This website has long believed South Carolina’s duplicative and unnecessary government-run institutions of “higher learning” should be set free to pursue their destinies as private colleges and universities. Of course what this nifty turn of a phrase really means is we believe these cash guzzling fiefdoms of mediocrity ought to be immediately taken off of the taxpayer dole – seeing as higher education is no more a core function of government than K-12 education.
Anyway, one professor at the University of South Carolina-Upstate has taken us at our word, except he’s forgotten the part about getting off the taxpayer teat first.
He’s also forgotten the old adage about “biting the hand that feeds …”
Richard Routh, who teaches “business informatics” at USC-Upstate, gets paid $66,861 a year (not counting benefits) from South Carolina taxpayers. Of course Routh’s primary focus doesn’t appear to be the students we pay him to teach – it’s “Invictus University.”
What is “Invictus University?”
Well, if you’ve got forty-five minutes to spare, Routh will tell you all about it in this video posted to his YouTube page last month.
Oh, he’ll also tell you how dumb his students are …
“Some of the things I observed about the readiness of these students to graph (?) simple business concepts was appalling,” Routh says. “For example, more than one-third of them are incapable of figuring out what 10 percent of a billion dollars is. Most of them have no clue that you need to collect 1,000 different piles of a billion dollars in each pile in order to have a trillion dollars, let alone simple practical business math such as how much the value of a company’s stock will be if they have earnings per share of $1 and a (price to earnings) ratio of twenty, or what the impact on the federal government will be if the bond interest rate increases by 2 percent given than we have a national debt of $16 trillion.”
Um … first of all Mr. Pop Quiz didn’t you mean to say “grasp” not “graph?” And last time we checked the national debt was $16.7 trillion, not $16 trillion.
But we get it … you’ve been hanging around products of South Carolina’s “worst in the nation” K-12 education system too long.
Anyway, Routh makes clear his students aren’t just lacking in business acumen … they are across-the-boards stupid.
“These same students have no idea that we even have a separation of powers in our federal government, or why that is historically important,” he says. “Almost all of them do not understand the fundamental historical themes of art, music and theater and how those themes affect societal trends. They have little understanding of the different world views held by different people groups around the world, so they are incapable of understanding – for example – why the Iranians pursue the policies they do.”
Um … we thought Iran pursued crazy policies because it’s leader is crazy. Color us surprised.
“I could go on and on about the pervasiveness of the educational failures of even some of the best colleges in our country, but the point is we must do something to better prepare our next generation if we are to have any hope of effectively addressing the existential challenges that face us,” he says.
So … what is the “something” Routh wants us to do?
Easy: He wants us to give him $320 million so that he can launch “Invictus University” – which he claims will lure 1 million students by the third quarter of 2018, at which point an initial public offering will raise the $1.5 billion needed to “begin saturation marketing in both national and international markets.”
Don’t believe us? To view an investor spreadsheet outlining this pipe dream in more exhaustive detail, click here.
Look … we agree with a lot of what Routh has to say. The glaring failure of South Carolina’s K-12 system to prepare students for college – even at a po-dunk satellite campus like USC-Upstate – is “appalling.” And maybe this 1970s-era Bond villain wanna be is capable of pulling this thing off.
But with all due respect to Routh, he needs to recognize crafting money-making schemes predicated upon the stupidity of the very people taxpayers are paying him to teach (while still drawing a government salary) is NOT smart.
Incidentally, we’re filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USC-Upstate and you better believe if the word “Invictus” shows up so much as ONCE in Routh’s taxpayer-funded correspondence, we’re going to demand the school give him a head start on pursuing his own private sector destiny.
UPDATE: Sources are telling FITS Routh and others “used university resources” in furtherance of this (and other) private ventures. Ruh-roh …