Universities Have a Sustainability Problem

Well since it’s still here, and since it’s not cross posting, thought May as well plop it here for something else to discuss other than “Q site comment function blows” or “too bad Clare is gonna pull the pin on QC”.

I chose this instead of the other article today on yet another prof getting cancelled for wrongthink or something like that, cuz that seems like a truism now and been there/done that.

So once again, here we get a false dichotomy framed as a problem. If “sustainability” as a category of knowledge is worthy of research and scholarship (and I am not suggesting that it is not), you would think there is sufficient bandwidth within the higher Ed industrial complex to tackle that, and other stuff besides.

Also, while we have certainly come a long way since the Enlightenment, I don’t think human knowledge (independent of a sustainability focus) has peaked. Have we really accomplished everything there is to be done to understand ourselves, our neighbors, and the surroundings in which we live? I would have thought not.

So if someone somewhere wants to start a “School of Sustainability “, fantastic. But let’s keep generating other knowledge to give the good folks in that school more tools to work with.


Universities seem to be sustaining themselves rather well…


Interesting article. Of course, overt public funding that shows up as a line item on a ledger is merely 1 type of public funding. Increasing tuition even at state schools means more students with more loans, and that trickles back to cost the larger general public regardless.

I imagine the growth of school middle management paper pushers and busy-bodies is not much different from that which occurs in other bloated industries.

It’s a free market. But obviously, the return on that tuition investment on an individual level, and on a societal level, varies greatly depending on what it’s being spent on. I would guess the bang for buck on “grievance” type studies is a pretty muffled one.


Actually, given the vast amount of capital that’s being pushed into the system via loans to students who generally have no assets, I’d call the system anything but “free market”. Especially given that those loans can’t be eliminated thru bankruptcy.

It’s essentially free money for the universities. Seeing that kind of of capital pumped into your industry for the taking, why would universities not raise prices to absorb it all?

And then spend that money pursuing non-educational (read: political) aims, as the article states.

Free money is awesome!



Ha! I was thinking to try the same thing, but I thought it would be too cheeky.

Yup. A perfect example of why its wrong to have the umpires (government) also playing on the field. All lenders would love to lock their loans out of bankruptcy court.