The University of Virginia - Wired
Generally, I just keep my mouth shut. Okay, that’s an outright lie. I’ve never been known for keeping my mouth shut, to the detriment of my foot which calls that particular orifice a second home.
But totally out of character for me, I sat back and watched, inactive alumni that I am, and listened as the brouhaha of the past weeks unfolded like a film noire mystery: President ousted by unknown forces – all very suspect and seen only through thin Venetian blind shadows - then known forces revealed, then the villagers rose up and the coup was a success and President Sullivan was re-instated. Cool. Live. On air, and cyber space.
But there still remains an unresolved issue – that of whether to offer on-line classes or not at the
. And as if I had
received a call to action, I found that I had another definite opinion on
something. Hell yea, UVA should offer on-line classes, but that’s just such a
small slice of what my alma mater, from which I have always felt removed, should
be offering. University
When you look at the amount of money that is annually donated to The University, and you look at the amount of income from tuition, and you look at the current debt crisis of former students drowning under student loans, er, why are our own alumni struggling? Why? (http://www.virginia.edu/presidentsreport/pdf/2011finance.pdf).
Every week I receive an e-mail from one UVA source or another asking that I contribute – give to the Capital Campaign, Alumni for Justice, Rhetoric Majors Anonymous, BA in BS Blah-Blah… Why isn’t The University working to deserve its capital letters, doing something truly worthy of The University – like taking some of that donor money to create perpetual growth for free tuition for all students??? On grounds? On-line? Globally?
I’m not being totally altruistic in this goal. I have young adult progeny who are at that point in their lives at which we drive over hill and dale looking at colleges. They’re smart, savvy kids who are also looking at the financial considerations. We have homeschooled/unschooled for many years now, and they recognize the benefits of pursing their own interests, which makes them pretty worldly when looking at the benefits of a lock-step curriculum compared to internships, real-world experience, and their own entrepreneurial goals. And so far, it’s just not adding up as a wise choice.
So it’s easy for me to sit back at my desk and wax philosophically about how to spend other donors’ money. (I still have not donated and I will not donate until I see some positive impact of my potential donations toward humanity. My paltry donation seems inconsequential when held up against the net assets of the University in 2010-2011 of $909 million. Rather, that’s the INCREASE in existing assets.) In creating free access for all students, (besides the obvious benefits to humanity,) you create a massive supply of donors! Yes! People who are so grateful for the free education they have received, who have been welcomed, with open arms, to share in the dream of higher education, who will contribute to society, who feel connected to this institution for all it has given them, that when those envelopes, (and cyber envelopes,) arrive with a check box for pledges, they, er, check… the box… and give.
I would give to that cause. Heck, I might even pull that dusty diploma out from behind the hidden second row of Harlequin romance novels on my office bookshelf… and frame it. Yes. I would check THAT box.
Writing as Sofie Couch, she is “raising a pa’r-a-normal young adults… and writing in the same genre.”