Thursday, July 9, 2009

The City Mouse and the Country Mouse

I'm thinking about this in a larger context:

In Hard Times, Colleges Search for Ways to Trim the Faculty - "Administrators are calling the eliminations 'vertical cuts.' Instead of slicing costs equally across the board as many other colleges have done, the administration singled out a few that it said were not crucial to the university's mission and attracted few students or little outside research money."

and narrowing it down to how the eventual consequence of this is the loss of one of few rural sociology programs in the country. The humanities are incredibly metrocentric, and as a country girl (my home town has 600 people), I am more aware of the issues facing rural communities than most of my peers were at university.

It's a touchy subject because yes, a large number of people do live in cities and suburbs, but it's not nearly everyone. Everyone CAN'T live in a city or suburb. It's not feasible. Yet rural communities find themselves lacking both resources--my community has educational and systemic issues on par with most inner-city areas--and the incentive for anyone to come solve those problems. There are no incentives for teachers to go to rural schools the way there are for them to go to inner-city schools. No incentives to expand services so that people can access the things they need--from productive work to the assistance they desperately need and should be getting. The single exception is doctors--there are incentives for doctors to spend a few years in a smaller hospital, but most leave after their first few years for greener pastures, so the quality of care--and facilities-- is still far below what most people expect.

It frustrates me horribly to see such systemic neglect of a massive segment of the population, as I am frustrated when any segment sees such neglect.

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