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Christopher Moan, Fargo, Published May 26 2012

Sponsors cheapen public university

It was sad to see the comments of Dean Bresciani, president of North Dakota State University, about the reality of corporate sponsors in university affairs.

Shouldn’t the responsibility of maintaining a public institution be with the public and also private donors, without the requirement of a commercial advertisement?

Educating its citizens is a public good and a duty deserving of respect and care. In my opinion, stamping a corporate name on a public building cheapens education. Does everything in life need an advertisement? What doesn’t have a price attached to it these days?

If a university requires additional funds to accomplish its educational mission, we citizens should not abdicate our responsibility to commercial interests. Universities are now enormous and ever more complex, with a growing ratio of administrative costs. Is it possible that the university could be smarter with available resources?

I would prefer a renovated building that is, perhaps, a little less shiny before capitulating to a paid advertisement. But I fear that our public administrators are addicted to having their gaping maws stuffed by cash sponsors.