Scholar and author Benjamin Ginsberg traveled to Duluth to join UMD in a two-day conference that focused on ways to restore and preserve higher education. People gathered in the Marshall Performing Arts Center (MPAC) Thursday evening to hear from Ginsberg, as well as Commissioner of Higher Education Larry Pogemiller and Rodney Rowe, the secretary-treasurer of Education Minnesota, the largest advocate for public education in the state.
“(UMD) is a really good institution, but it’s under stress,” Pogemiller said.
Ginsberg’s book, “Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters,” has been used by many UMD faculty members to point out the flaws within administrative growth and spending at UMD.
“Confrontation is difficult, but if we don’t oppose the steps that the administration takes, it becomes a failure,” said Holly Israelson, sophomore at UMD.
Israelson, along with companion and peer Daniel Bernard, a senior at UMD, attended Ginsberg’s lecture. The two personally thanked him for coming to campus to speak on the current issues at UMD due to the implementation of Program Prioritization.
“The presentation made me feel concerned,” Israelson said. “I don’t think (Program Prioritization) is going in a direction that will be favorable for the students.”
Following the presentation, the conference continued into Friday afternoon with workshops and discussions about Ginsberg’s book and how it relates to UMD.
“The interests of the students are not identical to that of the faculty, but there’s enormous overlap,” said Ginsberg in an exclusive interview on Sept. 27. “The interests of students and administrators are at odds; it’s just that students don’t know it. The administrators want to charge more for less. Students want to pay less for more.”
Ginsberg’s noted that even though the university isn’t given enough money from the state to begin with, the insufficient allocation is being misused.
“Administrators are spending money that should be spent on students . . . money that comes out of student tuition, or their parents’ taxes, on their own salaries, on expanding their numbers,” Ginsberg said. “That’s why students have a real stake in this, both as students and as taxpayers.”
He said that students shouldn’t be spending their time worrying about issues addressed in his book. However, students must begin thinking about how to be productive members of society.
“Citizens and taxpayers are informed, aware and obstreperous,” Ginsberg said. “This is a good time to start learning this. This is the time to start seeing the world for what it is.”
BY KIM HYATT
Check out this podcast to hear one of Ginsberg's and Professor Laderman's lectures during the Fall of the Faculty event this past week.