Thursday, September 27, 2007

'Claremont McKenna receives $200-million gift'

Big new for the home campus - the LAT touts it as the largest donation to a American liberal arts college. Except the money is for a graduate program.

Um, congrats?

It's an undergraduate college, but nevermind that. President Pam Gann must be thrilled. The school looks great and I'm guessing that investment makes us more attractive to other would-be donors - and frees up money so she can continue to expand the student body and remold CMC into the research university over which she seemingly wishes to preside.

A graduate program.

I don't share the CMC lit department's fear that the donation for a finance masters program will force the school into a single issue trade school, but I think expanding past provided superb undergraduate education is foolish. I'm surprised, frankly, that the charter allows it.

p.s. It's been pointed out to me that I sound like too much of a hater in this post. I'm not. I am grateful to Mr. Day for his great generosity. And I think CMC will do well by the gift. It just surprised the hell out of me. CMC is full of stats on other liberal arts colleges with masters programs. So I guess all's well . . . . Like I said in the comments - Colleen's take (see comments) is the best on the subject at pointing out the potential advantages.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm not sure how I feel about CMC including a graduate school, but it is an impressive amount of resources. I am happy that it will go into a new program and new professors, rather than more dorms and a larger student body.

Colleen said...

I disagree. I'm no fan of the push to expand the school, but on first glance I like this idea. When Gann explained Robert Day's motive to provide an alternative to the waste of time and money that is an MBA program, who better than CMC to lead the way?

- Colleen '99

Anonymous said...

I think it's a good thing too--anything to get back to the college's real mission of developing leaders in business and government, rather than Gann's dream of becoming just another liberal arts college in a list of hundreds.

Anonymous said...

I'll continue to reserve judgment - though I'll say Colleen (hey Colleen!) has the best justification for the program. After all, the one thing I try to explain to would-be law students from the CMC line is that a CMC education can get you through life - quite well too - without b.s. graduate degrees that simply suck resources and time.

But I would caution anyone against thinking this sum of money being used for not-growing the student body means that it will still not-grow.

Anonymous said...


I had not considered the difference between the traditional MBA and the masters degree the Day program would produce. It's an excellent point, and in line with some of the other non-standard educational choices CMC is great at, like PPE and Management-Engineering. I am now less concerned about this gift, though like CD, I expect Gann to continue growing our fair school.

Jared, Class of '99