The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – Columbia College Chicago -  Board of Trustees Budget Committee

The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – Columbia College Chicago -  Board of Trustees Budget Committee

That's just the first payment. 

That's just the first payment. 

By Joe Janes


Columbia College Chicago

Board of Trustees Budget Meeting

10:30 a.m., Ferguson Hall

In Attendance: Kwang-Wu Kim (President and CEO), Stan Weardon (Senior Vice-President and Provost), Laurent Pernot (Chief of Staff), Sharon Wilson-Taylor (Vice-President of Student Affairs), various trustees whose names look really good in a side column on stationery. Meeting transcribed by me, Frank Tipperton (Vice-President of Communications and Coffee)


Stan: We need to raise tuition at least 2%.

Laurent: I thought it was 4%.

Stan: That’s what we’re going to tell the students and their parents. By saying it should have been 4% but we’re only going to raise it 2%, we’re giving them some financial relief. Makes it look like we’re keeping things from being worse.

Sharon: I see your logic.  It’s like telling someone that by grabbing their butt they should feel relief because you really could have raped them.

Stan: I couldn’t have said it better. It's a small way to make things a little bit better for students.

Laurent: Very small. Kudos.

Kwang: It's a lovely gesture. Then I say we give them massive relief. Let’s tell them we were going to raise it 20%. By only raising it 2% when it could have been 20%, they’ll name all the buildings after me. Us.

Laurent: That’s brilliant. They will be so relieved.

Kwang: We’ll need to hire more six-figure vice-presidents to get the word out on how great we are. And to make sure the students don’t complain.

Stan: At my last job, at Kent State University, we made massive cuts and raised tuition every two weeks. We never heard any complaints.

Sharon: None of the students ever complained?

Stan: That’s not what I said. There were many complaints. We just didn’t hear them. (Puts his fingers in his ears) La-la-la-la-la-la.

Laurent: Well, we have to raise tuition. No getting around that. Enrollment continues to plummet.

Sharon: Fewer people are buying our product. The only sensible solution is for us to charge more.

Kwang: The freshman foundation classes have been saving us money. Is there anything else we can do?

Stan: At Kent State, we raised the maximum number of students per class to 100.

Kwang: How was the retention rate? Did they come back?

Stan: They never left. We raised the max and locked the doors. We charged them extra if they wanted to go home for holidays. We found the Mansfield Privatized Prison model to be very inspiring.

Kwang: That’s a great idea. Then we release them after they serve four years. Give them some new clothes and a $100 and tell them to get a job.

Stan: Yes, but we charge 39% compound interest on that $100.

Kwang: Delicious! Their grandchildren’s grandchildren will have to work to pay that off! I love long term planning. I’m a visionary.  How else can we save money? We have bonuses to cover?

Laurent: Clearly, we need more new teachers who will work for cheap. Get rid of the more experienced faculty. Students don’t pay for experience. They pay for easy grades.

Kwang: Amen. You know, Stan, you have me thinking. Follow me, on this. What if we offer just one class?

Stan: One class? For every student?

Kwang: One class for every student. Then we’d only need one teacher.

Stan: You mean, only one class for every major?

Kwang: One class for all students of all majors meeting once a week. We cover everything. Networking, mostly. Maybe some collaging.

Sharon: Students who are paying for their own education will have more time to work a fulltime job. Maybe two.

Laurent: One teacher who teaches all four levels. No need for seasonal helpers like the part-time faculty. No union!

Kwang: Precisely. I am so in love with myself, right now. Also, I am very well groomed.

Stan: You are. We’re going to be rich!

Kwang: Richer. Now, we just need to have more meetings, invite teachers and students to come in and talk and be “heard” and then we go ahead with our new plan for next year anyway.

Stan: I’m crying I’m so happy.

Sharon: And you’re sure we can keep the students from getting out of hand. How did they do that at Kent State?

Stan: Well, we set a precedence there with the Viet Nam War student protestors. They know better than to get out of line. (points a finger gun) Blammo!

Kwang: I miss the old days. Back when a mass shooting on a campus meant something.

The meeting was adjourned. Champagne was opened.

Perhaps at Starbucks.

Perhaps at Starbucks.

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