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By the Numbers - Key Data for the PSA Model

I have been updating some of the numbers that support the PSA model. I decided to post my calculation document in raw form. The numbers speak for themselves, but I’ll provide a little elaboration.

All calculations are based on 2015 data for the public sector of US higher education (HE) and are given in averages and full time equivalent (FTE) measures, unless otherwise stated. The data sources are the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the College Board (CB). Calculations do not include weighting for 2-year vs. 4-year institutions or undergraduate vs. graduate level of study.

Two notable calculations: a)Tuition-free HE is possible across 2 and 4-year HEIs for 61-77% less than the $31,806 expenditure per student of the current model. b)Expense-free HE is possible across 2 and 4-year HEIs for 18-33% less than the current model expenditure per student (Note: expenses include: tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, transportation, and other). These claims are true even if…

PSA - 2 Infographics and 1 Video

These infographics help explain how the PSA model connects the core interested parties in higher education - students and academics. HEIs can remain a part of the equation, but they assume the role of vendors, providing services and facilities as required by students and academics. This means universities and colleges are electives, as they always have been in the provision of higher education. The video offers a quick shot of the PSA model. Together they are meant to aid in the conceptualization of this viable alternative to the HEI model we all now labour and suffer under.

From Scarlet Adjunct to Professional Academic

I recently read a piece by Sara Tatyana Bernstein on the Inside Higher Education site, entitled, “Portrait of a Budget Cut.” (January 15, 2018) It describes her experience with the instability and lose of employment common to the current higher education institution (HEI) model for higher education (HE), especially for adjuncts of which she is a Scarlet A member.
Bernstein’s piece identifies several personal pain points that the PSA model can address:

1)Academic [HEI] calendars are complicated and inflexible and require a lot of advanced planning. 2)For me, “stable” would mean teaching six classes a year at two institutions and earning a small stipend to work about 15 hours a week for the public university’s adjunct union. 3)After roaming the country collecting advanced degrees for 10 years… 4) a smart kid from a small town, whose parents had no money to contribute to tuition… 5)It [faculty position at a public university] also provides the luxury of colleagues. Adjuncting is lonely. 6)Also…

PSA - Man + Machine + Model

In their bestselling book, The Second Machine Age (2MA), MIT Professors Brynjolfsson and McAfee, invite “more novel and radical ideas – more ‘out-of-the-box thinking’ – to deal with the consequences of technological progress.” (pg.245-246)

PSA Facilitates the Work of Professors

Though I long for serious critical dialogue on PSA, I have yet to receive it. So, in proper academic form, as a philosopher, I must independently generate criticisms. Here is one potential criticism of my alternative model for HE: PSA cannot facilitate the full spectrum of work performed by professors. 
So, can PSA facilitate the work of professors?

The answer is, yes. In fact, it can do so better than the traditional HEI model or the emerging tech-models (e.g., MOOCs). Moreover, PSA can provide greater control over and better compensation for this work, while it opens the doors to as many individuals as want to be professors.

Meranze of UCLA Calls For A New Social Contract

This is in response to a recent post by a fellow advocate for HE reform, Michael Meranze of UCLA.

Hi Michael, I wonder, what is the disposition of Conservatives and Liberals toward professions? Equally inimical, I suppose? Trump can treat HE the way he does – as can any government – because the current HE model substantially depends on public money. I gather you would like to increase this dependence, since you would like to see increased public funding for this model. You say, “A new social contract that preserves access, funds quality, and ensures academic and intellectual autonomy must be developed and fought for.” I have developed such a social contract. And as I can, I have fought for it.

The PSA Tax Relief Master Plan for California HE

The Reclaim California Higher Education (RCHE) Master Plan maintains that an additional $48 in annual taxes per median household would be enough to fix the system. The organization claims that this additional tax revenue would make all college and university education tuition-free and restore state funding to the 2001 level of 1.17% of AGI.
For several reasons, I think this “$48 fix” is broken. As an alternative, I will present the financials for what might be called, the PSA HE Tax Relief Master Plan.
My model – the Professional Society of Academics (PSA) – does not require additional tax money, but rather far less public money than is currently spent on HE. Of course, even if PSA were implemented, the government would not reduce taxes or give out refund checks; but nor would they be legislating new taxes, as RCHE recommends. And anyhow, one of the benefits of PSA is that the tax money it saves and earns the state can be used to improve the finance of other valued social goods such as …