February 02, 2013

Will now tenured university professors retire on senior retirement campuses?

Sir, in 2004 I published in Venezuela an Op-Ed titled “Real or virtual universities” and in which I discussed imaginary ongoing heated budget debates in the universities, between those who wanted better classrooms and those who wanted better servers. 

When now reading Gillian Tett’s “Welcome to the virtual university and budget learning” February 2, I get the feeling that soon many university campuses might retire by being acquired by chains specializing in retirement homes for the baby boomers, and where perhaps many retiring professors can remain feeling at home. 

Really, if the incentives of the physical universities are not better aligned with the future income realities of their student, their current business model is bound to break. Perhaps the professors’ retirement plans should be based on a percentage of the future earnings of the graduates, at least so as to decrease the risk they will be sued by their former students for failing to deliver what was implicitly promised them.