Innovative spending

UCSD, otherwise known as a university, is looking to become a high-dollar wheeler-dealer in the world of high technology. The tax-funded school is seeking an associate vice chancellor for “innovative alliances.” The new hire will “launch UCSD’s patenting, strategic corporate research partnerships, industry contracting, campus-wide research initiatives, new venture formation, and business development activities in exciting new directions.” …

Over at phone giant AT&T, legislative staffers for both parties picked their poison this past summer from an array of free entertainment options. Kierra Paul, a consultant to Democratic Assembly speaker Toni Atkins, got six tickets to see the Giants play in San Francisco on August 13, a gift worth $174. Anthony Zamarron, chief of staff to GOP assemblyman Rocky Chavez, went to the Ringling Brothers circus at Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena on September 12 with three free tickets and a parking pass worth $214.35.

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Well, UC Davis has a lot of dealings with Big Ag, Berkeley has nuclear science labs covered; Riverside is into Botany; UCLA has the arts; why shouldn't San Diego be the handmaiden of bio-tech? I just hope they will remember to teach undergraduates with better-qualified staff than part-time provisional "profs" hired at the behest of Big Corporate Donors.

Undergrads are taught many classes by graduate teaching assistants, who aren't even provisional professors. Some TA's are actually fine teachers, but too many are doing it for the income and would rather be in the lab or library or field or . . . than in front of a classroom.

Actually, I was thinking about people like Nathan Fletcher. He's not even a TA.

I knew that. He's a sort of "kept man." Big salary, and whatever he teaches is what he's paid to teach. If he says nothing of import, that's perfectly OK and the message to the students is that he's an empty suit, as are most politicians. Can we say "sinecure", boys and girls?

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