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Profs call for nationalizing private universities

Profs call for nationalizing private universities

Or at minimum, ending “wealth hording” by forcing “well-endowed private institutions [to] share their assets”

Remedying individual wealth and income inequality is the central rallying cry of the Democratic Party and candidates, and progressive activists.

Bernie Sanders has made wealth redistribution a centerpiece of his campaign, which is inspiring college students.

Even Hillary Clinton, who along with her husband amassed a fortune in the tens of millions of dollars through speaking fees on campuses and for Wall Street, is singing the same tune.

Democratic Debate December 2015 Sanders Clinton

One overlooked area of wealth inequality is at the college level — some schools have amassed billion dollar plus endowments while others scrape for funds to meet operating expenses.

As of mid-2015, the University of Chicago endowment stood at 7.58 billion:

The University of Chicago endowment grew to an all-time high market value of $7.58 billion as of June 30, 2015, marking a 4.8 percent return on investments for the preceding year on a flat, global stock market environment. This result surpassed the portfolio’s benchmark return of 3.1 percent. It also surpassed the 3.6 percent median return of large endowments and foundations as reported by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service.

U. Chicago isn’t even in the Top 10 in terms of endowment:

Now two Chicago-area professors are calling for nationalizing private universities, or at minimum, that universities like U. Chicago redistribute their endowments by supporting other schools, Private universities should stop wealth-hoarding and share:

A snapshot from Chicago: In the past few weeks, as faculty and staff at Chicago State University reviewed their pink slips, and those at Northeastern Illinois University learned about mandatory furloughs amounting to 20 percent pay cuts, University of Chicago announced a $35 million gift from the founder of an investment firm to establish a “new think tank to research urban issues.” It received another $10 million dollar donation from the Pritzker family to fund “Urban Labs” that will support research addressing the “big challenges cities face.”

In fact, these donations are one of the challenges. Another is what can only be termed “wealth-hoarding” by private universities.

Our criticism of these large donations to the tax-exempt University of Chicago, which has a $7.5 billion dollar endowment, are undoubtedly sour grapes: We teach at institutions of higher education experiencing endless belt tightening and wage losses, and which, like most public colleges and universities, have no big donors on the horizon….

In this context, offering mass amounts of private wealth to already hugely wealthy private institutions is scandalous….

Our modest proposal, then, is that the University of Chicago and similarly well-endowed private institutions should share their assets with Chicago State, Northeastern Illinois and other struggling public schools….

Or, better yet, why not nationalize the private universities so that all students in Chicago, from all communities, can benefit from their excellent resources?

Research isn’t necessary to understand that sharing, not hoarding, is central to solving the “urban problems” of the day.

You will, of course, be *shocked* at the areas in which the professors teach:

Erica R. Meiners is a professor of education and gender and women’s studies at Northeastern Illinois University. Therese Quinn is an associate professor of art history and director of museum and exhibition studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Somewhere,  a certain retired professor at U. Illinois – Chicago is smiling.

(h/t to a Legal Insurrection reader in Chicago for this story)

[Featured Image – University of Chicago website]


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So, that’s why Sanders et al are pro-choice. And they lead us to believe that it was because of their religion instructed by gods from the twilight zone.

Well, some of the greats from “the Chicago school” of RATIONAL economics are spinning in their graves at this nonsense.

But, it being Illinois, it may actually get some traction.

Aggies will fight, however, and we know how. WHOOOOOP…!!!

Awwwww. Poor underpaid profs. Don’t like it? Quit. But remember.

As Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Ackroyd)in “Ghostbusters” said, “Personally I like the University. They give us money and facilities and we don’t have to produce anything. I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results.”

    healthguyfsu in reply to McAllister. | March 31, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Actually, you completely misread them. They aren’t talking about salaries..they are talking about operating money and resources for the school, which are quite disparate (which is not an injustice, especially in the case of privately endowed schools)

    I don’t agree with their position, but it would actually be amusing to see all of those social justice warriors at Harvard, Yale, Emory, Stanford, and other uppity schools to suddenly be confronted with their “ivy privilege” and have to spin that one away.

      healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 31, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      I meant to say they aren’t talking about “raises” not salaries.

      What makes this particularly drippy with delicious irony is that U Chi is Bernie’s blue blood alma mater. I think a faux challenge for university inequality is a good bluff to play against the Sanders campaign…see how much support he retains from academia when he talks about redistributing university money.

      McAllister in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Teacher salaries are included in operating expenses.

        healthguyfsu in reply to McAllister. | April 1, 2016 at 3:57 pm

        Teacher salaries are a small part of operating expenses thanks to administrative bloat and litigious defense mechanisms.

legacyrepublican | March 31, 2016 at 8:02 pm

So, Middlebury College, Dartmouth University, Bennington College, and Vermont law School all should be nationalized so the government can grab their endowments.

Wonder how that will play in Vermont?

Taking a lesson from Henry VIII and taking over the private endowed institutions of the northern kingdom.

    rabidfox in reply to legacyrepublican. | April 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    There is a great deal of commonality between the holdings that the monasteries and other church organizations had and what private universities in this day and age have. I’m not necessarily advocating taking over private endowments, but they do represent a huge wealth resovior. And frankly I’d rather see that taxed than my income at this point.

Henry Hawkins | March 31, 2016 at 8:13 pm

I think they should set up the exact same thing for blogs – determine who’s making what and divvy it up equally.

Wasn’t the original “modest proposal” a satirical recommendation to let the Irish eat their babies?

Typical leftist mantra: “you have something I waqnt and I’ll use either the court or the government to get it”… Boo=hoo-hoo…

Why are you linking to google webcache instead of directly to the story?

People who are incapable of success in the private sector are always the first to demand wealth redistribution.

I want to see how the “filthy rich white privilege” private schools justify their wealth. Usually tossing a few bucks or hashtags toward the SJW class is all that is needed….. but in this case BIG bucks are ripe for the shake down.

There is something left out.
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauder is in a major Scott Walker like fight.
The government has been in partial shutdown for a while.

Two of the casualties of this are Chicago State University and Northeastern University. Their money problems stem from a lack of state funds. The layoffs and furloughs are a consequence of the Illinois budget battle. So all this talk of sharing the wealth is kind of misplaced. m ore apropos is some kind of rain day fund ie insurance.

All leftists should have to live under true socialism. The academy will collapse in one generation.

History will hold this to be true:

First, they forced the “well-endowed” institutions to share their assets. Next, they forced the porn stars.

It’s not sharing when force is needed. The unsuccessful are always asking the gov to steal what others have created or earned. I call them losers.

I think the first thing we need to do is retire the Guaranteed Student Loan program.
If the money is that easy for the University to get…
Just steer the sheep over to the financial department, and Jackpot!
They have no incentive to contain costs. None whatever.

The correct term for what they are proposing would be legalized theft. The endowments of wealthy colleges were largely contributed by individuals who chose where to spend their money. Those who contribute to Cornell expect their contributions to be used there not at some other university. The problem these professors really have is private property, they don’t respect it and think it is OK to steal it if taking the money is for their agenda.