Carol D'Amico cashes out

Dateline: Wed 23 May 2007

The Star is reporting that former Ivy Tech College veep Carol D'Amico's decision not to file a lawsuit is worth $191,000. That's the amount she is getting for agreeing not to sue the college, which treated her most shabbily and unethically.

So that is settled, but what remains unclear is why Hoosiers tolerate the shenanigans that go on at the state's community college system.

After all, it isn't very good, and it's very expensive.

Here's some research, courtesy of a friend, who compares Ivy Tech costs to other systems:

Ivy Tech, in-state $87.50/credit

Washtenaw Community College (serves Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti) --$71/credit for people who live or work in the county

$116/credit for MI residence who live in other counties

$153/credit for out of state

Orange Coast College (California Community College system)

$20/unit

Keep in mind, says this tipster, that Southeast Michigan, and particularly Ann Arbor, has a high cost of living and higher wage/benefit base and yet their tuition is lower.

Other observations from this source: "Our four-year public institutions stunted the community college (historically); policy makers and politicians went along for the ride.

"Now, we're playing catch up. Don't you think lower tuition would be an incentive?

"Another tidbit. For years IU and Purdue refused to accept Ivy Tech credits. That meant if you spent two years gettiing an associates degree in electronics, you had to start over at Purdue. That wasn't what was going in other states with healthy community college system. The result, Indiana has a dismal college grad rate because we made it impossible for half the possible college grad population to achieve their dream. Along came Indiana Weslayan and kicked the big boys' asses. First, they made sure they were accredited by the same consortium that acredits the Big 10 schools, then they accepted Ivy Tech credits. Look up their history and you'll see their astounding growth and success. IU, Purdue finallly realized Indiana Weslayan was taking away business and started accepting Ivy Tech credits."

This source is familiar with higher education in Indiana and elsewhere. Discouraging, isn't it, when someone outside the system apparently knows more about it than the people inside, running the show? Or maybe those isiders are well aware of all cheats they've pulled and choose to keep it their dirty little secret.

But this "business as usual" mindset at Ivy Tech -- including passing over D'Amico for a good old boy who is not even an educator -- needs to change.

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