Luigi M Bianchi (lbianchi@YORKU.CA)
Tue, 12 Aug 1997 15:27:42 -0500

The following item appears in Edupage, 12 August 1997:

Comparing higher education to national health care, Educom vice
president Mike Roberts told the Washington Post: "The doctors
wouldn't do anything about controlling costs by themselves, and
things finally got so bad that they took the control away from them.
The faculty need to face up to those aspects of learning that really
require interaction with a faculty member and those that don't." As
examples, Roberts mentioned introductory freshman and remedial-
level courses in composition, math, science and languages.
(Washington Post 10 Aug 97)"

This is a remarkable statement. For starters, it is not
clear what "As examples" referes to. I do hope the items
mentioned are examples of cases where interaction is
badly required. I am even more intrigued by what the
examples of no-interaction-required may be.

More generally, the insinuation that faculty are as badly
behaved as doctors, who "wouldn't do anything about
controlling costs by themselves" and thus lost control,
is truly disingenuous. Both health and education should
be priorities for any civilized nation, and should be exempt
from the market inquisition. These are two areas where
"interaction" is not only badly needed, but should be


Luigi M Bianchi, chair
Science and Technology Studies phone: +1-416-736-5213
Atkinson College, York University fax: +1-416-736-5766
4700 Keele St, North York, Ontario e-mail:
Canada M3J-1P3