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Re: Response to Barron
I didn't say they are designed to support the programs entirely, but they
are designed to make money. Even if a few are the exception, I wasn't
trying to generalize about institutes. I was saying that I always, when
considering an institute for myself or another person, assume that those
institutes do try to make a profit of some sort. Why should I want to know
more? What should I do, not attend the best possible institute within a
certain price range just b/c I thought they paid the staff too much money?
Like I mentioned already, disclosure sounds like an attempt to micromanage
other people's activities when there are already mechanisms in place (God
forgive me for saying this) like the market to ensure that quality services
are provided at prices people are willing to pay for.
I am not arguing that programs should not
>use their profits to fund their programs, but I do think that debaters,
>their parents or others who pay the bills should know where the money
No, they do not. Not in the sense that you are suggesting. They know their
money either goes towards providing them the services they are trying to buy
or the money doesn't. That is all they need to know. If they don't like
the institute's performance as an institute, then they won't buy that
service again. I don't check the books of every merchant, producers,
service provider, etc. before I negotiate transactions with them. Why
should institutes be different?
>Second, no private information need be divulged. We do not need to
>identify "Smith's" salary as a specific amount but instead we could just
>identify the category as salaries and the amount for all salaries.
Yes it would need to be divulged if it is to be useful. I thought the sort
of abuses that disclosure is supposed to eliminate are things like personal
aggrandizement of funds or kick backs. What good is it to know that $30,000
was spent on "staff"? And, if specific salaries are disclosed, even
anonymously, people can sort of figure out who is making what. Especially
those who work the institutes, and who don't have the right to know what
others are making without the consent of the other parties. Again, what do
you want to know for? Do you have in your head what you think is a
reasonable percentage of total revenue to spend on "staff" such that
deviations from that standard justify the conclusion that the institute has
been "wasteful"? I don't and attempting to formulate some across the
community may be very haphazard and constricting on new institutes.
>Finally, if what you are doing is justified, certainly it can stand the
>light of day.
No, I am justified in raising my daughter, in spending my income, in making
an income, etc., without it ever needing to be brought out into the "light
of day". Public scrutiny is not some benign source of cleansing sunlight.
We know that. So before we demand public scrutiny of somebody else's
activities, I think a very clear explanation of exactly what that scrutiny
is looking for, what standards of evaluation are being used and why the
scrutiny is justified is, at a minimum, necessary (I am desperately trying
not to sound like I am advocating a privacy right for an institute, so if I
do sound that way, I at least don't mean to).
Assistant Director of Debate
Illinois State University
Department of Communication
Normal, Il 61761-480
Dep't of Comm.: 309)438-3671
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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