Ugly Truth: You Can Wipe Your Ass with a Degree from Sul Ross

Ugly Truth: You Can Wipe Your Ass with a Degree from Sul Ross

Yay for me!

I’ve attended Sul Ross. I attended for a year after dropping out of high school and getting my GED. I attended more recently because I thought that I needed more book larnin’ to get to where I needed to go (perhaps a mistaken notion).

I’ve always said the faculty there are top notch. They are great. Attentive. Knowledgeable. I have particularly good things to say about Carel Rowe (who had me lecture students on new media) and Sharon Hileman. I know these people and I am proud to have them as a part of our community. More importantly, Sul Ross acts as a cultural millwheel for the Trans-Pecos area; it keeps a fresh influx of artists and intelligentsia cycling through.


A four-year degree in English, Communications or History from Sul Ross on your resume is about as appealing to your employer as a couple of months of babysitting.

It’s not the quality of education there, but the pitiful lumps of clay who attend (19 year old Andrew Suber included). If we kicked out every bad student at Sul Ross, enrollment would drop by 40% overnight. On this college campus, there is a decided anti-intellectual bent and spending a night cracking the books is derided as ‘lame’.

How can people treat their education like this when they are either on scholarship, using a student loan, or using some personal unsecured loans?

The football players are allowed to bully the other students. They bully the staff at the caf, broke into a Dairy Queen and recently were involved in a stabbing at the Lobo (making our academic life worse since 2004). If this school gave a s!@# about academics instead of its cheesy athletics program, it would have expelled these trouble makers.

They’re making too much badly-needed revenue from selling red sweatshirts to take down the golden children of the oblate spheriod.

Texas is just not known for its academics. Rural west Texas is especially dire; we don’t care much for book larnin’. Anyone with an ounce of gumption at least makes it to Austin to see the bright lights of the city.

The backbone of Western education is the dialogue, both within and outside the classroom. I think Texans are too stubborn and proud to make good traditional academics. We’re too emotional about our freedoms and rights to brook contrary opinions.

I love you, West Texas. But a B.A. from Sul Ross literally qualifies you for nothing.


Even better, the barely literate comments from the person who posted this video:
“yo mama head game sucks´╗┐ 2…and bitch ass n!@#a we b live out here….i bet you wont step in dat hoe get knocked out 2”

24 thoughts on “Ugly Truth: You Can Wipe Your Ass with a Degree from Sul Ross

  1. Lonn Taylor

    Re: Your article on the value of a degree from Sul Ross. Repeat after me: the purpose of a college education is not to get a job. The purpose of a college education is not to get a job. The purpose of a college education is not to get a job. It is to make you an educated person.

  2. Andrew Suber

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Lonn. However, college is marketed today to students as a way to improve their job prospects. It’s deceptive when Sul Ross does that… because a lot of the degrees you can get there won’t help your job prospects.

    And I’m not talking about what the faculty think… I’m talking about the low quality of the student body. The people of West Texas don’t want education. They want jobs and football games and red sweatshirts with wolves on them.

    If the learning experience is so wonderful, why doesn’t anyone audit classes there?

  3. dale c

    Drew, some of what you say is at least partially true but a great deal is not. I think you would do well to seek out real facts before spouting. Even if we granted your (apparent) premise that the central value to be weighed is value toward employment, you might be somewhat surprised to learn how many SR grads have productive careers in law, veterinary medicine, business, education, coaching, law enforcement, physical and life sciences, etc.

    There are students here who are not serious about learning, yes. Show me a school where there are none such, including our most prestigious, with the most competitive (elitist?) admission standards. Some of them, sadly, do not catch fire–or even wake up. However, –and it pains faculty to assign them the grades they have earned,–those at Sul Ross who come or become serious do very well in life with a degree from Sul Ross. I can give you the names of dozens, Saul of hundreds or more. Others disappear, one hopes to find a more, for them, suitable way to spend their time and money. Your headline and bottom-line judgment is in no way supported by the premises you offer.

    Take a moment and try to put what you have written into syllogistic form and you will see clearly that your conclusion, a broad, vicious, and unsupportable one, does not follow, even from your own “premises”. It really doesn’t even constitute an argument. And if you have any interest in further learning, pick up any logic text and see if you find the name of the error you have committed. I know that you are not stupid, which leads me to wonder what you might have been consuming when you wrote this.

    OR: Perhaps you are just trying to provoke reactions?

