Higher cost, lower esteem

Revisiting something I noted a few years ago, an incredible story of a university suing its former student for graduating too rapidly:

A German university is suing a student for lost income because he finished his bachelors and masters degrees in only 20 months.

The School of Economics and Management in Essen is asking the court to make former student Marcel Pohl, 22, pay an extra $3,772 after he obtained his degrees in only three semesters instead of the usual 11, The Local.de reported Tuesday.

“When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn’t be true,” Pohl told the Bild newspaper. “Performance is supposed to be worth something.”

Could there be a better example of how ugly it is when colleges forget that their role is developing a human person, rather than producing (or benefitting from) just the economic dimension of a person?

Does a college exist to extract value from its students before producing graduates for a marketplace, or does it exist more broadly to elevate its students beyond their marketplace value?

This question prefaces almost every conversation about college life today.