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Professor Hopes to Get Rich by Making Life Tough on Low-Income Students

Written by Gary North on June 15, 2012

Ever since Gutenberg invented movable type, students have been sharing textbooks.

No more, if Professor Joseph Henry Vogel gets his peers to use his patented system. He is going to force every student to buy the assigned textbook. Any student who refuses gets a lower score.

Here is the deal. He will force students to participate in discussion forums. They must provide a code: “Yes, I bought the textbook.” No code => lower grade.

Can a student share his textbook? Yes, but his friend will get a lower grade.

This is a system of forcing smart students who can read fast and take good notes to buy a book they do not need.

This is especially hard on minority students who just barely get by. They will now pay $150 for expensive textbooks.

Basically, this is a system where a professor discriminates against smart students without much money.

Prof. Vogel will get paid for all this. He patented this system.

“Professors are increasingly turning a blind eye when students appear in class with photocopied pages. Others facilitate piracy by placing texts in the library reserve where they can be photocopied,” Vogel writes.

For centuries, libraries have placed textbooks on reserve. My parents benefited from this at UCLA in the 1930s. No more — not if Prof. Vogel gets his way.

Publishers think the idea is terrific.

I don’t think Prof. Vogel fully understands the word “boycott.” Students can easily target professor who adopt this program and organize boycotts.

Department chairman will get the message real fast. Professor Garotte finds that not enough students enroll in his classes to justify keeping him on the payroll. If he is not tenured, he will find himself driving cabs for a few years, until he gets a job selling life insurance.

Can Prof. Vogel visualize the words “La Raza”? Can he visualize the words “Black Students Union”? Does he fully understand what his proposal means? It is open discrimination against certain races on campus. If he does not see this, they will. To the sons and daughters of the prosperous, he says, “If you’ve got the money, honey, I’ve got the time.” But for those whose parents have not written the checks it’s “A grade of B at best, and maybe a C+. You did not buy the textbook.”

It’s about a professor forcing students to pay money up front for a better grade.

The department that lets its professors adopt Prof. Vogel’s patented system will learn what this phrase means: “Sticking your finger into a hornet’s nest.”

Do the words “Saul Alinsky” ring a bell?

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12 thoughts on “Professor Hopes to Get Rich by Making Life Tough on Low-Income Students

  1. Texas Chris says:

    When I was finishing my BS at A&M, all the textbooks were in PDF. The cost of the text was included in tuition (GI Bill friendly), and you just downloaded it onto a laptop, iPad/iPhone/iPad.

    How hard is that? I mean really…

  2. sean murry says:

    If i waqs a kid to day i would tell him to kiss my rear.

  3. LiveFreeOrDie says:

    Once again, Gary I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Are you trying to say that "poor" students don't get so much financial aid that the cost of the text books is a problem? If you actually knew anything about how the text book business is going down the toilet, maybe you'd write a different article!

  4. A degree from a US college is the most inflated worthless piece of paper you can own today, now that the job market has tanked. There's not a campus in America that teaches basic economics or how to survive in the 21st century outside the ivory tower dreamworld the professoriat enjoys. University faculties are the most smug know-nothings I've ever seen. They don't care that their students are spit out the tail end of a 4-year liberal arts program with no experience and a mountain of debt they will be saddled with their entire adult lives.

    The disconnect between universities and the real world widens every day.

  5. Bill McCroskey says:

    Danno: Well put and I couldn't say or add anything to your post.

  6. the whole reason he is doing this is because he has written the text book he is useing in his class and wants everyone to buy it so he makes more money

  7. lilbear68 says:

    150.00 for text books?? what planet is this on

  8. This is on the planet that charges too much for textbooks! I just had to pay $180 for books for one class! Couldn't borrow, buy, or rent used ones because it was a "new edition" (which is another scam that the textbook manufacturers use every 3 – 4 years). Totally crazy!

  9. 1. Listen to TruNews with Rick Wiles.
    2. Listen to The PowerHour with Joyce Riley.
    3. Don't vote for ANY evil (greater or lesser).

  10. When I was a Biology major taking Molecular Biology in 94 or 95, the textbook was “Genes V” and it was about $500. It was a new edition that year and so full of errors the instructor told us to try to find a used copy of “Genes IV” which was still over $200 if you could even find it.

  11. Taiji218 says:

    I teach psychology for the local community college and for the past 15 for the first class have gone on a rant about the scam of “new edition” textbooks. Back sometime in the early days of the Clinton administration book publishers would publish a textbook and then print what they would estimate would be 5 -7 years of copies. They’d store the copies in a warehouse and then ship them out as the orders came in. Then our wonderful IRS declared that books sitting in a warehouse were taxable assets. That changed the game. Suddenly those books sitting in the warehouse were costing the book manufacturers a lot of money. It became less expensive to print out copies year by year or even on demand. Then with the advent of digitizing the proofs, they discovered they could come out with “new editions” of older textbooks that required only a change of paragraph here and there and a change of the pictures. Suddenly book authors were into the big bucks and the book publishers were making money hand over fist. Maybe this IRS ruling wasn’t so bad after all!! And of course the University book stores get their cuts as well. I used to be able to tell my students they could get older editions of the textbooks I was using off of ebay for $5-15 dollars and all would be good. I can still do that up to a point but lately the school has been pushing the “buy your textbooks early!” line and then refusing to accept returns (and raising hell with me) when the students find out I will allow cheaper, earlier editions. I’m still working to find a way around that–maybe by getting access to the new students’ email addresses before classes start.

  12. Well, one professor who gets it. Thanks for trying to look out for your students' interests.

    I think new editions should be limited to once every 3-5 years, unless some major change in a field demands a whole revision/addition/deletion of a chapter, sooner, or that supplements, like you get with court reporters, should be printed, for example, an accounting book published in 2012 could have a "pocket" edition to keep in a pocket in the cover with changes for 2013. The court reporters do this with a pocket edition every six months or so, until a new volume is ready to be printed.