$95.6 Million

Did you know? Daytona State College is operating this year on a budget of $95.6 million. I really think they could get by on $47.8 million if they weren’t so wasteful all the time. That’s a state-run college for you.

I know for sure, they could get buy on a budget of $94.3 million if they weren’t constantly paying executives off.

Spotlight on Daytona State’s Accreditation

I logged onto class.daytonastate.edu to find this message:

Daytona State College recently was notified that the Southern Association of Colleges (SACS) is planning a site visit. The College believes that we will be able to address any issues or questions and do so without jeopardizing the College’s accreditation.

Michael Vitale
Interim VP of Academic Affairs
Daytona State College

Do you think Daytona State deserves to continue being accredited? Why or why not? Leave your feedback by commenting on this post. I particularly want to hear from people who have withdrawn, dropped out, transferred away from, or decided not to attend Daytona State.

In my opinion, Daytona State has a high market share that does not necessarily reflect upon its high quality, but rather, the fact that people are being paid to go to or to return to college. The IRS Earned Income Tax Credit applies from the ages of 19 to 24 if you are taking 12 credits in at least 5 calendar months of the year (one major semester), which can easily provide over $3000 to your parents from the federal government. The federal government also gives many students $2775 free money per semester for the Pell grant, and many students get the lottery scholarship, Florida BrightFutures, which is $924 per semester. The Daytona State Foundation provides scholarships of $800 per semester to many other students who apply, which are provided by local business magnates. Tuition and books typically cost under $2000 per semester, excluding ignorant students who use the bldg. 200 bookstore instead of ordering online from websites such as Amazon, Half, AbeBooks, and Bookbyte. The college also provides many work-study positions to students at $7.25 or $14.50 an hour which are often undeserved, because no solvent business would provide such jobs. Additionally, the college gets tens of millions of dollars from the state per year, and professors have cushy jobs in general.

Furthermore, most students who graduate from Daytona State College have a degree in worthlessness, unless they fundamentally changed their thought processes for the better, and/or went into a field that provides real value such as engineering, science, or psychology. This is not the college’s fault because students have free reign over their choice of majors, but it does show that Americans in general, and Floridians in particular, are lazy.

Daytona State’s graduation is below 30%, and our retention rate is barely 70%. If you are a student, ask yourself: why are you really going to college? If you answer any of the following, you should drop out now, unless you have children or a family to support.

* To get a high-paying job
* To socialize
* Scholarships and financial aid
* To meet women
* Because everyone says you should
* Work-study job
* Something to do
* Power
* To have something to occupy your time
* You were fired or laid off
* Low self-esteem
* To show the world you can succeed
* To prove a point
* To feel loved
* To feel a part of something greater than yourself
* To be a slave
* To text message in class
* To cause trouble
* Social norms
* Discount movie tickets
* To get a student checking account or credit card
* To attend plays for free
* To use the college darkrooms
* To use the piano labs
* Cheap food
* To further your political agenda

All of these reasons might sound good on paper, but they ultimately will not satiate you. Only a love of learning can get your through life, and in many ways, that is not what Daytona State provides.

If you are a professor, executive, or staff member at Daytona State, if you work there for any of these reasons, you should quit now, unless you have a family and big mortgage.

* Job security / tenure
* Easy work
* Stepping stone
* To force your students to buy your textbook
* To be a cog in the wheel
* To please your parents
* High income
* To further the status quo
* Power
* Sadism
* To foster dependent learners
* To boss people around
* To set up a fiefdom
* Because your parents told you so
* To have a title
* To posture instead of postulate
* For your ego

None of the above further the expansion of human knowledge in anyway. Only the joy of helping others become independent learners, capable of recognizing truth from falsehood, and motivated to explore the domain of life without becoming bitter or lazy, will lead you to true happiness.

Kent Sharples Ousted with $1.2 Million Severance Package

Kent Sharples and Bruce Cook, Spring 2008

In September 2010, Daytona State President Kent Sharples lent nearly $1.5 million to the Community Cultural Foundation for the “American Music Festival,” with approval of the previous Board of Trustees. The festival was a money-loser and the foundation owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to many local businesses in addition to the college, which has now cut ties with both the Foundation and Sharples, and the new board ousted Sharples.

Sharples’ attorney negotiated a $1.2 million severance package for the retiring president and he will also be receiving over $0.5 million in accrued benefits. This puts his entire package at six years salary at his current rate of $290,000.

In other news, Vice President Rand Spiwak is retiring in January and Frank Lombardo, Acdemics VP, is becoming the Interim President on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. Sharples’ last day as president is Friday, Nov. 19.

READER COMMENT BY DONALD ON THE DAYTONA SUN:

“We lost a builder for education and a true force of growth in our community with Kent Sharples resignation from Daytona State College. When will we receive the resignation of Ms Hosseini and her blonde puppet, Ms Haas? Maybe the pocket stuffer of our former Governor…Mori Hosseini will text them with instructions!”

