You know, after being involved with what’s going on in academia for the last six hundred, forty-seven years or so, I never did think I’d see the day when people could earn a degree without ever stepping into a classroom. Of course, I was wrong. Now I know that may come as quite the surprise to most of you, especially if you know anything about us here in Texas, but it’s the truth…but I digress.
All the way back in 1997, a handful of Governors from out here on the good side of the country got together and started up one of these schools without campuses where folks could earn degrees over the internet. That particular institution was called Western Governors University. The great state of Texas has always been heavily involved with Western Governors University and has even gone so far as to start up their own branch of the school (WGU-Texas) for hard-working Texans to have a little bit more opportunity.
WGU-Texas was the result of an initiative that our trusty Governor Rick Perry set up for us, but lots of folks from around the country are starting to get skeptical about it. Why? Because not real long ago, Governor Rick announced that he was going to run to become President Rick. Then on Friday, Bill Gates and his wife made a four and a half million dollar donation to Western Governors U. Lots of people are saying that’s Bill’s way of trying to cozy up to the good Governor in case he becomes the good President. Now me? I’m not so sure.
In fact, I really didn’t know what to think when I heard about this. Now obviously, these Gates-grants are great for folks who study at WGU. I mean, these are the types of gifts that help to keep tuition rates down and make it possible for lots of folks out there to even have a chance to participate in this school. But on the other hand, what if this was some sort of political move to help Bill and his Microsoft Army find some favor from up around the White House? I had to do a little bit of research.
It turns out that Bill has actually been a big-time supporter of Western Governors U since the beginning. In fact, Bill Gates helped front the money that got the school off the ground. I think that right now what people should be more focused on here is the benefit of what’s happening. Now if it seems too good to be true, hey, they say it probably is. This time, though, I don’t think anything is quite out of line. I think that right now is just the time to get involved if you’ve been thinking about getting back in school. Maybe it’s just me but if Bill Gates wanted to buy some smiles from the Washington where he doesn’t live, couldn’t he afford to buy off some folks who already have offices there?
Don’t beat around the bush. Tell it to me straight!