Thursday, July 06, 2017

"Republicans Buy Shoes, Too"

While Michael Jordan's titular quote may or may not be real, it's still a smart quote.  It gets to the heart of business--don't tick off your customers or they'll go somewhere else.  Perhaps the administrators at our nation's universities are now learning that lesson, albeit a bit too late and to the detriment of their schools:
The reality, the counselor said, is that while the dislike of Yale surprised her, there are other colleges that parents are vetoing. "Many won't consider Oberlin or Wesleyan, and Brown is completely off the table," she said.

At some level, such antipathy toward those and other colleges isn't surprising. Their students are liberal, and conservative publications love to write articles with headlines like "Oberlin Is an Insane Asylum." And those articles attract more attention than articles in conservative publications in which, for example, a conservative student at Brown urges people not to stereotype his institution and praises the way the administration handled a disruption of a speaker by liberal students.

Another counselor said that she had several students and parents -- liberals -- who said that they didn't want to consider colleges that have been in the news for incidents in which some groups were seen as taking positions against free speech.

Yet another counselor, this one based in New York City and serving families who are generally liberal, said she too is hearing more parents ask about colleges' political reputations, only sometimes based on real information.
This article, which slanted left, didn't even mention the University of Missouri, which experienced dramatic drops in applications after their 2016 drama:
Fewer freshmen are applying to the University of Missouri for fall enrollment than a year earlier, and race protests that put the Columbia campus under a national spotlight contributed to the drop, according to an internal email from MU’s director of enrollment.
Don't badmouth people if you want them to buy your shoes.

Update, 7/11/17:  They chose...poorly:
After it was reported at the end of June that the University of Missouri, crippled by a plunge in enrollment after its debacle over charges of racism in 2015, was attempting to recoup its losses by  renting dorm rooms to football weekend visitors, there is now this: The New York Times reports that the university is temporarily closing seven dormitories and cutting over 400 positions, including those of some non-tenured faculty members.

You might expect that the decline in enrollment occurred primarily among whites, after the flimsily-supported racism charges of 2015 resulted in the resignation of the university’s president; The Daily Wire reported, “Many parents and alumni responded by refusing to contribute money to the public university. For example, donations to its athletics department dropped 72% last year.”

But here’s the big surprise: as the Times notes: “Students of all races have shunned Missouri, but the drop in freshman enrollment last fall was strikingly higher among blacks, at 42%, than among whites, at 21%.”


Anonymous said...

It's interesting the article indicated that even self-identified liberals were avoiding schools with radical incidences and speech suppression. I think some of the more level headed Democrats are seeing the negative effects of silencing others and anti intellectualism and are responding accordingly.

While I'm not holding my breath, it'll be nice to see campuses begim to be very clear in making sure students know how important exchanging ideas and constitutional freedoms are.

Ellen K said...

I don't think any parent wants to spend thousands of dollars to have their child come back as a raving loon-whether that be liberal or conservative. Most parents just want their kids to get some job skills, graduate and move out. That parents are avoiding hotbeds of protests speaks more to the desire to avoid distractions and therefore, more time in college and more cost, than it has to do with ideology. In the case of college where violence has occurred, parents seek to find safe havens so that their kids won't get caught in the crossfire of some media driven scandal. Many of these universities deserve to have their incomes drop. Their pandering to bullies has created a truly hostile environment where students of all types feel they are walking on eggshells.