Pharyngula

Wait—Liberty University gets half a billion dollars a year in federal aid? And they have almost 50,000 students? I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if thousands of minds suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

I looked a little further and discovered, though, that Liberty is actually a mid-sized private college with an on-campus enrollment of about 12,000 — they’re sucking in all that money because they’re deeply involved in that lucrative on-line ‘education’ game, where they shuffle students through a series of web pages and declare them S-M-R-T, smart. I was made suspicious when I looked at their list of faculty in chemistry and biology and was surprised to see that their total number of chemistry/biology faculty is 21, while my university has a total combined chemistry and biology faculty of 15…for a student body of fewer than 2,000. If we just go by the service provided, I think that means the University of Minnesota Morris should be getting $357 million every year from the government, and we could give every student free tuition, raise faculty salaries to a competitive level, and hire a couple more faculty in each discipline to ease the strain we’re going through right now (we’re short-staffed, and it hurts). And then, with the money left over, we could build a water park and a light-rail connection to Minneapolis and get everyone an ice cream cake on their birthday! Yay!

Bonus: with all that money, you’d also get a physics and a geology department that doesn’t teach that the earth was formed in six days 6,000 years ago, and a biology department that actually teaches biology instead of abracadabra-magic-man-in-the-sky-done-it.

Since we’re paying so much money for it, can we rename Liberty University? I’d like to call it Leech University. At least they wouldn’t have to change the monogrammed towels.