over 30 years ago, before higher education collapsed into the mess it is today.

      Parents paying attention realize there’s a huge problem, and that they no longer can trust simply sending their kids to the big state university for an education. They also know that going to a small (and expensive) liberal arts school is an even worse idea.

      Increasingly desperate, parents hold on to the belief that the Ivy League, in this case Harvard, is the only remaining reliable option for seeing their kids educated. Desperation isn’t enough to get a child accepted, however, especially if the child doesn’t have stellar academic qualifications. It also takes knowing someone:

In November of 2017, a wealthy, desperate parent…to get their child into Yale, contacted William Rick Singer, who ran a business, disguised as a charity, that could accomplish that goal.

     Singer’s plan was simple: change the student’s resume so she could claim to be a soccer player, and get her into Yale for the soccer team (no scholarship, just admittance)--athletes can get in even if they don’t have the qualifications. To the schools which allow this, we probably should ask questions about a school’s true mission…and that’s every school we have.

     Of course, this plan only works if the coach is in on it. How much does it take to convince the coach to do this?

It was then that Singer sent Meredith [the coach] a check for $400,000.”

     Yea gods! Coaches are already paid ridiculous amounts in higher ed, do they really need even more money? Singer got the lion’s share, of course—the parents paid him $1.2 million dollars to grease the wheels here.

      Goodness, over a million dollars just to get their child into Yale…that’s not even counting tuition or anything like that, that’s just to enroll.

      Now, the dog not barking here is pretty loud: you don’t give a million bucks to “some guy” unless you know for sure that guy can deliver…Singer clearly had been running this operation for a while, long enough to get a reputation solid enough to generate million-dollar checks.

      The coach by himself can’t do it all, so there are plenty of others involved in this long-running scheme:

According to NBC News and ABC 11, 50 people, including some college coaches and two well-known actresses, have been charged in a widespread cheating scheme aimed at getting students into universities as recruited athletes.

     Well of course admin was involved; the actresses were just getting their own kids onto campus. What do they know that we don’t, that they’re this willing to shell out money to keep their kids off the campuses us normal folk go to?

       The coaches involved are from Yale, Sanford, Georgetown, USC...with sports teams like tennis, soccer, and water polo. Once on campus, the not so academically inclined students doubtless vanished into the weaker departments, much like with what happened at the Landry School. My book on why we’re getting college graduates who are illiterate didn’t focus on the Ivy League but it’s clear that stage is here, if not coming soon.

      Now, bribes aren’t like other purchases, you can’t exactly shop around and compare prices. What was the upper end?

The feds allege one parent gave Singer $6.5 million to aid a single child.


     Read the above carefully. If someone is willing to pay this much, this must be the market value for admission to the school. We really need to break this level of brainwashing.

     It must be nice to have that kind of money to piss away. Does the parent realize he could quite literally hire 4 faculty to teach his child every year, for four years, in one-on-one teaching (the absolute best and most effective form of teaching), pay each teacher $100,000 a year (i.e., more than the vast bulk of faculty receive), and come out ahead by millions of dollars?

      While the parent here was probably an idiot, I again wonder if maybe he knew something I don’t about what’s going on in these upper tier schools. There’s something more here than education, there has to be.

      The fraud, incidentally, didn’t always involve coaches. Sometimes the parents paid bribes to have their kids’ SAT or other entrance exam scores “enhanced.” I find this form of academic fraud more troubling than the athletic fraud, but I’m sure admin, once paid appropriately, find it all about the same.

       How long will this stay front page news? We have a wide-ranging scandal running for years, involving tens of millions of dollars and fraud at our most esteemed institutions and I bet it all vanishes within the week. I conjecture  in a few days most folks will have an easier time finding out what Stormy Daniels had for breakfast Sunday morning than learning anything more about this. I grant that this fraud and Stormy Daniels have equivalent impact on most Americans, but there’s something here.

      $6 million just to get a none-too-bright kid into an Ivy League school?   Yeah, something’s not right.  

The schools are not believed to be involved, according to NBC.  

-- Seriously, I’m quoting Yahoo news quoting NBC. Does anyone at either media site have half a brain?

