All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Alma Mater Matters

Recently I signed up for my undergrad Alma Mater's Alumni email "Connections".  They email me little snippets about whats going on at the college.  It's fun to see what's happening and to learn about how the college is doing.  A big reason for the connections program is of course to solicit cash from the Alumni.  No big deal, that is always expected.  The other thing that happens is that you get asked to do surveys.

I can't be bothered with most surveys.  This time I took the time and effort to fill it out.  When it came to the part where you can fill in your own thoughts, I made it a point to share mine.  I had only one concern for the college that I thought they should consider and I had an example that I thought they should know about.

My concern was the decline in the value of a college education.  My proposed solution to the problem was the college improve their system of intern/job placement and career advancement for graduates and alumni.  I had a relevant example from my own experience of unsuccessfully trying to post a job opportunity with the college over a three year period.

I didn't expect to hear back form the college.  I didn't think that much would come of my remarks.  Perhaps someone would share them with whoever does job placement and they would make some small effort to return email and phone calls.  I would have been happy with that.

Unfortunately my last name is still remembered at my dear Alma Mater.  This is due, no doubt to my families involvement in fundraising for the college since it's inception.  That and the Alumni relations guy went to school with my father.  This means that my brain droppings apparently generate enough attention that they are read and get a personal response.  I wish they would have sent me a form letter.

Here are the facts:
  • It now costs $120,000 to get a Bachelors degree from this school, provided you get it done in 4 years.
  • This college is a private university that receives no public funding, although students are individually able to get government loans, scholarships etc.  This is not a "Ivy" or big name school.
  • The value of a Bachelors degree, in terms of earning power, is dropping dramatically today.
  • The job placement office sucks.  There is almost nothing of an Alumni career support networking system.
The schools response, In part:
I, too, have seen some of the television specials downplaying the value of a college education.
I am sorry you had difficulties getting a response about an intern. We receive many more requests than we have students to fill positions, and most want internships close to this area. I would imagine someone posted information about the openings, but it is unfortunate they did not answer your letters and phone calls to explain that dynamic.
Good grief.  My complaint isn't that I saw a TV show.  I'm concerned that a degree that costs $120,000 isn't going to land a kid a job that pays him enough to pay back his student loans.  The college can't fix the national economy but they can improve their job placement services.  I don't care that each of the three positions we had open was filled by kids from other schools.  I care that MY SCHOOL was the only one that NEVER got back with me to confirm that they received the opening and posted it.

If that's the way they treat Alumni offering jobs, how are they treating random employers?

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