Jacology: Giving Mizzou The Business

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(KPLR) - We keep hearing a lot of nonsense about how more things should be run like a business, the government, the military, and universities. Since it was unregulated greed by businesses that led to the economic crash that we're still stuck in, maybe we should be running fewer things, not more things, like a business.

Businesses are a lot like sharks. They have a very narrowly defined purpose. The purpose of a shark is to swim and eat. The purpose of a business is to make money. Businesses do not care about the common good or patriotism or a society's well-being. Businesses care about making money for their owners and stockholders. Period. And that means there are lots of things that should never be run like businesses.

Take universities. They're job is to prepare the next generation of people to run this planet. Their job is to distribute knowledge. Their job is not to manufacture and then market shiny new widgets to make a profit. But this being Missouri, we've decided that the state's university should be run like a business, not a university. And that's a lousy idea.

Take the man who just resigned as Chancellor of the University of Missouri, a fellow named Gary Forsee. He wasn't an academic or a scholar or someone who dealt in knowledge. Forsee was hired as Mizzou's head man after he was fired as CEO of Sprint. Forsee quit and was replaced by someone named Tim Wolfe. Wolfe used to head an infrastructure software provider.

With suits like these, pretty much what you'd expect to happen, has happened. Wolfe decided Mizzou needs to be more like a business. A football factory, maybe? Anyway, he decided to slim down the university by getting rid of its university press. Which would make the University of Missouri just about the only state university in America without a book publishing operation. And that hurts Mizzou’s academic reputation.

But who cares? It’s just another business.

I’m Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.