Recently there has been discussion within the school about a varietyof ways for Miami University to escape this funding crisis from the state government. One of the suggested ways is to partially privatize the school into a ‘charter’ school where the school gets to take advantage of public funds but are given certain degrees of freedom according to rules and regulations such as admissions policies, according to an article in the April 12 issue of The Miami Student. Do you think Miami would be viable for partial privatization? I disagree.
In the 2008 Mission Statement, the document articulates that the major focus of the school is ” … offering the personalized attention found in the best small colleges. It values teaching and intense engagement of faculty with students through its teacher-scholar model … ” I find this focus is slowly deteriorating and will further deteriorate after the hypothetical privatization. Currently, I am in the Farmer School of Business, which requires me to take a number of prerequisite classes. It surprised me to see there are not enough of those prerequisite classes to accommodate the number of business students. Class sizes are becoming larger and larger to integrate the influx of students. With all due respect, it is ironic that the school is now charging business students with increased cost per credit hour for better professors, when actually more classes are needed to decrease the bottle-neck effect. Where is the personalized attention going to be when the high quality professors actually have 50 more exams to grade?
Secondly, I don’t like the actual approach of the school. It seems to regard students as pockets of money. Where were the creative and innovative ideas for raising money for the school? This seems hardly innovative at all. The school needs to find ways to become more independent from state funds and tuition revenues. To think aggressively, students are not charities that want to become primary financial supporters at times of funding problems. Students want a school that can stand on its own, provide equal quality of educational service to the money we pay. Increasing tuition fees without an expectation or a promise from the school to give us more educational benefits seems false.
It is a time where the school administrators need to re-evaluate the various school programs according to costs and benefits and cut out some of the meat. It may seem harsh to some people who are potential subjects to those cuts, but it is a process that the school needs to go through to increase financial sustainability by realigning the school’s strategic goals. Continuing to fund programs that yield no results can affect the entire school. As much as we want to keep all the programs intact, the situation has brought us to this and the administrators need to become more critical in exercising these cuts.