     HAhahahah, I needed that laugh. The coach doesn’t single-handedly enroll students, so admin at the schools had to be involved as well. How many people working at the school need to be involved before you can fairly say the school was involved? How do you read this and not believe the schools are involved? I suspect the story will be nicely buried soon enough, but hopefully someone will see it and do the digging necessary to get some answers here.

     The whole student loan scam was founded because we thought lack of money was the reason kids weren’t getting in to college. But if you have a good school, if you work to maintain a reputation, it’s very clear parents will pay whatever it takes to get in. Very clear, indeed.



Sunday, March 10, 2019

Christian Students Fight Back…And Win

By Professor Doom

     Six months ago I covered how the University of Iowa was targeting a Christian youth group, tossing them off campus because of their anti-homosexuality stance regarding their own club officers—note carefully, the group was merely asking that its own officers adhere to Christian beliefs.

       The Christian group decided to fight the university’s bullying, taking their case to the courts. How’d that work out for them?

     Blatant discrimination, no less. I really feel the need to point out that the university was only too eager to spend a vast sum of tax dollars defending their blatant religious discrimination in court…a court paid for by tax dollars.

     While the previous note highlights the dementedness of our system, I focus on higher ed. How many times now has it been that the lunatics running our universities are perfectly confident they’re in the right, only to lose utterly once they make contact with our (admittedly corrupted) judicial system? Honest, this isn’t nearly as much praise for our judicial system as it is a highlight of just how far astray higher education has wandered from anything resembling a true path.

       To be fair, the university wasn’t just targeting Christian groups in the name of Progressive ideology:

When BLinC informed the university that it could not change its faith or stop asking its leaders to share its faith, it was kicked off campus. The university then deregistered 10 other religious groups, including Chinese Student Christian Fellowship, the Imam Mahdi Muslim organization, the Latter-day Saint Student Association, and the Sikh Awareness Club, for the same reason.

--BLinC, Business Leaders in Christ, is the Christan group fighting back.

     Progressivism really is just a religion, so I respect that it must target other religions for annihilation. The problem is, a university is supposed to be about knowledge, not religious purity.

      While the University of Iowa will cease their crusade, for the time being, the gentle reader should be aware it’s not the only institution so deranged as to try such persecution:

Another Christian student group, Ratio Christi at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, is having similar issues dealing with its school administrators. The group, which allows any student to become a member as long as they are in agreement with its mission, but requires all leaders to be of the Christian faith, was not allowed to register as a student organization, which would give the group access to funds, help from university administrators, and space to host events on campus. 

     Please understand a university policy, particularly a policy affecting large numbers of students, doesn’t just get installed overnight. It has to go through a committee, if not three such committees, before finally receiving approval from someone well up in the administrative caste.

     Perhaps U of Iowa was a fluke (a weird fluke, for Iowa), but it’s also happening in Colorado as the quote above shows, and, to a lesser extent, you can see this weird discrimination occurring on many other campuses. That’s the big takeaway here: this bizarre attempt to smite Christianity off campus wasn’t just an error by one deranged administrator, we have a whole bureaucratic system set up to destroy people of faith, a system where this policy was reviewed by perhaps a dozen administrators, none of whom knows enough about this country or its people to say “hey, this is morally wrong and blatantly illegal.”

     Granted lack of morality or knowledge of our country’s basic legal premises is pretty much a given in a college administrator, as any reader of my blog would know, but there’s a message here: the Christians are fighting back, and winning.

      It’s a good message, and I hope they win so much we all get tired of them winning…though that point is a long way away.



Thursday, March 7, 2019

Duke Professor Removed For Asking Students To Speak English

By Professor Doom

     Even though our schools are well-supported by a student loan scam pouring money on them in an ever increasing deluge, they always want more. A sweet spring of such funds comes from foreign students—they get to pay a “non resident” tuition penalty on top of the usual bloated tuition price.

     It’s particularly prevalent in graduate school, and, I daresay, even more so in the sciences…I was the only person in my department’s varsity soccer team who spoke English as a first language, for example (in fact, it’s where I first started to learn Mandarin, although a Russian striker left many an “Adidas” imprint on me during practice sessions…I was the goalie).