I think it’s disgraceful that Forough Hosseini has led this crusade against Sharples for no good reason, and to much negative publicity. If he remains president, he won’t be able to do anything anyway, since she basically owns the Board of Trustees. Under Sharples’ 11-year tenure, the college has seen unprecedented growth. I sincerely hope this growth continues under Lombardo and the future DSC president.

Sources:
2010-11-18: DAYTONA SUN: Sharples Out
2010-11-18: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Sharples out as Daytona State president; $1.2 million buyout
2010-11-11: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Daytona State financial head retiring
2010-02-22: DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL: Forough Hosseini quits as college board chairman

Revised at 10:00pm EST, Nov. 19, 2010.

Fall 2010 Award Disbursement

Daytona State College began disbursing scholarship refunds to the debit cards of college students yesterday, Sept. 24, 2010. If you don’t receive yours in the next two weeks, make sure to contact the office of student accounts.

Even students without scholarship or academic merit can receive a refund. The federal Pell provides most students with $694 per 3-credit class, and with Daytona State’s tuition costing $375 per class or less, this will result in windfalls of hundreds or thousands of dollars per semester for many students.

For a program that is completely unconstitutional, the Pell grant consumes a large portion of the Federal budget. While it cost a mere $16 billion dollars in 2008-2009, for the 2009-2010 school year the cost was $25.4 billion, and thanks to Obama, it is projected to cost $27.5 billion this fiscal year, granting an average of $3000 to over 8 million students. This wealth redistribution scheme is great news for students but bad news for job-seekers and the economy (an AA degree is becoming as common as dirt).

Note that if one of your parents died serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, you should receive a $2750 Pell grant this semester and next regardless of your eligibility or course load. Even though you are grieving, make sure you get your deserved award. If both your parents died in the line of duty, ask for even more money.

700 Student Bills Unpaid

Hello readers. I took the spring off and while I took a computer programming course at Daytona State over the summer, it wasn’t interesting enough to write about. Since I’m going back to offline classes next week (just one Calculus II course and lab), I’ll start blogging here again.

I just got an email from the college which mentioned this:

“In addition, there are approximately 700 students who have bills due today that have not paid or deferred their bill. If this is not done today, classes will be cancelled.”

Since Daytona State’s enrollment is only around 25,000 students, that’s 3% that haven’t even paid for their classes. I bet maybe 200 will pay today. I guess we’ll have a lot of canceled classes as classes will be merged to make up for the missing students.

Correction: Florida Academic Scholars bonus reduced to $187.50

Jason alerted me that the email I got from the FL department of education means $375 for the whole school year, which is two semesters. So each semester the bonus is actually reduced from $225 to $187.50. This is after being reduced from $300 to $225 in the spring of 2008, when the Medallion award was raised from 75% to 100% for community and state colleges.

I was fooled by the email, because it reminded me of this similar email from 2007 November 27:

Dear Mr. Thripp:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) maximum allowance for college-related expenses will be reduced from $300 to $225 for the second half of the 2007-08 academic year, prorated by term and hours.

As a result of the state budget shortfall for the 2007-08 fiscal year, many academic year program budgets were reduced during the Special Legislative Session 2007C. Senate Bill 10C was signed into law which amended the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program by reducing the 2007-08 FAS college-related expense allowance and providing for future academic years amounts of the FAS allowance to be specified annually in the General Appropriations Act.

If you have further questions, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Financial Assistance

And this is the email from 2008 September 12:

Dear Mr. Thripp:

The 2008-09 Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) college-related expense allowance that is specified annually by the Florida Legislature in the General Appropriations Act will be $375 for the 2008-09 academic year, prorated by terms and hours.

If you have further questions, please contact the Bright Futures office toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.

Sincerely,
Office of Student Financial Assistance

Obviously it should be worded more clearly. They got it right on the BrightFutures website, where it says:

The annual college related expense allowance for Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) will be $375 to be divided equally between terms.

Why couldn’t they put that in big red letters in the email? Perhaps it’s because they wanted to be misleading.

The BrightFutures Academic Scholars award was supposed to pay for everything. That was the original intention, hence the $300 allowance. Books are not getting cheaper. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my books are awfully expensive this semester (the total came to $348). The state legislature has simply decided that we should be able to pay a portion of our books ourselves. For me, that portion is $160.50.

Perhaps if the legislature didn’t spend so much money giving 100% funding to the students who scored lowly on the ACT / SAT, they’d have more funds to reward the students who scored highly. I don’t know about you, but it was really important for me to get 28 of 36 on my ACT test for the 100% funding and $300 / semester bonus. My family is neither rich nor college-educated. I barely got in with a composite score of 28, which is in the top 8%. The Medallion award requires 20 of 36, which is merely in the top 53%.

I also did 75 hours of community service at the local library to earn my higher award. But now, it’s pretty much the same as the lower award, plus $187.50 per semester. If you couldn’t get 28 of 36, it’s great, but if you struggled to make it or even re-took the ACT to get 28 for the Academic Scholars award, it doesn’t feel so good.

The Florida BrightFutures scholarship program rewards mediocrity while ignoring academic excellence.