mediaconsumption | Author Index | About Us | Book Reviews | Music Reviews | Email | Punk Encyclopedia | Punk Links | Writers

Sobriquet

mediaconsumption Home
Sobriquet Home
About the Main Blog
About the Zine
Record Reviews
Ed Kemp
D.O.T.S.T.
Sobriquet on Facebook
Sobriquet on MySpace
Sobriquet on Twitter

News

Reuters
New York Times
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Newark Star-Ledger
Chicago Tribune
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Washington Post
Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Christian Science Monitor
San Jose Mercury News
Boston Globe
Dallas Morning News
Miami Herald
Houston Chronicle
Chicago Sun-Times
Denver Post
Detroit Free Press
San Diego Union-Tribune
Detroit News
Baltimore Sun
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sacramento Bee
Kansas City Star
Orlando Sentinel
Seattle Times
St. Petersburg Times
Indianapolis Star
Boston Herald
Tampa Tribune
Orange County Register
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Hartford Courant
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Columbus Dispatch
Louisville Courier-Dispatch
The Oklahoman
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
Los Angeles Daily News
Philipine Star
Omaha World-Herald
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Philadelphia Inquirer
Arizona Republic
San Antonio Express-News
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
American Reporter
Portland Oregonian
Charlotte Observer
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Sacramento Union
Washington Times
The National Ledger
Anchorage Daily News
Charleston Gazette
Ashland Daily Tidings
The Daily Star

Powered by Blogger

eXTReMe Tracker
"Pull My Strings And . . ."

Thursday, July 16, 2009
In one of the more thought-provoking articles I've come across lately, Time Magazine's Steven Gray discusses a nascent trend in academic circles: the selling of sponsorships to support classes for which sufficient funding does not exist. As an academic myself, I have seen first-hand the ways in which dwindling enrollment and budget restrictions can adversely affect both students and instructors, so I was not quite as appalled by the prospect of "TD Waterhouse Marketing 101" as I feel I should have been when I first heard the suggestion. I mean, libraries are often named after donors and sports stadiums frequently bear the names of various corporate sponsors, right?

Then again . . .

Any such move brings with it the threat of sponsors affecting the content of the courses on which their names appear. After all, if Daddy Warbucks knows his coffers keep a particular course breathing, he has a certain degree of power over what is covered (or covered up) in that class. Likewise, instructors may feel pressure not to rock the boat or otherwise upset a sponsor for fear of losing a coveted sponsorship for his or her department, which could result in detrimental self-censorship and other equally negative behaviors.

This is not to say that instructors are not already aware of how their conduct in a classroom may affect their job security or their standing within their respective departments, but it does add another, potentially sinister layer of possibilities. One need look no further than our elected officials whose campaigns were financed by special interests to see the reality of the threat. Few gifts are truly free and money almost always comes with strings attached. . .

In the most ideal scenario, naming rights could be a boon to schools, enabling them to keep intellectually valuable courses in their catalogues without much compromise. I mean, ironists could potentially have a field day with naming rights, too: having Frito-Lay sponsor a nutrition class or Halliburton sponsor a course in Middle Eastern studies, for instance. In most other scenarios, however, a sense of humor will not be enough to undo the potential threat to academic integrity.

So, here's a suggestion: sentence corporate criminals to pay for classes as part of their punishments. Drop the whole sponsorship thing and earmark fines for education. That could help a bit, no?

Labels: , , , ,

Permanent Link
Copyright Sobriquet Magazine

Share: StumbleUpon Toolbar del.icio.us Add to Mixx! Digg!

____________________________________________

Ideas

Arts & Letters Daily
Stirrings Still
With A Book In Hand
Logos

Magazines

The Atlantic
Harper's
National Geographic
Reason
Skeptic

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Site Visits:
This site was built by modifying a template designed by Maystar Designs. All text, unless otherwise noted, is copyright 2001-2009 by Sobriquet Magazine (ISSN 1930-1820). Sobriquet Magazine and the Sobriquet Magazine logo are registered trademarks of Sobriquet Magazine.