Sunday, January 26

Don’t sacrifice quality of education

Submitted By: Michael Heim

I was overjoyed to read of the UC Board of Regents’ interest in a three-year degree as reported in the Oct. 21 article, “Higher education panel discusses, proposes solutions addressing budget cuts.” According to the article, the idea came from UC Regent Bonnie Reiss while addressing an “audience of CEOs and business people from across the state.”

At last, I thought, a fresh approach. No more tuition hikes, no more salary cuts. Just lop off a year and voila! Problem solved. But hey, why stop half way? If we eliminate a year without diminishing the quality of education, why not go whole hog? Let’s introduce a no-year degree. There’s a downside, of course: The loss of tuition income would deprive the state of a revenue source. But the plus side: We wouldn’t need all those expensive faculty and staff members. Wow! Taxes would plummet! And not only that, we could rent out the empty classrooms and labs and stadiums and hospitals all across the state.

What a shot in the arm for the economy! Once people saw the value of the no-year college degree, it would be only a matter of time before they would introduce the no-year high-school and grade-school diploma. The only problem might be that once it catches on, no one would know how to read the diploma (or write it), but we can cross that bridge when we come to it: We’re past masters at letting the future take care of the present.

Heim is a professor in the Slavic languages and literature and comparative literature departments.

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