Monday, May 05, 2008

Today's Must Read

Back in March, Adam Smeltz reported on a new fee that Graham was considering imposing on University Park students for funding the construction of more recreation space on campus. Penn State flack Lisa Powers told Adam that results from recent focus groups and student surveys supported the idea of a perception of a shortage of space. There was no mention of who conducted the focus groups and surveys or when these were done. I speculated that these had to be done as as part of the study by Brailsford & Dunlavey which the University had announced back in February of 2007.

My read on the firm was that they are hired by school administrators to gin up support amongst students for recreation projects that administrators want to build with student fees.
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.

Today Safeguard Old State posts that report online and compares some of Old Main's public statements about the unpublished report to what the report actually contains. It's not very surprising. As I predicted Old Main is using the B&D report to bullshit the student body. Go read the SOS post to find out exactly how.

By the way, my hat goes off to whoever over at SOS scanned in the 168 page document.

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