    NB: For many, many occupations, the content/cost/pedigree of a degree is not regarded as significant, only that the applicant have one. This may or may not be a desirable state of affairs, but it is the case.

  4. RB Ramsey

    Wow! I had heard the Dr. Seacrest had passed away. And apparently his unsaved soul has inhabited you body. Sul Ross has some very good and nationally ranked programs. It’s known for it’s teaching school and ag programs. Grow up and maybe you should do a little more back ground on Sul Ross and get out of the communications department and see what the college really is like.

  5. Anthrax

    Other than the title stab, I want to say that this is timely and interesting… and actually the title got me to click, so I guess it’s great too. BUT these are my thoughts (partially reinforced by actual points already presented, largely by dale c and yourself):
    1. I hear this at every university I’ve worked at (including A&M and out of state schools) delivered just as emphatically… especially the observations of Texan ed. attitudes.
    2. The primary corrupting influence in recent years is the appearance-over-deeds agenda of the Fed and (so obviously) Austin. The two “rules” that have been decreed by the THECB (while providing no mechanism), and which seem supported at the national level are: 1. The purpose of a k-12 completion is to create a college student and 2. The purpose of a k-12 completion is to create a workforce. Ignoring the obvious connundrum, this has fueled NCLB (No Child Left Behind) mandates that all bodies are equal and all bodies shall be in college. Any entity that stands in way of this (real or alleged) will be punished in funding terms. I don’t see this as an insurmountable challenge.
    3. Folks audit SRSU courses constantly, but they work proximal scenarios out with instructors to avoid process and/or fees.
    4. Many SRSU instructors are top in their field.
    5. Many SRSU instructors are some of the best instructors I’ve ever seen.
    6. Many SRSU instructors are not #4 or #5.
    7. The challenge I would level at anyone pursuing higher ed goals in this time of financial crisis (or any other time, for that matter) is to achieve those higher ed goals. A very wise student friend of mine once observed that education as a structure exists as something relevant only when its utility is obvious. Most people in the continental U.S. (and for that matter, the world) will never realize the utility in their lifetimes. Without getting more specific, that’s about as far as we can get there.
    8. I challenge all readership to find a criterion set from the establishment that isn’t ass-wipe worthy. You will always find (I pray to Marduk) that the value of these certifications will be arbitrary. In all but the most stunted scenarios, people get jobs not exclusively based on their academic resume. I work every day with many successful SRSU graduates. A SRSU student just got commended for their work in SCIENCE. I dream of a future world where we can continue to wipe our asses with SCIENCE.
    9. Texas universities typically have problems with basic student services, and none of these are acceptable.
    10. Thanks to WTW for driving this point during a time where changes aren’t just needed, but possible.

  6. Andrew Suber

    Premise 1: Sul Ross (and a college education in general) is marketed to potential students as a way to improve their earning potential and have fun and attend football games for free. Sign up for student loans, pick up a check, blow off class and end up so rich from your stellar career that your debt is a pittance.

    Premise 2: A traditional liberal arts degree from Sul Ross (or nearly any other under-funded university) is actually given relatively little weight in the hiring process. More weight is given to appearance, manners, job history, handshake, connections etc.

    Conclusion: It would be a serious mistake to think that a degree (particularly a traditional liberal arts degree) alone would lead to a successful career.

    I will admit that my tone was a little direct and vulgar… but I sincerely want to discourage people who think that education is some kind of a shortcut to wealth and riches. Isn’t that a worthy goal? Those successful students you talk about brought other things to the hiring process than a bare degree– membership in honor organizations, dean’s list, work history, references, connections, etc.

    And, yes, Dale, I am trying to stir up debate about the role of education in our community. I sincerely thank you for your comments, Dr. K., and congratulate you on your recent retirement.

  7. Andrew Suber

    Dr. Sechrest was actually a pretty good instructor.

    I think that Sul Ross has a tremendous positive impact on the community… in fact, I expressed that in the body of the article.

    That being said, an employer can’t assume that you can operate a fax machine or read the instruction booklet with a degree from Sul Ross.

    Am I right or am I wrong?

    Also, I think I have done my “back ground” research… I’ve attended the college and am close friends with many faculty, staff and students. Most of them complain about the quality of student brought in and the terrible retention rates.

    I am not blaming Sul Ross… I am blaming the trouble-making students who are turning Lobo Village into a housing project.

