Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Would you like your lecture notes hot, medium or mild?

The Chronicle of Higher Education features a story in this week's edition about University of Montana history professor Kyle G. Volk who, after experiencing significant budget cuts at the University, decided to pursue a corporate sponsorship for his course on American Capitalism. His goal was to use the sponsorship to start a newsletter. The name of the sponsor - El Diablo Burrito & Taco. So was this a deal with the devil?

Considering the current state of the economy, increasing tuition costs, and the cuts that have been experienced at the University (including elimination of long distance phone calls and the inability to buy toner for copy machines), it seems that rather than curtailing this sponsorship, Professor Volk should get extra credit for providing budget relief to the University and a special note of recognition in his tenure file. Rather than complaining, or asking for a handout, he helped himself and his students improve their educational environment in way that posed no conflict of interest. While not every sponsorship would be appropriate in a classroom, his actions are quite consistent with what occurs in athletic venues, with University pouring rights, exclusive bookstore deals and with research that is sponsored by corporations on so many college campuses nationally.
-ultimate sports insider

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