Dorothy Rowe is an internationally renowned psychologist whose book, "Why We Lie", has many lessons worthy of contemplation. In both private and public life, says the notes on the cover jacket, we damage our selves with our lies, and damage other people. Lies destroy mutual trust, and fragment our sense of who we are.
In 2008 Rowe was invited to become an honorary professor at London Metropolitan University (LMU), and the staff who invited her made sure she was paid for her work. However, by May 2010 the university was in financial straits, something to do with their awarding the Dalai Lama an honorary degree, and there was no money to pay her. Rowe agreed to work for free. Needless to say, the staff at NUS are of a different persuasion. There, the credo seems to be, no money, no teach.
The National University of Singapore is asking permission from the Ministry of Education (MOE) to increase university tuition fees for the new academic year 2012-2013. While the details of their submission are not available to the public, two justifications have come to light.
The politically correct pitch goes like this:
The money would serve to increase financial aid for needy students. Targeting students from the bottom 20% of households in terms of average income per family member, bursary funding for needy students will be increased from $5 million to $9.5 million, starting from academic year 2012-2013.
The word from the horse's mouth is like this:
We quote the NUS Provost, Professor Tan Eng Chye: “I think all of us, when we work in a company, we all yearn to see some salary adjustments every year. So do all the faculty staff.” 70% of NUS’ budget is spent on the salaries of the faculty staff.
And we thought the focus of the tertiary institution was to teach. Why is the academic institution involved in charitable causes, when we have a national budget to address the needs of the poor? NKF's TT Durai tried to get rich that way, and look what happened to him. Perhaps the recent instance of how the Public Service Division made many civil servants happy with a mere stroke of the pen has triggered a wave of self justifying entitlements. That plus how the Ministers can still afford their bungalow, cars and domestic helps inspite of a purported wage cut. Monkey see, monkey do.