Monday, November 14, 2005

America's Best Education

It is a sign of the blooming health of the free market in America that there is such a vast array of choice for almost any product you could imagine buying: cereal, sneakers, cars, porn, cellphone plans, professional escorts, an education.

I've always known there were thousands of colleges across America (even though the controlling powers tried hard during my formative years to make me believe that there was a monopoly on eduation production and only one place to go buy it and that even if it had ugly Halloween colors and a stuffy reputation well that was just too bad so I better damn well get in otherwise they'd exchange me at the same K-Mart where they bought me).

Places like Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, a former Catholic school for women turned liberal arts college, now home of the blue and white Fighting Knights. Places like The American College in Pennsylvania, the only educational institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to the financial services profession. Whatever that is.

What makes these schools unique is not that I haven't heard of them--I hadn't heard that there were any schools outside of the EST time zone until just now--and it's not that they'e so small and specialized and in such ridiculously delightful climates like Boca Raton that one wonders what the hell you're gonna learn on a campus that averages 81 degrees and is a 1/2 hour drive from Ft. Lauderdale. But whatever, I hear some people study better on the beach while drinking (see the view of Student Life at Lynn University, above, pulled straight from the virtual tour on their website).

What really makes these totally obscure, completely random schools unique is that their presidents make over a million dollars. Well over. To be precise, Donald Ross, former prez of Lynn University, made $5,042,315 last year. And Samuel Weese of The American College, despite his dorky last name, made $1,725,376. I don't know what Donald and Sam--who both sound like chaarcters from a Disney cartoon--were doing for their institutions, but if it was anything short of prostitution and gun-running, I am baffled as to what could make them worth so damn much.

Executive compensation, we're often told by directors of corporate communications and company spokespeople, is a complex alchemy of fuck knows what, but the long and the short of it is that their people are worth every marginal million dollar pay-out included in their compensation package, and if we only understood how it all worked, we wouldn't be griping that shareholders and college students are getting totally screwed.

What I do know is that if Lynn University's president is worth over five million dollars, think how good that education must be! The secret's out now though, so Fighting Knights beware of all the transfers from the chilly Northeast.


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