     So, it’s quite common to hear non-English being spoken between graduate students. It never bothered me—I’ve studied enough other languages to realize English is such a difficult, unfair, language, that I’m far more inclined to respect foreign students who speak English when they don’t have to than be annoyed by students who don’t when they can get away with it among themselves.

      As is so often the case, admin sees things differently than me:

A US university professor has been removed as director of a graduate programme, amid a furore over an email she sent urging students not to speak Chinese.

--I’m quoting from the BBC here, though the incident occurred at Duke University.

     Gee whiz, “Chinese”? Mandarin, or Cantonese? There are a few other viable guesses which sound close enough to Chinese to even the mildly initiated. Telling people what language not to speak seems harsh. What prompted this?

…two unnamed faculty members of the biostatistics Masters programme had complained to her about students speaking Chinese in public areas in the department.

     You better believe those faculty want to be anonymous in their complaints. All complaints by faculty are made anonymously, because fear of retribution is quite justified. This culture of fear is far more a concern than a language being spoken on a university campus that isn’t from the tiny part of the universe where the campus is located.

She said that not speaking English could lead to "unintended consequences" for international   students…


    I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons plenty, read my share of fantasy novels and…I simply lack the imagination to come up with an “unintended” consequence here. Can anyone give me a clue? This is how our leaders on campus rule, by fear of the unknown, even unknowable.

      Naturally in our wildly over-sensitive campus society, even daring to complain about anything a foreigner does is deemed racist, and the label was quickly slapped on her:

…Dr Neely, describing her as a supportive programme director and "definitely not a racist, not even close".

     Well, there it is then. Just say you’re not a racist, and you’re cleared from all accusations of such for all time. Imagine how many lives wouldn’t have been destroyed if it were common knowledge that this is how to escape the pitchfork-wielding mobs whenever the cry of RACIST is raised?

      Ok, this rational denial didn’t work for her, and she ended up resigning. While I disagree with her, I don’t think this minor faux pas merits anywhere near the punishment she’s received so far. Will it end?

     Petitions were immediately started online calling for her firing.

         This stuff really needs to end. It really would be in the students’ best interest for them to speak English as much as possible, but I completely respect that sometimes the need to communicate quickly dominates the desire to practice a difficult language. An e-mail imploring students, many of whom will likely work in this country, to work harder to improve the (putative) language of this country. She actually was trying to help, and seeing as she never specifically threatened anyone with not following her advice, I see no need to threaten her job over this.

      I grant it wasn’t just one e-mail, as she did something similar a year ago:

In a different email sent by Neely back in February 2018, she issued similar warnings to students speaking foreign languages in public spaces:

‘Bottom line: Continuing this practice may make it harder for you and future international students to get research opportunities while in the program. Please keep these potential downstream effects in mind when you choose to or choose not to speak in English outside of the classroom.’

      And…what of it? She’s still not forcing anyone, she’s still making a case for why our foreign students should practice English as much as possible. In short, she’s just doing…her…job. As much as I want to be against administrative activity, I don’t see the foul here.

It’s unclear who the two faculty members are, or if they existed to begin with. 

      Wow, this accusation comes right out of left field. Please understand, these foreign grad students often teach the undergraduate courses…I promise the gentle reader, I’ve heard many complaints from the undergraduates in those courses about how hard it is to get through the accent. Naturally, I encourage those students to try harder—I’ve certainly had to muddle through some tough professorial accents in my life—even as yes, off the record, I may have asked the teachers of those courses to practice their English more.

      In other words, I ask all parties involved to try harder to communicate with each  other. I imagine that makes me a RACIST also.

Monday, March 4, 2019

International Graduate School Enrollments Decline In Consecutive Years (First Time Ever)

International Graduate School Enrollments Decline In Consecutive Years (First Time Ever)

By Professor Doom

     Gloom and doom reports have always been around. I can find “new reports” of the dollar becoming worthless from the turn of the century…and similar reports from last week. Sooner or later they’ll be right, I suppose.
    Even a tiny rise in my tumor markers can presage the final run of cancer through my body...and the collapse of the mightiest dam begins with a tiny crack. A crack has shown up in higher ed.

     I’ve been talking about higher ed on my blog for five years, and while I’ve avoided talk of complete collapse, the structures we’ve built are only supported by the student loan scam…get rid of that constant income stream and 90% of higher ed will shrivel overnight.

