Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Graham Does a Very Good Marie Antoinette Impression

Adam Smeltz reported this morning that Graham had finally gone off the deep end
Penn State students here could soon pay $200 more a year to help finance bigger, better campus facilities, the university confirmed Tuesday.

The new fee, suggested by the administration, would generate $8.2 million in new annual revenue at University Park alone, spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

That money would be tagged for non-academic facility improvements, such as fitness and other recreational space, eateries and student office and meeting areas.
This is at a time when the University's debt load sit at just shy of a $1 billion dollars with $175 million in variable rate bonds, construction cost are skyrocketing , and Penn State is bellyaching to the Commonwealth that it doesn't have enough academic facilities.
Insufficient or inadequate space continues to be a serious impediment to Penn State's academic programs. The University lags behind its peers in providing modern laboratory and classroom space for its students, faculty, and staff. Even with the new facilities constructed over the last several years, Penn State has among the lowest overall space per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student of any public university in the Big Ten.
Oh yeah, and when Penn State is already the most expensive public university in the nation.The justification for this madness?
She cited results from recent focus groups and student surveys, both at University Park and at other Penn State campuses. Feedback has suggested that “we are short, and in some cases woefully short, in recreational space,” Powers said.
Powers didn't provide Adam with the survey results. But I'm sure it was the one conducted by Brailsford & Dunlavey which I commented on last year when the Penn State Propaganda Portal announced its findings. This is from the B& D Web site.
Brailsford & Dunlavey was hired by Pennsylvania State University in the fall of 2005 to conduct a Recreation Facilities Feasibility Study, with the goal of identifying any gaps between the existing campus facilities and recreational demand.
This firm has a long list of academic clients and it would seem that they've found that everyone of them has a student body that want some sort of facility and all those student bodies seem willing to raise student activities fees to pay for them. I think we should be a bit skeptical of their findings at Penn State.

Speaking of skeptical... Adam does cite a bunch of statistics from the University which could be used to justify the expenditure on more athletic facilities. My guess is that these statistics were carefully put together by the University with the help of B & D. Why do I say that? Well, at some schools any increase of the student activity fee must by a referendum of the student body. And one of B&D's services is "referendum support once the project was determined to be financially viable," i.e. selling the project to the kids.

I wonder how much B&D charged Penn State for their services.

None of this really comes as a surprise to me. Graham doesn't give a rat's ass about academics and he long ago gave up on the mission of education the sons and daughters of Pennsylvania's working class. This is just a vivid and concrete reminder of that.

As I wrote earlier this month, it is time for a radical change at Penn State.

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ptw said...
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ptw said...

Tell the World about Trinity Church!