Thursday, September 23, 2010

Creativity < Financial Reality

by Andrew Gillen

Judith Nichols and William Nichols write
Attempts to apply business practices in education lack the wholeness of vision we associate with acts of imagination… corporate thinking has made our institutions vulnerable to technological and managerial fads that undermine creative thinking…
What? To me, it takes quite a bit of creativity to spend $75,000 per student on administration (as Wake Forest does), or to write 24,674 separate pieces on Shakespeare over a 26 year timeframe.

This is a bit unfair to the Nichols’, as the latter part of their piece focuses on creativity in the classroom. It is only the part that doesn’t that bothered me. I’m all for creativity, but at some point, it must be tempered by financial reality. Colleges can come up with a million creative ways to spend more money, but how many creative ideas have they come up with to cut unnecessary spending? If contamination by corporate fads (like limited budgets) leads to more of the latter, that is a good thing, especially if you believe the type of spending referenced above is unsustainable.

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