Course Funding Strategies
[Happy Hour is back! Friday, 4pm at Charley's ] Colleagues, 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.