I was delighted to read in the venerable Daily Pennsylvanian the other day that Penn’s endowment has grown to over six and a half inches billion dollars. Indeed, the past year has been kind to the market and it seems that our university has invested wisely. It’s a good thing, too, because it’s expensive being Penn. From professor salaries to the physical plant, from Lee Stetson hush money to the elaborate courtly ceremony of the President’s Office, the university has its expenses. Here are some suggestions for making sure Penn doesn’t go under:
1. Penn acceptance rate this year tumbled below 16% and we are acting like this is a good thing. There are people out there who want to give the school tuition dollars but can’t, just because they are idiots. Who wins from this system? Nobody. Almost everyone has taken basic econ; draw a graph of supply and demand as a function of price. Clearly, Penn can charge a much higher tuition.
2. There is plenty of housing available at Penn, and if we are smart about it, we can take in more students. To maximize efficiency, rooms should all be the size of those in Hill, and we should only accept Asians because they are smallest. Very short Jews may also be considered.
3.Merchandizing: this year’s shirts and folios are pretty sweet, but Penn should look into plastering its name on more crap. The Penn logo is a clear value-add. We would pay perhaps 5 cents for a pencil, but 50 for one with a Penn logo on it. By this same logic, we would pay $5 for a can of Penn Diet Coke or $500 for a hooker with a Penn tattoo.
1. There are several programs that could be totally removed without noticeable impact (e.g. garbage pickup, School of Engineering.) Cutting these programs would create substantial savings.
2. Outsource. Much of the administration could be replaced by (modestly) trained monkeys or foreigners.
3. There is no longer any need to have a campus: our peer institutions (University of Phoenix Online, St. Regis University, Princeton) are already reaping the rewards of zero expenditures on the physical plant. We must join them if we are to be competitive. No one will miss DRL anyway.
Also, I feel that if Penn is to avoid fiscal oblivion, we should start eating Irish babies. I don’t know; I just think Swift tends to be right about this sort of thing.