Objectivist response to "Day of Giving"?

Posted by $ jbrenner 1 year, 11 months ago to Science
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Rand's opinion's on charity are well known and summarized in

As the chair for my university's nanotechnology minor program, I have been purchasing used equipment for years to pursue my own research. In the process, I encourage my students to repair some of that equipment as an end-of-semester project in my Materials Characterization Lab course or as part of a deal that a few students take me up on. That deal is as follows: If a student repairs two similar pieces of equipment, I keep one for the program, and the second one is either theirs to keep or to sell on EBay.

I have done what I can to make everything a value-for-value exchange for my research and my minor program. I have one of pretty much everything I need to do my job effectively, but much of my equipment base is starting to show its age. Admittedly, I have sacrificed a little this year to keep some equipment running because "the show must go on". I don't want such sacrificing of myself to continue, and so I am starting a "Value for Value Exchange" campaign to take my minor program to the next level and co-hosted Nanoflorida 2018 to help kick that campaign off.

name = fltech password = brenner

My university's "development office" (another name for professional mooching) wants me to coordinate this with their "Day of Giving". The "Day of Giving" has a worldwide history:


Although I don't think I can claim to be a student of Objectivism, I am in the awkward position of trying to achieve excellence in my field without mooching and without self-sacrificing. I flatly refuse to participate in a "Day of Giving".

What recommendations does Galt's Gulch have for me in such a situation? Being a professor at my university is just about the best "shrug job" I could hope for. My situation shares some similarities to that of Quentin Daniels from Atlas Shrugged. I think I am doing the best I can without compromising my values, but I am always looking to improve.

On a more positive note, I have got a sufficient number of students exchanging their dollar values for my pedagogical value. Moreover, I did just partner with an engineering entrepreneurship education foundation to develop a set of best practices on how best to formalize makerspace education.

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