Yes, you already have an answer in "jest" to a quite reasonable question from prospective and new students. Do you possibly see a problem with that? If you contacted a university and asked them how long it would take for you to get a bachelors degree - and also, because you were thinking about it - how long it would take to get an accelerated degree - how would you respond if they answered, "How long does it take to catch a fish?"
...except that a bachelor's degree program is largely defined in terms of time, under the assumption of successful completion of a certain courseload during that time. You do a standard course load, usually nominally 16 hours per semester, and complete your courses successfully, you get a bachelor's degree in four years. It's the use of common standards that makes a simple answer possible in this case, and the lack of commonly agreed-upon standards that makes a simple (and truthful, and accurate) answer impossible in the case of martial arts - or even a single martial art, like aikido. I think you're talking apples and oranges here.
I understand that this is a major bee in your bonnet, Dan, and I agree that it's possible to hide bullshit behind what you term a "Zen koan". But the fact that some people, somewhere, sometime, have uttered bullshit in response to a question, doesn't mean that the question has a simple and straightforward answer. Could it have a simple and straightforward answer? Sure, but that would require a degree of consensus and cooperation that simply doesn't exist now. The university system has been around for a thousand years, aikido as we know it for less than a hundred - the consensus you need will be some time in the making, I think.