FOR SALE – Southern Oregon State University – FOR SALE

So I’ve got to speculate – why would the Oregon State Board of Higher Education threaten to eliminate a whole university from Oregon’s system (and remember this is the board that almost had Neil Goldscmidt as a member)?

An article from last weekend’s Oregonian printed it so it’s got to be true right?????

The buildings are paid for. Most of the programs contribute to our economy in a quantifiable way. Many of the departments and programs bring in enough money to make them a profit generator when tuition contributions are included. To shut down a whole school serving an entire region of the state is literally ridiculous (especially if they believe a private institution would buy it proving the viability of a University as a private school).I speculate it’s plain and simple Stumptown-baiting (that’s my phrase for Portland style hostage taking in which important services lives are threatened unless the public pays more money). This is a study in government mission creep – serving the unrequited need.

The real issue is the ever expanding liberal-arts and social science programs with no real world application unless exported into another discipline. When we face financial crisis as a state these programs should become suspect as opposed to a whole university. But of course as the Portland model shows prioritizing is only used in making the public feel the pain of a bureaucracy with priorities far flung from the nuts and bolts management of our state’s core mission. The public’s priorities are the first to see the cuts and last to see repair.

In Stumptown it seems governments are capable of paying for everything but police, jail beds, public mental health, and actual classrooms. But of course we see an ever expanding mission into other unrequited needs though the basics are falling far short of the necessary support.

Picking up the tab for the ACLU’s gay marriage legal battle while cutting thousands off of OHP, fueling a meth epidemic by failing to lock up offenders who arrested weekly, giving a day off for employees actually showing up to work in inclement weather while the county couldn’t fund its basic mission, begging for the I-tax and then proposing an expansion of food-stamps because its cruel to not cover the poor’s ability to buy a latte’ (this I’m not making up as it was Serena Cruz’s justification). Even Chair Dianne Linn (one of the more conservative members of the County board) has had to fight her own board to get more jail-beds open as Lisa Naito, Maria DeSteffey, and Serena Cruz picked open fights with Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Guisto true worth in the county service structure.

Back to the point of the post; I have to admit that the proposal was withdrawn but this still raises a question. Why propose something that without question won’t happen? As I said above – it’s Stumptown-baiting. Holding the necessary services of a regional University hostage in order to keep the actual fluff programs afloat.

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Posted by at 07:02 | Posted in Measure 37 | 5 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Steve Plunk

    You see it clearly Sully. Hostage taking like this is the most common way of coersion in public policy today. Usually it’s our children who they take hostage.

    The police advise not dealing with hostage takers or terrorists since it encourages even more of it. We should follow that advice. No deal.

    Let ’em close the schools, close the libraries, and close whatever else they want to, all of those will be open again in no time. The public will not stand for those closings for long.

    How about start laying off a few administrators? Then we will see some new creative thinking.

  • Tamara

    Maybe McMinnamins would buy it. Why do we have these problems with our schools. Does the alphabet cost more, what about the one, two, threes. I would rather subsidize my child’s education than give my taxes dollars to the Nordstrom buying, latte drinking school board who are never satisfied with the increases and can not fix the problem. I will pay for my son to go to outdoor school. I will pay for his lunches, chemistry supplies, computers and what ever else he needs. If I can not afford some activities then my son does not participate unless he gets a scholarship. This is America the land of the free, That doesn’t mean it is all free. I will take responsibility for me and mine and I recommend everyone else do the same and stop the madness. Reading, writing, and arithmetic that’s what they can teach our children. We are all different, with different income brackets, educations, ambitions and dreams. That’s what makes the world beautiful.

  • Ben Mathews

    When I read the proposal, I said to myself “What a great idea.” On the east coast, there are relatively few public universities and they seem to get educated well enough. If there is a need, a school will be made available either as a not for profit or for profit.

    Back to Southern Oregon University. The last couple of years, it has seen declining enrollments which at some level implies that the university is not needed or is failing. The population in this area is certainly not falling.

  • Marvinlee

    We have a strange and perverse distribution of state universities. Bend’s university is still in embryo form while others in the state could be combined to promote bettter productivity. I suspect that inertia will rule the day and that once created, universities will remain forever.

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