The Save our Spark campaign will fail and it will do so because the institutions have never been transparent enough about how they spend their money. People, including academics in the institutions themselves, see new buildings being constructed, grounds being landscaped, the student ‘experience’ being improved, and new initiatives of all kinds been rolled out, and they wonder where all the money is coming from. They wonder because they are teaching on a shoe string budget and they can’t help but feel that teaching is well down the order of priorities. If anyone in senior management of the institutions doubt that, they should talk to their colleague down the pecking order.
Of course, a lot of the money for new initiative is borrowed or funded through philanthropy but there remains an opaqueness about how the institutions are spending their money that leaves many even cynical. So Save our Spark is a waste of time – it’s the same campaign that has been going on for over a decade but with a few nice videos thrown into the mix.