“There will always be some leaders who choose to manage for the short term … particularly when they hold the highly liquid equity stakes that the leadership of private-sector institutions sometimes receive as part of their compensation. This isn’t a theoretical issue; it has happened.”
Andrew Rossen, quoted in ‘Change.edu’ and the Problem With For-Profits by Robert M. Shireman
I work in the proprietary sector, and I think that Rossen is correct. You cannot offer huge salaries and bonuses for short=term profitability and expect executives and managers to think long-term. In such a situation, as Shireman rightly points out, “The temptations to do ill are unrelenting.” Interestingly, Shireman calls Rosen’s ideas both “refreshingly honest” and “empty.” It’s hard to disagree.
What I don’t like about Shireman, though, and other critics of the for-profit sector, is that they do not go far enough. This is a systemic problem of neoliberalism’s relentless market religion. It’s certainly true that our sector of the education system needs strong regulation. At this point in history, though, it should be obvious that the entire system, profit or not, needs similar reforms.