From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is promoting a plan for “charter universities” that would exempt colleges from multiple state regulations as long as they meet certain conditions, while continuing to receive taxpayer money.

Details on the idea have not yet been detailed and it has not been formally proposed by Kasich. But several states, such as Virginia, have allowed universities to opt out of their current system to improve financial flexibility and reduce the burden of state contracting, purchasing, collective bargaining and other laws.

David Creamer, vice president for finance and business services at Miami University, said Kasich had not formally proposed the restructuring plan. But he said relief from regulatory burden would help colleges control costs.

“In trying to make sure things don’t get mishandled, we create a lot of red tape,” he said. “That’s a decision every institution would have to make, whether the tradeoffs are worth it.”

Yep, yet another group that Kasich is thinking he needs to give them “flexibility” from public accountability regulations because of the massive cuts (the story says colleges and universities are expecting 20% cuts in funding) Kasich is planning to make.

Yep, austere times is precisely when we should get rid of our fiscal safeguards, right folks.

And take a look at this Christmas wish list from the University of Cincinnati’s President:

In his letter to Kasich, UC’s Williams listed several other areas where “charter universities” could be relieved of administrative burdens, including civil service, purchasing, collective bargaining and state budget regulations.
He also said Kasich to consider reforms including:
• Allowing universities to self-insure or purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance.
• Allowing universities to directly acquire land through eminent domain.
• Limiting required responses to public records requests
• Reducing reports to the Board of Regents.

Yep, just let the universities acquire any real property they want through eminent domain.  Never mind that some of the property is already being used and is likely being acquired for the university’s gentrification efforts and not improving learning.

Yep, let’s just make them exempt from civil service requirements, whatever collective bargaining is left, and “state budget regulations.”  What could possibly go wrong?

Nope, let’s just model our university system after White Hat Management’s for-profit charter schools.  After all they’ve done such a bang up job, right?

So imagine if you’re a union employee at U.C., now you not only have to worry about SB 5, but you can be even exempt from those limited rights even further under Kasich’s experimental “charter university” experiment!

Oh, and by the way, none of this is expected to keep these universities from skyrocketing tuition costs after four years of Strickland keep university tuition in check anyways.  It just goes to show you—sometimes the dumbest ideas can come from a place of higher learning.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure Charter Universities would be off the hook from prevailing wage and minority contracting rules as well. Just another plank in the GOP anti-worker agenda, and now it’s expanding to the private sector.

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