Vanderbilt University is one of the top private universities in the South and in the USA. At nearly $70,000 a year for tuition, room, and board, Vanderbilt’s fees are right in line with other top private colleges and, yet people still wonder why a 4-year education at Vanderbilt costs nearly $300,000?
The answer: tuition dollars are supporting a huge education machine where, in the case of Vanderbilt, nearly half of the total expenses ($640 million out of $1.4 billion in expenses, not including depreciation) are compensation-related costs for the 37,165 employees in 2016 (an average of $17,000 per employee – compare this to $75,000 at Yale, $68,000 at Penn and $64,000 at Princeton) although the prior year, it is interesting to note, $2.3 billion was used to compensate 36,272 individuals, which equates to an average of $64,000 – more in line with the industry averages above. The IRS Form 990 offers no explanation explaining this discrepancy. Read more
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently published an article entitled “Student-Loan Debtors Get Help From Judges” which reported that judges are now using “tools at their disposal” to reduce or cancel student loan debt after years of holding debtors responsible for the money they borrowed and promised to pay back.
One of these tools is asking lawyers who represent borrowers to provide their services for free. Yes, free. Students (legal adults) can borrow money to attend college, promise to pay it back, default on the loans, and the judiciary thinks its ok to ask a third-party (lawyers) to work for free. Is there anything more absurd? Read more
Wake Forest University (Wake Forest) is not a part of the Ivy League (8 private universities in the northeast) but if rank is ever determined by executive compensation, then Wake Forest would be right up there.
In 2016, Wake Forest reported employing 5,838 individuals for the roughly 8,000 students (5,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate) at a total compensation cost of $232 million, which equates to an average compensation of $56,000 (compared to $58,000 at Harvard and $75,000 at Yale). However, 431 individuals received more than $100,000 in compensation, including the 15 most highly compensated individuals listed below: Read more
Why don’t physicians offer the plant-based nutrition option to their patients?
1. They are not taught nutrition and are unfamiliar with the efficacy of a plant-based approach.
2. They don’t have time for patient nutritional counseling.
3. They often lack the skill set for behavioral modification.
4. Insurance support for counseling is sparse.
5. The status quo offers a handsome income stream.
~Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD
Finding “good” nutritional information is difficult primarily because cultural, educational, economic, political, pharmaceutical, medical and food industry influences get in the way of consumers finding this valuable information. Read more
We don’t see meat eating as we do vegetarianism – as a choice, based on a set of assumptions about animals, our world, and ourselves. Rather, we see it as a given, the “natural” thing to do, the way things have always been and the way things will always be. We eat animals without thinking about what we are doing and why, because the belief system that underlies this behavior is invisible. This invisible belief system is what I call carnism. ~Melanie Joy
Doctors…..cannot be expected to properly treat patients or guide the prevention of cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome if they are not trained to identify and modify the contributing lifestyle factors. ~Kathaleen Briggs Early, Kelly M Adams, and Martin Kohlmeier
Recently, my friend (a doctor) told me her son graduated from University of Virginia’s medical school and had no more than a few hours of nutrition education throughout the four-year program. Although I heard that medical students are rarely required to take a course on nutrition, I didn’t know the specifics which led me to do some research which revealed the following information: Read more
Why is so much classroom time spent on Math, Science, English, and History and so little on Health and Nutrition?
Kids and teenagers are overwhelmed with homework, standardized tests, AP courses, sports, and extracurricular activities – all of which require the brain and the body to perform at an optimum level for success. Yet, time is rarely allocated to learning about what it takes to properly nourish the body because parents, schools, and outside sources (i.e. McDonald’s, Five Guys, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle) provide the finished product (food) to our kids. Read more
Why doesn’t The Sierra Club, Oceana, Greenpeace, Surfrider Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, and Amazon Watch loudly communicate about the number one environmental problem in the world?
News outlets recently reported that Bill Gates, Peter Thiel, Jerry Yang, and Jessica Powell are investing in Hampton Creek – a small company based in San Francisco focused on developing new ways of utilizing plants to replace eggs and animal products in a variety of different foods. Why would the co-founders of Microsoft, PayPal, Yahoo, and Google invest in a company promoting plant-based foods? The answer is surprisingly simple: there is one single industry that is destroying the planet more than any other: animal agriculture (which includes animal livestock and fishing). Hard to believe? It’s true but it’s one of the best kept secrets on this planet because no one wants to talk about it. Why? That’s a good question. Read more
The cover story of the New York Times Magazine (March 9, 2014) was the SAT – the standardized test designed to put high school students on a level playing field when it comes to college admissions in the US. Written by Todd Balf, the article is humorously (but truthfully) titled “The SAT Is Hated By…All Of The Above” meaning the most widely used college admissions test is despised by “stressed-out students, frustrated educators, hamstrung admissions officers, and anxious parents.” Designed as a tool by which all students could be compared, the SAT doesn’t do what it was designed to do and is, in fact unfair because students have unequal access to two systems: education and test-prep. Read more
My daughter was in a French school from 1st – 4th grade and a bilingual French/English school from 5th – 8th grade which used an International Baccalaureate grading system of 1-7, where 1 is the lowest score, 4 is passing, and 7 is a perfect score. When she came back to the US to attend a high school school where the primary language was English, she had to abandon the metric system of measurements, adjust to the language, and adopt a letter grading system which led to this conversation: Read more