Course Funding Strategies

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As you may know, the university's implementation of "value-centered
management" (VCM) has led to a dramatic change in departmental funding of
courses.  Under VCM each department is charged with developing innovative
methods for covering the expenses associated with their classes.  In
addition, the income from profitable courses can be used to aid in the
production of important, less economically self-sufficient classes.  The
department commercialization committee recently convened to consider a
number of alternative funding concepts.  Enclosed are some of the more
plausible plans.  We will hold an open meeting on Friday at 4pm at Good
Time Charley's to discuss these, and other possible strategies.  Please
join us.

I. M. Tenured, Ph.D. (Chair)

* Corporate sponsorship of courses

Our football team gets paid to put Nike "Swooshes" on their jerseys, and
many of the football bowl games are sponsored by corporations (the Nokia
Sugar Bowl, the Outback Bowl, the National Enquirer JonBenet Ramsey Bowl,
etc...)  In addition, Macy's sponsors a Thanksgiving parade.  The list goes
on and on.  The point being, we should be able to find a rich corporation
willing to sponsor a course in return for prominent mention of their name.

Imagine:  Prozac Abnormal Psychology, Hooters presents Cognitive Modelling,
Viverin Human Performance etc...  And for core courses like Introduction to
Cognitive Psychology, we could have different sponsors for different
topics:  Kodak's Visual Processing System, LEGO presents: Geons, ASPCA PET
Scanning week.  Such sponsorship could range from merely including the
corporate name and logo in course listings, to logo bedecked instructors,
to glitzy production numbers. 

* In-class concessions

A key niche that can be exploited with some entrepreneurial zeal is the
in-class concession market.  Students can be seen as a captive audience, if
we can properly capitalize on this we will open up a new, fruitful source
of revenue.  Food and drink could be sold at inflated prices to students.
In large lecture halls we could have vendors walking up and down the aisles
selling pretzels, beer, plush psychologist dolls, etc.  Other classes could
probably get by with a small concession stand near the door.

* Legalized gambling

Students and faculty alike try to predict test scores.  In fact, both have
a keen interest in these values.  We can take advantage of this excitement
by bringing some classy gambling to our school.  Offering odds on class
test means would enable us to bring in some money, and promote an strong
interest in course work among students.  Sure a B+ may be only a grade, but
what if you had $50 riding on it?  A few legal issues would need to be
wrinkled out before this could be enacted (e.g., opening up an off-shore
casino in Barbados - which would of course require frequent visits by area
staff and grad students).

* Selling television rights

College is a bit elitist.  We only allow a limited number of paying
students to attend our classes.  We should be willing to share our wisdom
with the community.  If we allowed a television network to broadcast
classes, complete with commercial breaks, we could bring in some much
needed revenue and educate the masses as well.  This would also serve to
make certain faculty members a bit more well known - imagine someone with
the name recognition of a Jay Leno or Tom Brokaw going up for tenure...

* Advertising

Of course this goes without saying.  For instructors who use Powerpoint
slides, on slide banners could be sold, or for a bit more, entire slides
could be devoted to products.  When you go to the movies, there is a slide
show before the film starts that gives advertisers a chance to hawk their
wares - why can't we do that.  In addition, product give aways, famous
spokespeople, and catchy jingles could all be considered.  What discussion
of priming would be complete without subliminal advertising?

* Preferred seating

We could develop VIP sections which would allow students to pay a premium
for additional handouts, comfy seats, free beverages, and a guarantee that
they will not be called on.

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