It’s always easier to write about some foreign land because you don’t have to worry about stepping on fallen idols. Scott Sayare at the NY Times brings us the news from Paris– swish gig– where Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, a place normally called “Sciences Po”, is in disarray after their former benevolent dictator died unexpectedly. Now everyone is clucking about details like:
- All of the other state supported colleges are free, but Sciences Po jacked up tuition to as high– hold on to your seats — $13,000 a year.
- Sciences Po started letting in more and more foreigners who were able to pay this high tuition.
- Sciences Po hired a number of fancy, world-class professors and paid them “market wages” which were much higher than what the other professors make.
These seem to be fairly common practices around the United States, indeed the fallen demigod was introduced this way:
But Mr. Descoings set about transforming the school when he arrived in 1996, reconfiguring a deeply French institution in the image of an American university, courting foreign students and professors, enlarging the student body and beginning a groundbreaking affirmative-action policy.
What is sort of funny to the smart reader is the way that the NYT reporter portrays all of the these things as sort of bad, well, except for the affirmative-action. The high salaries and foreigners just seemed to annoy everyone.
Now the school is said to be in a form of receivership. Everyone is getting a hair cut. Will they get rid of the $13,000 tuition? I don’t know if anyone will be that bold, but it would be a start.
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