A couple of years ago Mayor Bloomberg was worried that super sized drinks were making New Yorkers fat. He wanted to ban the sale of sugary drinks that were greater than 16 ounces. He had his health department issue rules to limit drink sizes. The “Big Gulp” was under attack. Some people screamed. Lawyers got paid. And, on Thursday the NY Supreme Court ruled the ban was unconstitutional. New Yorkers are free to dig into their wallets, drink huge cups and get fat if they want. Elastic waist pants manufacturers rejoiced.
A little over a year ago, I initiated a review of our undergraduate core courses and our faculty agreed that some courses were lite. The demands of these courses were better conceived of as three, rather than four, credit courses. So we made the change. Because students pay by the credit hour at UCF and it still takes 120 hours to graduate, the decision had no impact on the cost of our degree. But the change does require students to take more courses to get their degree. In essence, we super-sized the curriculum–more education for the same price.
Some people screamed. They judged it unfair to require more effort or attendance for the same degree. One student went so far as to tell me that she already had a job and didn’t need to waste time and effort learning additional stuff. In essence she told me she was going to prove me wrong by refusing to learn. I doubt her employer would rejoice. Continuing to learn and apply ideas to new situations is the key to success in any profession. People’s heads don’t balloon from more education (at least not literally), but the extra knowledge might give you a fatter wallet. Even Mayor Bloomberg would approve of this Big Gulp.