General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Can I start my own university?

Asked by talljasperman (21798points) March 9th, 2010

I’ve heard of people in Ontario Canada, creating a free university to anyone who applies; an open and free university that doesn’t give credits but knowledge… can that work in a small town?

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22 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Have you watched Accepted recently?

ETpro's avatar

Yes, but it woulldn’t be easy unless you have a few hundred million dollars lying around. To be a university, you must be able to award advanced degrees. So you would need to hire a competent staff of professors and stock a library, provide classrooms, labs, etc.

talljasperman's avatar

@rangerr never heard of it

talljasperman's avatar

@ETpro legaly? what about not legaly… an underground unversity

rasputin6xc's avatar

You can’t. But I CAN.

talljasperman's avatar

@rasputin6xc then will you teach me physics? can I join yours?

ETpro's avatar

@talljasperman There aren’t many rules about what you can and can’t do if you are willing to break the rules to do it. :-)

talljasperman's avatar

@ETpro I went to a small private university and it was sold for $15 million… I’m one loto ticket away from being free to learn

talljasperman's avatar

@ETpro freedom!!!!!

Trying to sound like braveheart

Jeruba's avatar

You could start a school for pretty much anything you wanted to teach. You’d have to find out what state regulations, if any, applied, including those for operating a business, and you’d have to decide if you wanted accreditation from some accrediting board. At the postsecondary level you might have to start out with a college and work your way up to a university.

Ivan's avatar

Uh, you can slap whatever sign you want out in front of your barn, but no employer is going to put much stock in a degree from your underground university. You would need to be accredited by some third party institution for your school to have any credibility whatsoever.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t know why you couldn’t open something like a center of some kind, offering free classes in all sorts of disciplines. I think you’d still need a decent amount of money, even if the ‘staff’ are all volunteers. You’d still need a space to operate out of and supplies, etc., and all that costs money.

talljasperman's avatar

@augustlan thank-you… tell me more?

talljasperman's avatar

@Ivan I will hire myself… and money willing my students

augustlan's avatar

I would think most of your students wouldn’t be interested in gaining their entire ‘college’ education from such a place, but you’d probably get folks who just like to learn for the sake of learning. I’d come. Maybe people who need to brush up on a specific skill, too.

If you live in a small town, why not talk to some business owners about your idea? They may be interested in helping you out, especially if educating their employees would be beneficial to them.

CsC's avatar

What ever you are doing, good luck, and if you ever do start a university, i hope to hear about it, especially if its the underground one you were talking about.

talljasperman's avatar

@CsC I’ll message you on the progress :)

phillis's avatar

Well, it has been done before here in the Atlanta area. The Poetter’s ran a school (with ungodly amounts of financial aide and other support from local and national level political arenas) for troubled youths, and were able to completely avoid paying any taxes for decades while falsely incorporating the school as a 510C3. Now, there’s a good idea!

The school was indeed accredited through the state of Georgia, and permission was granted (at the very least, everyone who mattered looked the other way) for the children to build this empire for them that stretched through three counties and hundreds of acres. The “work therapy” was how those troubled children earned their school grades while never setting foot in a school classroom for literally years on end. If you didn’t have a problem, why, they made one up for you. Neat trick, huh? Child labor laws couldn’t touch them, so there’s another idea!

It was a nifty plan, and worked out extremely well for every good ol’ boy in the network, but none benefitted as much as the Poetter’s, themselves. They amassed millions upon millions by ripping off insurance companies, and none of them was ever convicted for it. So there’s another possibility for you! It cost more annually per child to be there than any ivy league university would dare charge for.

This is how The Poetter’s daughter, Dana, got the money to start SCAD.
http://www.scad.edu/

She has two campuses in Georgia, naturally. Georgia is quite friendly with the Poetters. Now she has one in Hong Kong, too. Amazing, how far money can go, isn’t it? Somehow, it was conveniently swept under the rug that her father, while only convicted of 17 counts of child molestation and aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, was, by far, the worst pedophile the United States had ever known. Have you ever heard of the worst pedophile in the nation having his record completely expunged? Well, now you have. Funny though…...everyone seems to have forgotten about that, except for those of us who went through it.

I’ve given you some creative ideas. I suppose the basic premise is to get in real good and tight with political figures, then exploit everyone you can possibly exploit, then file your annual returns as a 501C3. From all I have seen in the Atlanta area, it’s all about who you know. Let the schmoozing begin!

talljasperman's avatar

@phillis I want to learn (and share) physics and knowledge my own way. I’m not in this for the money…resentment for being washed-out of university is a major theme…I want people to get second or (first) chances to learn.

phillis's avatar

An admirable gesture! I wish you, and everyone who could potentially benefit from it, all the best.

Jeruba's avatar

What would you offer that’s different from what you can get at the public library? How would you present instruction?

Maybe what you need is, as @augustlan suggests, a learning center on a modest scale, with some particular focus (simple physics experiments and explanations? a hands-on lab kind of place?), and nothing so grandiose as a university.

I’ll bet you could round up some retirees to teach for little or no compensation.

LostInParadise's avatar

I have thought of a similar idea. I would call the school a learning exchange to emphasize that people could participate as instructors, teachers or both. I am surprised that there do not already exist very many such schools. I think there is a large untapped pool of people who would be willing to this kind of work.

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