Right. Just like how the universities tell everyone how much better their lives will be, if we all just go $60,000 in debt and sign up for classes.
I find it ironic that the institutions that aggressively market themselves, seem to be highly susceptible to the marketing of like institutions.
That said, if Oracle did indeed promise, under contract, to complete project X for Y amount of money, and it's not complete, then good for Montclair. Get the funds back, or make Oracle finish the job. Otherwise, it'll be the students or the taxpayers paying for it, at some point, after the risk transfer process trickles down.
No university offers a fixed-price guarantee of a better life. The cost of courses is almost never fixed, nor is the cost of books, lab fees, supplies, etc. that are specific to your course of study. And of course nothing about the results is guaranteed at all; you may or may not get a degree, depending on whether you choose to pursue one and how well you demonstrate mastery, and of course a degree is no guarantee of a better life in any tangible way. The university is offering to teach you something and provide a structure and environment in which you're more likely to learn it well. That's all. Your attempt to draw similarities here and tar both parties with the same brush is laughably weak. If you had a contract from a university that said for $60k we guarantee you will have a job that pays at least $X for at least Y% of your life between now and age 65, you would have a case. No one is that stupid.
Here, however, there was a contract in place that specified the requirements and expected results and the fixed price the university was willing to pay Oracle. Oracle signed the contract, then, apparently, failed to deliver on those specific performance expectations laid out in the contract. No one can say whether they'll win it, but they do have a case. Marketing and sales is what is *said*, a contract is what is *put in writing and signed*. It's not at all unusual for the two to be very different, and in general a company can't be held liable for the claims it makes in marketing materials and sales pitches unless they meet strict criteria for deceptiveness. The UK seems to have the broadest powers to police deceptive claims; it's rare in the US. But a contract, well, that's a different story. And it's the story here.
It's not at all surprising that Oracle overpromised, underdelivered, and then failed to disclose that more money would have to be spent to achieve the customer's goals. While many vendors engage in the occasional unscrupulous practice, Oracle is at the very bottom of the heap when it comes to sleaze. The company has repeatedly shown that it cares nothing for its customers, employees, or shareholders (except for Larry), and has complete disregard for the laws of the countries in which it operates. Its corporate culture is built entirely on backstabbing, deception, and ass-kissing. Montclair State's experience is far more typical than atypical when it comes to doing business with Oracle; a similar series of events involving the State of California received national publicity recently as well. But what is surprising here is that these cases are being litigated; Oracle's lawyers are numerous, effective, and almost completely in control of everything the company does. As an Oracle employee, you can't take a dump in the men's room shitter without getting approval from Legal and Rev Rec. It will be interesting to see how this plays out; Oracle will almost certainly come up with something they put in the contract that gives them an escape. It won't be something technical, because the people in charge over there don't know anything about technology, so it'll probably be some kind of loophole or exception clause. So while I have no doubt that the university was wronged, I expect that their lawyers will have been outlawyered by Oracle's legal army. It seems to be the way these cases go; that is after all Oracle's entire business model. The company could not exist on the merits of its products, the ability of its engineers, or the integrity with which it treats its customers. Why anyone does business with them is beyond me.