Thursday, December 23, 2010


The Chronicle of Higher Education writes an obituary for that strange Objectivist creation known as Founders College. With its occluded origins, constant denials of Objectivist influence yet staff packed with ARIans, courses slavishly adhering to Rand and Peikoff's most whimsical tastes in literature , and all-round mismatch of grandiose vision with half-baked reality, it was a gift that kept on giving to us here at the ARCHNblog.


Anonymous said...

"and she declined to answer questions about the specifics of the college.

She [Ms. Fuller] wrote in an e-mail that she was grateful to the students, faculty, and staff who took a risk to join Founders. "These individuals stepped forth with courage, hope, and excitement for this project and yet, despite heroic efforts, we did not succeed financially,"

From the article...oh my! These objectivists are simply too much! Why can't they just accept they fouled up big time? All this talk of heroic efforts! Completely at odds with the rest of the article. If that is heroism then call me a cab.

Prime movers indeed!

- Steven Johnston

Anonymous said...

They had a real estate executive as CEO?!!!!

Next time why not go the whole hog and have a used car salesman instead.

Good grief, did no one think this was a bad idea. People working in real estate aren't exactly suited to running a college. Colleges are a business but a different kind of business. You need people who are experienced in this field. You can't say, to someone who has made a fortune in shoes, well start running a college and make it a success. We tried that here in the UK and it didn't work.

"At the time the college was approved, it had no official faculty, no facilities, and, it turned out, shaky finances. "I'm stunned that the state would register a place like that," says Ray Weiss, the onetime enrollment director. "What did we really have going for us when they registered us?"

Well for once they can't cry foul. They, the prime movers, are the architecs of their own downfall. They can't cry foul and blame it on the collectivists as this comment from Ray Weiss shows that the collectivists gave them (too much) leeway. A clear case of give 'em enough rope and they'll hang themselves.
The ones you end up feeling sorry for are the students. The whole 10 of them. Some, as the article makes clear, enrolling under false pretences. Gee, all I lost was £6.99 for my copy of AS, those poor sods lost a year out of their lives.

I have to chuckle though at the "equestrian center". Objectivists ride horses now? Oh and you could learn to run a pub objectivist bar, bet that would be a barrel of laughs.

- Steven Johnston

stuart said...

Objectivist bar--great idea. Can't you just see them gathered around the piano:

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me

A copy of ITOE..."

Wells said...

Steven Johnson said this.
"They had a real estate executive as CEO?!!!"
They also had someone in the admission's office who never went to college. He admitted in the article that he should have never been holding that position.

Steven Johnson also said this
"Oh and you could learn to run a pub objectivist bar, bet that would be a barrel of laughs."

It would be a barrel of laughs. However, you really can't apply what a Founder's College student learned about bars to running bars in real life. I read the comments, Two former Founders students found the thread. One of them said this.

founderskidenglish (A former Founder's student) said this.
"Towards the end, all of the rules went out the window. I was even able to drink in the bar, then underage, because no one cared at that point."

Wells said...

Before founderskidenglish, founderskidzac said this

"Yeah, all of the perks we loved were unnecessary. We had full and free access to the restaurant (and they wouldn't have looked too hard at the bar if we'd been of age!). We would get appetizers, entrees, sodas (mmm, I always got a Virgin Mary, and Chawn made them sooo well) and deserts. I often had a $40+ lunch bill, that wasn't actually charged. And jazz nights, and hot air balloons, and the ridiculous level of luxury throughout."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "You can't say, to someone who has made a fortune in shoes, well start running a college and make it a success."

But-- but-- that's the core principle of the modern American managerial program! You are skilled at management, and it doesn't matter what you're doing. The days where managers had to work their way up from the factory floor, the R&D department, or the sales force are long gone.

Curiously, although the theory says this, and in practice they do frequently move from company to company, somehow the pay has not fallen as one might expect. Apparently the skills are readily transferred for purposes of employment, but not for compensation.

Neil Parille said...

I think the Founders College coverage was ARCHN's finest hour.

Merry Christmas,
Neil Parille

stuart said...

Merry Christmas from Gord's Country to all the smart,sane, deliciously despicable minds at ARCHN!

Daniel Barnes said...

Thanks caroljane,

And thanks to all our readers and our enablers, have a great Christmas and New Year.

Anonymous said...

"I think the Founders College coverage was ARCHN's finest hour."

Founders College was objectivism's finest hour. It heroically went t**s up owing $8 million. Proving that under objectivism there is such a thing as a free lunch! Paid for by whom? (blank out!)

- Steven Johnston

Anonymous said...

Gary, you got some 'splaining to do!
(retreats into hurt silence...)

stuart said...

From a PHYSICS thread on an O-site:
A:"parabola-physics blah blah"(paraphrase)

B: "Ragnar Dannesgjold would disagree!" (verbatim)

Game, set and match, I should think.