Trouble, Right up the road in Pennsylvania

Why did we never have a movie featuring Robert Preston as hucksterish university president?

We’ve got an article about the [outgoing] president of Duquesne University calling students libertine for living off-campus. You know, when the student newspaper publishes,

Dougherty made these comments as part of his address to campus faculty about the university’s financial situation. According to Dougherty and Vice President for Management and Business David Beaupre, there are 304 empty beds in campus dorms this semester. This means that only 92 percent of campus beds are occupied, compared to 98 percent in the spring.

It’s clear that you’ve got trouble. Trouble that begins with T, which rhymes with D which stands for Duquesne.

Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
That’ll grab your son, your daughter
With the arms of a jungle animal instinct!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil’s playground!

I keep wondering about the campus housing scam when I look at the numbers. For example, DU reports $11,084 annual cost for room & board. This reader comment on the student paper editorial highlights cost issues:

CK October 23, 2015 at 12:05 am

Half of a Brottier room: Approximately $800/month.
Private room in a house within walking distance from Brottier: $320/month.
This is the only argument necessary.

To be fair, DU has to collect money to cover things like security, maintenance, acquisition cost of the facility, all that stuff. Further, walking away from on-campus housing is probably not a viable choice, and a certain amount of research on traditional populations of students suggests living on-campus is a good thing. On the other hand, if I were to think like a bureaucrat, I might think, “Geez, what has he stepped in now. Has he just claimed that students living on campus do not drink or have sex or whatever? That somehow DU controls that? Does DU now have an assumption of liability for student behavior it previoualy did not?'”

With an average Net Price for DU’s poorest students of over $17,000, the president might want to re-think his accusations and accept the cost arguments at face value. Especially when the average student is now borrowing $10,000/year, with median graduate debt of $27,000 a couple years ago, excluding PLUS and private loans.

But… know they showed you statue, told you to pray
Built you a temple and locked you away
Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
Only the good die young