Quotes to Note: Registration woes, inspiration, MyEdu

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From the controversy surrounding the UT System’s investment in MyEdu to registration woes, the following quotes are among the best from the last few days.

“We don’t have enough faculty — that’s the bottom line.”
— Hillary Hart, senior lecturer in the department of civil engineering, on one of the main reasons why students struggle to register for classes they need, according to The Daily Texan.

“Information, especially in the technical fields, becomes obsolete, but inspiration lasts a lifetime.”
— Brent Iverson, professor and chairman of the Department of Chemistry, according to an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman. Iverson, a recipient of the 2011 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards and one of the most highly-rated professors on campus, calls to question the pressures to separate teaching and researching at universities.

“[The UT System’s deal with MyEdu] is one of the best examples I’ve ever seen of successful rent-seeking in the public sector (although laypeople might use a less felicitous term than rent-seeking). This blog needs a contest for the most outrageous example of this behavior, and this is my entry into that contest.”
— Economics professor Daniel Hamermesh in an entry to the popular Freakonomics blog, of which he is a frequent contributor. Rent seeking is when private companies seek a chunk of the economic pie without adding any value by manipulating political outcomes. Hamermesh cites the connection between MyEdu’s senior vice president John Cunningham and his father William Cunningham, former UT president and UT System chancellor and current business professor, as well as MyEdu CEO Michael Crosno’s ties to Gov. Rick Perry, as justification for labeling the ordeal as rent seeking.

“We are not a company ‘loaded’ with ‘Perry backers’ nor have I ever served on a Perry finance committee, as has been alleged. My passion is education and I have no involvement with politics of any kind. In fact, our company is loaded with people for whom education is a passion, and it is unfair to all of us who spend endless hours working to help students to misrepresent who we are as part of some larger political agenda.”
— MyEdu CEO Michael Crosno in an op-ed to the Austin American-Statesman. Crosno comes to the defense of his company, which is the recipient of a much-maligned $10 million investment from the UT System. Crosno said the first meetings between the company and the system was “prompted by students” and assured that students control “how they share the information.”