Following the lead of fools

Liberal arts Associate Dean Marc Musick’s efforts in producing his “Analysis of Efficiency” report, released Thursday, on universities should be applauded. He means well and he clearly went to great lengths to illustrate the exceptional value of the University of Texas and other research institutions.

Unfortunately, the only people such a report will aid are Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Rick O’Donnell, former special adviser to the UT System Board of Regents, and the rest of their creepy ilk. The release of this report only legitimizes the twisted notion of quantifying the value of education and furthers a nonsensical conversation that in any rational society would have been dead on arrival.

Measuring public dollars against faculty population says nothing about a university’s efficiency but does say a good deal about how much current state government values education. Yes, tuition is also included in the reports efficiency equation, but Gov. Rick Perry and his confused acolytes will still gleefully point out that lowering state funding drives up efficiency according to a report developed at UT, and that is a travesty. Yes, they will have corrupted and misunderstood Musick’s hard work, but their modis operandi has been well established, and we should know better by now.

To continue following the lead of fools is folly. The report is not defending against the attacks by the anti-education cabal but is rather playing precisely into their hands. One does not win a battle against ignorance by fueling ignorance. One wins the battle against ignorance through education. Here at the University of Texas, that is our business, and we know full well its true value.

Emil Kresl
Community and regional planning and public affairs graduate student