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This, from January 2006, is the first of many posts (type Saluki Way into the search feature) University Diaries has featured on only one of the many benighted aspects of that most-benighted of American university campuses, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale — its ridiculous sports expenditure.

Here’s an update — a letter to the editor of the student paper, from an English professor there.

According to SIU President Glenn Poshard, SIU may probably [may probably is awkward] close in March or lay off large amounts [should be numbers] of people … He is quoted as stating, “This isn’t a panic situation; nobody is panicking here.”

This may be true for SIU’s higher administrators who will certainly not be laid off. But for the majority of faculty and staff in an already depressed economic region, this is a very worrying time. Should the worst happen, Carbondale would probably become a “ghost town” [no need for quotation marks] after losing its chief source of revenue.

In the light of the recent high-salaried appointment of a new chancellor (who may not even have a job to go to in June) despite a supposed hiring freeze, another solution is possible.

What about temporarily transferring the $35 million dollars allocated to the Saluki Way sports project to alleviate this urgent budget crisis?

This project is opposed by the majority of faculty and students on this campus, and in a time of economic recession, sports should be the lowest item on the agenda.

It would be one of a number of necessary efficiencies Trustee Bill Bonan II has urged. Should the economy recover, this project could then go ahead. The issue remains whether sports or education is the main priority on this campus at this particular time.

… Surely the economic well being of people is far more important in a time of economic depression …than an irrelevant sports stadium that has nothing to do with educational quality.

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4 Responses to “UD’s Been Following the Idiocy of the Saluki Way for Years.”

  1. Stephen Karlson Says:

    The link, the link??

    It’s tough at the other end of the state too.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Whoops. Right you are, Stephen. Hold on.

  3. theprofessor Says:

    Oh, you silly English professor. Anyone with any exposure to administrators knows the answer–nay, can rattle the answer off in his sleep:

    "Well, that money is capital money. It can’t be used for operating expenses."

    This is on p. 1 of the If You Can’t Dazzle Them with Brilliance, Baffle Them with Bullshit: A Primer for Higher Education Managers

  4. Stephen Karlson Says:

    In Illinois, there is some truth to that claim, as the capital expenditures can be financed through revenue bonds, while the operating expenditures must be paid out of current revenues. I’m not sure what those rules classify renovations of classroom buildings where, as money is fungible, some of the infrastructure repairs Southern, and the other Illinois compass-points, confront might be possible.

    The revenue bond dodge leads to another problem: you downsize the faculty and support staff to barely serve 19,000 students and headquarters then discovers that interest and principal on the revenue bonds requires 23,000 …

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