Tag Archive: Rowan University

Bad reporting makes problems appear

We all know the state budget is set to be slashed.  We also know that means that everyone with a finger in the pie will be mobilizing to make sure they don’t feel the same pinch as everyone else.  While I certainly understand the need for cutbacks, I really hate to see what will happen to the higher education budget.  Yeah, part of that is because my paycheck (one of them) comes from that piece of the pie.  But the other part is because I believe that higher education helps fuel the economy.

That’s a case that will be made another day, but for today, let me note that the making of such a case is all the more difficult with stories like this hitting the news.  The short facts of the matter are that seven professors from Rowan University were reimbursed a total of $9400 to attend a conference in Iceland.  It seems a bit sensational – and there may be something to see at the bottom – but it’s difficult to see what the real problem is without first understanding what may have been necessary.

This is going to be a long post.  Brace yourself, and click through.

A Personal Endorsement for Rob Andrews

For the Democratic primary on Tuesday, I wholeheartedly endorse Rob Andrews for U.S. senate.  On a local level, Rob has been an active, responsive legislator for South Jersey – I know that he’ll do the same for North Jersey and Central Jersey. For example, Andrews actively campaigned and went door-to-door with new state senator Dana Redd in one of the most Democratic legislative districts in the state, and he has quietly been building support for local Democrats by helping get Fran Bodine to switch parties in Burlington and by getting the Gloucester Township mayor to do the same. Many people here in district 1 know Rob by first name because he is so active with senior citizen groups, military, unions, and local companies; while delivering Andrews signs to a flooring business yesterday, I was told by the owner that he considered Rob “a brother,” and I know that many of my fellow union members who have interacted with him feel the same way. Andrews has been known to help local residents who didn’t have health insurance get the surgery and work they need done, too. In my town, Haddonfield, Andrews has met with the city mayor and commissioners to discuss the community’s needs, helped with legislation to preserve Indian King Tavern, an historical landmark, and stood outside of a military recruiting station to bring attention to low wages paid to the military. He’ll bring this responsiveness to local issues with him to Washington, and it won’t just be for South Jersey.

Andews on Nuclear Proliferation

I’d like to point you to Rob Andrews’s speech at Rowan University on Nuclear Proliferation.  It was the first lecture in a special series in honor of the 40th anniversary Hollybush Summit which took place at Glassboro State, now Rowan University.  (Yes, there was time when American Presidents met with our adversaries, but current Republicans think Iran is more powerful than the Soviet Union was.)  It’s long (39 minutes with introduction by President Farish) but you might find it helpful if you want to have more idea of his foreign policy views besides the Iraq War.  

I think Andrews shows a grasp on details and advocates sensible actions on what I think is an extremely important issue.  [While I have no fear whatsoever of Iran, I do think Osama bin Laden meanst it when he said he would like to get an atomic bomb.]  I especially liked his defense of international exchange programs.  Basically, Andrews is advocating what should be a normal, bipartisan policy, but nowadays you have to vote Democratic to get even a centrist position.

(I actually downloaded a video and an audio podcast of the speech last year, but I haven’t been able to find them this week.  I also have not found a transcript.)

This by no means tells you (or me) to vote for Andrews over Lautenberg, nor do I suggest Lautenberg disagrees with Andrews.  I also don’t think anyone will love this speech so much they forget the Iraq war.  I just say you might find the speech worthwhile, especially if campaigns are supposed to be about more than soundbites.  

The Cost of State College Up 50% in Only Six Years

I was dismayed — though perhaps not surprised — by the article 5.8% tuition hike awaits Rowan students in fall in Today’s Sunbeam.  After all, we’re used to the increases in tuition, but it’s important to remember again that this means that even public state colleges are slipping out of reach of the poor.  Look at what these 5-8% increase have done in only six years:

While a typical in-state undergraduate will pay about $18,500, a typical out-of-state undergraduate will pay $26,468.

By comparison, in 2001 in-state students paid about $12,000 for tuition, room and board, and out-of-state students paid about $16,500.

That means there are probably college students who are paying 50% more than their older siblings did for the same classes.