  8. KillahJuggalo

    yo this shit is wack. u b talking bout shit that might make you catch a hart attack. we keep it real at lobo village and the hites and if u talk shit u might get yo kranium kraked. THA PINE RULES ALL SUCKAHS! SUL ROSS LOBOS IN THA FRONT!!!

  9. OL LOC

    Yo, that shit is real for certain. Lobo Village is like tha Wild West so many motherfuckers with guns and weed mad slanging up in this bitch. Ain’t nobody going to class we just like to smoke blunts and hit the ‘poonannie’. Old Gee Loc signing off from the 432. PEACE TO MY HOMIE JULIANO

  10. K-

    Interesting commentary, Andrew. Some of points you make are well taken.

    However: What exactly (or even generally) would be your expectations for outcome of the attainment of the BA degree in one of the soi-disant ‘liberal arts’ fields? Not just from SRSU, but any university? Mine would be going on to teaching certification(s), perhaps an MBA, journalism MA, law school.

    It is my belief (from a bit of observation) that any bachelor’s degree from a small college is just not an E ticket to $65k with stock options, bonus, a window office and 3 weeks vacation to start. The only exceptions are engineering and possibly computer science.

    As to that splendid bit of reality youtube, I’d rather have those young gents working off their testosterone and vodka fueled energies at L-V than in front of my house or inside an Alpine eatery.

  11. Ayn Rand

    Quote “….If we kicked out every bad student at Sul Ross, enrollment would drop by 40% overnight…..”

    Dear Sir-

    If they did that, they would not have enough money to continue the wonderful program they have. There is not enough subsidy from taxpayers as it is. The public schools and “universities” looked at the for-profit schools and are doing nothing more than grabbing as much $$ as possible. It is not about education, or learning or preparing someone for a career. It is merely about how to generate the most dollars possible and keep the scam alive. How else does one explain running up 30k or more of debt for a degree that for most will not lead to a living wage job.

  12. SpareTheRodHateTheChild

    Welcome to generation “Time Out”. Sending a child to their room to play playstation, or slut it up on their webcam or cell phone is hardly a form of discipline. It only gets worse from here.

    Call me a Bible thumper if you must, the example of the Jewish nation throughout the Old Testament history is a little too insightful.

  13. Coach

    one thing should be brought to the light…the Dairy Queen robbers had been successfully removed from the football team for two or three months prior to the burglary…the coaches at SRSU interview every athlete to the best of their ability, but some lemons do slip through…on the stabbing, an eye witness to the crime came forward the following monday to inform those investigating the crime that the knife was given to the stabber by an unnamed source, which is irrelevant because the kid that got stabbed was reported to have a gun…I see no crime in stabbing someone that wants to shoot you…finally on the subject of bullying students, those who were guilty were sent home on the next greyhound, unfortunately, many who were not guilty went with them just based on association…unfortunately, if an eighteen year-old kid wakes up in his dorm room and he is already intimidated, the walk to class is not gonna get much better for him no matter who he runs into…I listened to tons of complaints about the language that some kids had brought to Sul Ross, but I have partied on both sides of the hill, and the non-football students are just as rough, they just don’t have a microscope on them at all times, like the athletes do…one last rant…you made a comment about the administration caring for athletics more than education…the plain fact is that there is not enough money to go around, and no matter who gets it, someone else will bitch about not getting it…prior to Co. Schroeder’s tenure at the helm of SRSU FB, the budget had been continually raised based on retention of student-athletes…FB was responsible for over 30% of the males on campus, not that they were playing for us, but they had come to Sul Ross with the intent and then figured out college football wasn’t for them…however, when Co. Wright resigned and Co. Schroeder took over, the budget dropped around 50%, and it wasn’t a whole lot to begin with…imagine Mary-Hardin Baylor with a 3.5 million dollar budget and Sul Ross with a 40,000 dollar budget…people wonder why they can’t compete, but the SRSU FB team doesn’t make excuses about it…they do the best they can with what they have…you know student support is free and would make all of the difference in the world, just playing in front of a full stadium at home…

  14. dale c

    Andrew, you know that was a very lame attempt, not rising to a level that even the most generous reconstruction of your “premises” could get anywhere near resembling a standard form categorical syllogism. You commit not only the fallacy of four terms — you have five or six! So one cannot even pronounce your “argument” invalid because it doesn’t even get close to being an argument.

    Probably not worth trying again since it is not even clear exactly what conclusion is intended.

