This trend has been bothering me for some time now, i.e., the hypocrisies of universities willing to pay millions to construct new, state-of-the-art buildings while they entirely neglect faculty salaries and hire low-wage adjuncts to replace tenure tracks. Apparently, "quality of life" only pertains to luxurious student lifestyles on oasis-styled campuses, not to the well-being of the teachers who actually keep universities functioning. Needless to say, this financial picture is so out of whack -- the priorities are so out of whack.
"Backed by rising tuitions and growing endowments, schools are also piling on amenities unheard of just 20 or 30 years ago -- from condominium-style residence halls with suites boasting private kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms to state-of-the-art recreation centers resembling country clubs.
"At University of Missouri, a newly renovated $43 million Student Recreation Complex that opened in August stretches over 300,000 square feet -- including cardio and fitness rooms, an aquatic center, a DJ booth and a juice bar.
"'Parents want not only quality academics but they also want a quality of life in our institutions that perhaps 20 years ago or 30 years ago parents were not so concerned about,' said Claire Van Ummersen, a vice president at the American Council on Education, which represents more than 1,800 colleges, universities and organizations involved in higher education."