A Further Sign of Academic Idiocy

I proposed a guest speaker for this semester.  Our chair told me that I may not be able to extend the invitation.  The University is exploring the possibility of charging for the use of rooms.  I am reminded of Charles Davenant, one of the subjects of my new book, who wrote, “Everyone is on the scrape for himself, … each cheating, raking, and plundering what he can, and in a more profligate degree than ever was known.” Davenant 1701, pp. 300-301.  At least the restrooms are still free for the moment.

1 comment so far

  1. Green on

    About charging for the use of restrooms, I remember many years ago, when my step father, invited me to go to several places in Buenos Aires. One place was a nice restaurant [a for-profit restaurant]. The restroom for men had a person sitting near the door. It was like a restroom attendant. There was a fee to use it, a few pesos, at that time. It was customary in restaurants and other similar venues, in Buenos Aires, to charge for the use of a restroom, in private buildings, and in restaurants. It provided funds to pay for things like soap, toilet paper, etc., and for the time of the attendant. This was in for-profit venues. Public [government-funded] venues, did not have restroom attendants, as far as I remember, and there was no fee.

    Perhaps university administrators may be asked if they are aware of what type of venue or institution they work for. But then again, perhaps in the US, certain administrators don’t want to see a clear distinction in the rules for for-profit organizations, and the rules for non-profit organizations, and those rules set for public [government supported] organizations. Maybe this fuzziness allows them budgetary license, to interpret budget rules as they see fit, and do as they please…

    Of course, a men’s restroom is not the same as a classroom. But at least, back then, in Argentina, the fee for men’s restrooms was legal. Classrooms in public universities were not subject to user’s fees. Any administrator who charged for a classroom, would end up fined, and with other legal problems. For example, judges would have asked why he charged for the use of a classroom, in a public university.


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