  15. dale c

    I am very sympathetic to what Coach says here. The staff efforts are admirable and deserve applause and support, not criticism from folks who would certainly be unwilling to put into the task/mission what they do in terms of time, stress, enthusiasm, heart, etc.

  16. Andrew Suber

    Dear Sir,

    Within your previous reply you stated that for many positions all that is needed is a degree from any institution. That undermines your central argument, “a degree from Sul Ross is particularly valuable”. Rather, you are asserting that it can be used as a minimum college degree. In describing the contemporary work force in such fashion, you support my argument: Sul Ross is a sick university in a sick society where academics are in decline.

    Instead of vaguely accusing me of errors, please specifically point out the most specific and egregious error in my argument. And, as you know, Sir, vagueness is the real enemy of rational discourse. Also, when you bandy academic terms that have simpler Anglo-Saxon counterparts you run the risk of establishing a fussy and pedantic tone.

    As always, I appreciate your comments, Dale. You are a credit to Sul Ross and the academic community.

  17. Hmmm....

    I don’t completely agree to this article. I have a degree in Geology from Sul Ross and have taught briefly there, and I think it is a completely sufficient school to study natural science, meaning Geology, Biology, and Agricultural Science. Now every school has it’s strong and weak points. I wonder myself why people would come out here to study Computer Science or Business, but whatever. We have good professors in every department. You think Sam Houston State is any better? This article was a pigheaded outburst if you ask me.

  18. Jayson W.R.

    I will begin by saying I am a Criminal Justice student here at Sul Ross who transferred from a much bigger/acclaimed university all in favor of a smaller community (Plus West Texas is after all, the Best Texas). Firstly, I agree with your opinion on the teachers here. The majority of the teachers I have had are knowledgeable, competent, friendly, and very helpful. In fact I think there are more positive examples of teachers here than there were at my previous college. That being said, I feel that I am actually being better prepared for my future career as a Police Officer and I highly value the education that I am getting here.

    As for the degree I believe it will make me very marketable in the future to many different agencies. Just from talking to different types of employers alone(Texas Parks and Wildlife, Midland/Odessa PD, National Park Service, and Texas Department of Public Safety) I got an understanding that they all had a very positive outlook on future graduates/degrees from Sul Ross.

    I will also agree with you that there are some horrible people attending this school and unfortunately those bad examples end up representing the rest of us. In my personal experience those individuals were not from West Texas and in most cases were from the inner cities (A lot from Houston and a lot of surrounding areas);I also have noticed that they don’t last long, usually getting kicked out after a few semesters of a 0 GPA. My biggest gripe is that a lot of them have most of there expenses fully payed for by the government and end up wasting it, which is infuriating because many of us who actually care could use some of that money. All in all, there were the same bad examples at my previous college, and my Dad(Who got his degree from Purdue) can name just as many examples of those people from his time in college. However, that’s not all of us. There are some of us who really want to learn, want our degrees, and want to further ourselves in the grand-scheme of things.

    Now I ask you to step back and ask yourself, is it really the degree that is not marketable? Or is it maybe you? Or is it maybe that in the current economy English/History/Communication degrees just don’t have as many openings as there used to be? Or perhaps society is evolving to not need as many professionals in those fields? There’s plenty of people and reasons to point a finger at but you’ll never know.

    Maybe this article was just a little too much of a vented-rant than anything actually substantial?

  19. Andrew Suber

    Jayson, I appreciate your thoughtful and well-reasoned reply.

    Don’t worry, I am gainfully employed.

    Sul Ross has excellent programs in many specific fields. Criminal Justice is one of those.

    And, yes, you’re right, society has evolved to where a liberal arts degree is less important. Where I find a problem is when that same liberal arts degree is used as the template for each high school graduates educational career regardless of their career goals.

    This isn’t a rant just about Sul Ross, it’s about our whole outlook on education.

    And the issue isn’t whether or not intelligent people make up the Sul Ross faculty (for the most part, they do) or how committed to education they are (for the most part they are intensely committed). My question is: what’s its real impact of college on the bottom 20% of students?

  20. john s

    Go into debt not to get a better job, but to get an education. Sounds like you should already have the better job before you go to sulross. Damn, to bad better jobs are not just handed out to people like degrees are.

  21. Andrew Suber

    Hey, assholes.

    The commission of colleges has placed Sul Ross on probation.

    Who’s right? ME.

    Who’s wrong? YOU.

    Maybe if you hard-headed sons a bitches would’ve listened to me, we could keep SRSU open for a couple of more years.