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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back to school?!

Today is back-to-school day for many across the country and mentally at least, it triggers the onset of the new year. (Given my Canadian roots, I'm of the belief that starting to teach or study before Labour Day is a crime against humanity. I've been teaching the past two weeks under protest!) In the spirit of new beginnings, many universities host events that mark the beginning of the year. Here at the University of Miami, Malcolm Gladwell is scheduled to speak this Wednesday. At my law school home, FSU, they have kicked off their outstanding speaker series. Sadly, this week I'll be missing the dashing former and future guest blogger, Mark Fenster.

In the vein of interesting speeches to kick off the new year, check out former Emory University President William Chase's "honest" speech in today's NYT. He writes:

When I was a college president, I was never able to give incoming freshmen the honest talk I wanted to. But had I done so, here’s what I would have said:

HELLO to you first-year students. I’m Laudable’s president. The next time we’ll see each other is when you graduate. Most likely, that won’t be in four years, but in about 55 months. That’s because a good many of you won’t finish on time. And, because college presidents last only about six years and I’ve already been on campus for two, perhaps I won’t even be here. I know you’re worried about money. I’m not telling you or your folks anything new when I say that Laudable looks expensive. The tuition increases here, just like those of our competitors, have outstripped the rate of increase in the consumer price index for years. This fall, tuition, room and board averages almost $32,000 at Laudable and other private colleges, and more than $15,000 at public ones. But hold on. Most of you and your parents don’t pay for everything yourselves. In public four-year institutions, some 4 in 10 undergraduates get financial aid. At private places like Laudable, more than 80 percent of you do. Just like the auto industry, we have a sticker price and we have the price people really pay. And like car dealers, we force you to borrow money to help make up the difference. You will probably owe more than $20,000, on average, when you leave Laudable. Graduates of public institutions will owe, on average, more than $15,000.

How will many of you begin your adult lives?

In serious debt.

Posted by Administrators on September 5, 2006 at 11:25 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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fantastic and canadian

Posted by: keith talent | Sep 6, 2006 12:23:17 AM

Wow, you guys won with Malcolm Gladwell. He's fantastic.

Posted by: Bart Motes | Sep 5, 2006 12:14:14 PM

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