The Journal of Applied Impossibility
Today (April 7th -- again hesitating to hit 'publish'!) I had a shower-thought regarding the operation of the university:
I used to think of 'not-for-profit' as a statement about the university of the same kind as 'founded in 1892' or 'Located in Miami.' It was something intrinsic to the school. The thought that popped into my mind was this: being-not-for-profit is not a statement about the nature of the institution, but about how it is currently navigating the tax policies of the country currently hosting it.
That is, being not-for-profit is often portrayed as part of an institution's identity the way its mission is a part of its identity. But in fact, if it were more in the interests of certain people in certain offices to be profitable, they would pursue it with the utmost fervor. The non-profit university only exists because it is profitable to not be profitable. That is, it is profitable in some ways to eschew other means of profit.
I write about all sorts of things. This is one of the places where I do it.