Seriously: Future CSU president announces BigCorp deal, students worry

Seriously%3A+Future+CSU+president+announces+BigCorp+deal%2C+students+worry

Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

Paul Brull, Staff Contributor

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names and the events surrounding them may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read the editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

New Colorado State University president-to-be, Bamy Barsons, announced her plan for an Office of the President administrative partnership with BigCorp last Thursday.

Ad

“During my time at BigCorp, I worked with a lot of good people,” Barsons said in her announcement email. “They know how to best maximize profits while delivering top-notch service in flexible roles.”

Barsons’ email outlined her plan to designate these new salaried employees as special contractors working for both organizations.

“The executives at BigCorp are some of the hardest-working and most benevolent people I know,” Barsons’ email continued. “I have no doubt their service to Colorado State University will not be compromised by their obligations to BigCorp.”

Some students were concerned about the recent announcement and organized a protest against administrative bloat.

“For the past semester, we’ve had an interim president serving multiple roles, and I honestly didn’t know the difference,” biology student Jackie Dodds said. “To be completely honest, I just thought Boyce BoConnell had just forgotten her email password and was too embarrassed to ask CSU’s information technology person for it.”

“Students also raised some concerns about conflicts of interest. Barsons’ second-in-command during her time at BigCorp and likely nominee for the administrative role, John White, is also a board member of Edgucate, a paid discussion board service.”

“I’m just not sure it’s a good use of my tuition and fees,” finance major and crypto investor Chaddington Chadsworth commented. “I understand the desire to run CSU like a business, but I’m not sure this is the best way to do that. Instead of paying for more administrative professionals, perhaps university money could be directed toward the provision of service, namely the graduate students and professors who teach students and conduct research.”

Students also raised some concerns about conflicts of interest. Barsons’ second-in-command during her time at BigCorp and likely nominee for the administrative role, John White, is also a board member of Edgucate, a paid discussion board service. The company’s motto reads, “Education starts when lecture ends and discussion begins.” 

“There are arguably worse conflicts of interest in play here, I’m not going to lie,” philosophy student Edgar Axel said. “Her old chief financial officer is the head of Americans for Private Education. Her ex-chief operating officer is a University of Colorado Boulder alum and football fan. Still, I can’t emphasize how little I want to pay for a discussion board service.”

Responding to student concerns, Barsons clarified her position in an interview with The Collegian.

“I understand student concerns,” Barsons said. “Our goal, though, is to increase our profit margin. Students are a captive audience who has no choice but to take out massive loans to pay for a degree with an ever-diminishing return value. The Office of the President needs a team of analysts to maximize income from student fees by finding the highest price point students are willing to pay. That’s definitely worth a few million dollars. You weren’t recording that, right?”

Ad

The Collegian will continue to report as the story develops.

Reach Paul Brull at letters@collegian.com  or on Twitter @csucollegian