- From the Chicago Tribune, how college students are having to pay their own way more and more.
- From the Houston Chronicle, how gas prices are affecting college students.
- First, we have the end of campus computer labs. Apparently, some colleges like North Carolina State are moving to have virtual computer labs. In plain English, they put online tools on servers, and you have to access them on your own computer or laptop. No more campus lab as we know it. This by itself raises a few concerns on my part, but I will leave them for a different post later.
- Then they were asking if colleges should sell advertising to pay for technology. It's the idea of selling ad space on campus websites in order to pay for technology needs.
Now I am talking about the state colleges and universities, especially the small, less popular ones. Places like Harvard with their obscenely rich endowments they keep piling on to need not apply in this conversation; after all, using it to help the less fortunate is not exactly on their radar. Putting up a new building or fountain is probably more glamorous than setting up some scholarships for example. Most campuses think that way, even my own where getting a nice garden in front of the library is more important than actually putting books that are up to date inside that same library. But I am digressing. So, what could be a solution? Advertising.
Think about it folks. Most of you out there who may stop at this blog probably use the Internet regularly. You are used to seeing ads online for all sorts of sites: news, sports, the weather, so on. The ads are just there, and they make it possible for you to read The New York Times, to pick an example, mostly for free (well, you still have to pay for the Internet access somehow and a computer. It is never really free). So why not take it a step further and put ads on campus websites? On the piece about advertising above, one of the commenters said that donors naming stuff is not really the same as advertising. I say, oh really? They "donate" a lot of dough, with a lot of conditions very often, to get their name out there and remind everyone of their legacy. Sounds like advertising to me. They are paying to have their brand (i.e. themselves) be known. Like this guy. So, let us see how that would work:
- For the campus athletics section, ads for ESPN, Gatorade, and maybe the NFL and/or the NBA, especially if your campus is big on those two sports.
- For the library, Barnes and Noble, Borders, and similar are naturals. If the library has a cafe, well, Starbucks branding/franchising is a no brainer (personally, I prefer indie coffee, but oh well).
- For math department, Texas Instruments calculators.
- Let Facebook run your course management system. I mean, we are already halfway there. For example, see here.