College For Ayn Rand Devotees Closes Due to Financial Problems

They couldn’t get federal aid...(seriously)

That fall day in 2007 seemed an auspicious start for a college with only five professors and 10 students. But as the year wore on, the students, professors, and staff members became convinced that it was a sign of something else entirely: an elaborate facade.

Founders College, in rural South Boston, Va., was pitched as a sort of Great Books college for devotees of Ayn Rand. And while the for-profit college was never accredited, it operated with authorization from Virginia to issue degrees.

At the time the college was approved, it had no official faculty, no facilities, and, it turned out, shaky finances. “I’m stunned that the state would register a place like that,” says Ray Weiss, the onetime enrollment director. “What did we really have going for us when they registered us?”

I love how the article ends:

Founders College closed in November 2008. The state never stepped in.

Comments

20 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Articles like that should end with a rimshot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 2

  2. Paging Lt. Worf, paging Lt. Worf…facepalm on aisle 3.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  3. Inti,

    The state shrugged.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 50 Thumb down 1

    • Lane,

      Inti, go one better: The state shrugged at last. or A last the state shrugged.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 9

  4. DNA,

    It sounds like they should have been more objective.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  5. gary,

    “Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?” –from atlas shrugged.

    i mean, we can do this all day, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. jsg,

    “I’m stunned that the state would register a place like that,” says Ray Weiss, the onetime enrollment director. “What did we really have going for us when they registered us?”

    Ayn Randism cannot fail. It can only be failed.

    By government agencies that allow crap “colleges” devoted to Ayn Rand to register.

    And fail.

    Or something.

    Yow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  7. Jo jo,

    Speaking as a supporter of the free market, it seems like a poorly run company was allowed to fail. The fact that this company draped itself in the mantle of free market capitalism doesn’t mean it was it’s ideal. Which it clearly wasn’t.

    And the idea of a whole college devoted to the study of one person’s work is just absurd on it’s surface.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Jo jo,

      it’s=its

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    • tvhwy,

      You’re right. But for some of us, that the college requested government aid shows how hypocritical Randian libertarians can be. Then we saw it as poetically just when the aid was refused.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  8. swank,

    This is just stupid. College never applies for federal aid then write a blog that the lack of federal aid is why they tanked. Couldn’t have anything to do with the terrible management and financial decisions that were covered by 80% of the article. Learn to read before showing your stupidity to the world. This article has nothing to do with a college being reliant on federal aid and has everything to do with stupid management decisions. The fact that they did fail after making mistake after mistake is a testament to the beliefs of Ayn Rand.

    I know I sound like a Rand supporter, although I’m not, but this kind of intentional misinterpretation by people like you disgusts me and only makes you look dumb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  9. sdf,

    And yet the state is willing to fund the George W. Bush presidential library…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Bowire,

      He is a president, definitely not the best president, but by virtue of actually being president, he probably does deserve some funding, just like every other president. It’s about recording history.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Matt,

        And really, it shouldn’t require more than a broom closet — especially when you consider the amount of documentation that was shredded. I’m pretty sure that we can afford that.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. greg,

    Rands point wasn’t that all private businesses will succeed but instead that the government shouldn’t be the deciding factor, limiting, constraining, regulating.

    Let the people, not the government decide the fate of a business.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  11. Naumadd,

    There are plenty of failed and abandoned churches as well. Is this somehow condemnation of christianity as a whole (which, by the way, needs no help in that), or is it proof that some human beings are simply idiots? Even if one has chosen a right philosophy, one can still be guilty of poor implementation. I believe that is what happened here. Of course, a poor philosophy well executed is a nightmare as many dead and living might agree. Rand was about discovering and explaining a right philosophy and wisely left it to others with the know how to work out its implementation. As some of those have discovered, there is a great deal of resistance among human beings to a right philosophy which, as it happens, wasn’t entirely worked out even by Rand herself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • damnedyankee,

      Not to hear her tell it. If ever there was a human being entirely hopped up on her own bullshit, it was Rand.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. FoundersKidZac,

    Hi, I went there. Feel free to ask me any questions.
    The problem with the school was the psycho lady that was in charge. She made bad decisions and wasn’t honest and didn’t have the money that she claimed (partially due to investors bailing on her). You can read my (and my classmate English’s) comments on the above article’s main page.
    We were not all (or even mostly) Rand devotees. I was aware of and enjoyed some of her work, and didn’t mind some/most of the Objectivist ideals. Only one of our classmates was a Randoid, and only one of our professors.
    I do not blame the state for the school’s collapse (one argument is that this is a perfect example of how the system should work: crazy ideas are permitted, and allowed to fail). The only one I (or any of the students) blame is Tamara herself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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