      Outside of student loans for our citizens, a big source of money for campuses was international students, eager to get a taste of what, in the 20th century, was the greatest higher educational system on the planet. This money is nothing next to the student loan scam, and we’ve abandoned much of our original system in favor of extracting ever larger amounts of student loan money from our own citizens.

     The rest of the world has been figuring out that it’s no longer worth paying ever higher tuition for ever weaker education, so the following is only natural:

New International Graduate Enrollments Decline, Again

New enrollments of international students at U.S. graduate schools declined by 1 percent from fall 2017 to fall 2018, and international applications fell by 4 percent, survey finds.

     Now, yes, it’s only a few percent, but it’s telling. Our leaders in higher ed looted the undergraduate programs years ago, but it took nearly twenty years before people started realizing the bulk of degree programs are both exorbitantly expensive and worthless.

      It’s the same thing with graduate programs, where “washing out” is all but impossible from most graduate schools. The international students, with their own money on the line, will be the first casualty.

“This is the first time we’ve seen declines across two consecutive years, and while we think it’s too soon to consider this a trend, it is troubling…We continue to monitor issues, including changes in immigration and visa policy, with growing concern over the possible negative impact to the U.S.’s image as a welcoming destination for international students and scholars.”


     Note carefully: this is the first time we’ve seen a consecutive year drop. Perhaps it’s nothing, but I don’t think so. While the above tries to tie it in to our nation’s long overdue concern about illegal immigration…that’s a wild misdirection.

      It’s about the expense, and the education. Graduate programs used to have only a few dozen students in departments with a dozen faculty, with courses typically having a handful of students at most (as should be the case, considering the very esoteric topics of real graduate coursework). Now many campuses sport few full time faculty, but nevertheless have triple or more the number of graduate students of decades ago…leading to a huge Ph.D. glut we’ve known about for years, with Ph.D. mill campuses churning out far more academics than the schools can employ.

Less research-intensive universities -- many of which have come to rely on international students in master's programs as a key source of revenue -- were hit hardest by the decline in new international master's students. First-time international enrollment in master's programs fell by 15 percent at master's-level institutions, and by 8 percent at doctorate-granting institutions outside of those classified as most research intensive.

     It used to be the international students were a bonanza for the school, great money for the cost of educating them. But then the student loan scam came along, and there was just no need to keep the graduate programs legit, and that leads to the real issue.

      The reason I thought some schools would survive the loss of the student loan scam because of the foreign graduate students but…our schools are abandoning this revenue in exchange for taking in even more student loan dollars, as I’ve covered several graduate programs, even at top tier schools, who have turned their graduate departments into just another cash cow, expecting no repercussions any worse than for destroying the undergraduate education.

     I see our “leaders’” point: it’s just so much easier suckering the locals with the student loan scam, than building up a school good enough to attract students from 10,000 miles away, willing to pay with their own money.

     The rest of the article I quoted from breaks things down a bit by country and program and perhaps this is all just a minor statistical blip, of no real meaning. I’m not ready to predict more doom just on this but if the U.S. is no longer attracting international students, we’re definitely going to have a huge problem once we finally eliminate the student loan scam.

     It’s amazing how there’s always that “one person” who tries to make everything about politics in a discussion thread. Even in the supposedly rarified air of higher ed, such is common:

Given the growing hostility to foreigners in this country, both in and out of academe, is it surprising that international graduate students are choosing to study elsewhere?

      Wait, what? The bulk of foreign students are coming from China and India…nobody here is “hostile” to them in general, and what hostility there is, is towards people coming here illegally. It’s a complete non-sequitur to tie the legal arrival of scholars to our grad schools to the illegal crossings of our border.

      In any event, we’ve now seen a consecutive year decline in international students in our schools. It’s fair to ignore it for now…but what if it happens again next year? How many years in a row would it take before the leaders of higher ed would realize they’re falsely assuming the river of student loans will never run dry? Is destroying our graduate system so these guys can buy more lakefront property such a good idea? Why not keep at least parts of our graduate programs legit? I mean, other than because doing so would require real work, something our leaders aren’t particularly interested in.